With less built-in structure to our days, one of the hardest habits for the self employed or work-at-home professionals is healthy habits, or productive self-care. This article is about healthy habits: finding your “why,” what some healthy habits are to consider, and practical strategies for making it happen…. whichever habit you start with.
ZeroCater provided me with this infographic, pictured here, which is the stepping off point for this article. It really caused me to think about my work-at-home/self employed clients, what they wrestle with and have solved in our work together as we discuss self-care. And I’ve got a few other articles for your reference as added perspectives. [I have not worked with ZeroCater; I think you’ll really enjoy their perspective in the Infographic and that should ideally tell you something about a company’s philosophy about how they do business.]
Healthy Habits: The Struggles I Hear
- It’s so much work to research and figure out all the pieces. I get it but it’s hard to think about the work involved. Or the motivation. And self-discipline.
- Where would I start? Which habit? Which one will be the best for me?
- I’d never keep it up. I’m busy. Often unable to stick with habits.
- How will I remember to do what I said I needed to do?
- Do I have to buy a standup desk or other things?
As Simon Sinek Asks Us: What’s Your “Why?”
The first key question, Why This Matters, can have a variety of answers. [Simon’s famous “Why” video is here. Might inspire you to watch that first.]
See if any of these possibilities resonate for you:
- Physical illness is prompting a focus on better self care – yours or someone you work with or live with.
- You’ve been told that better self-care is key to your own mental health: stress levels, ADHD, bipolar, and so forth.
- You want more energy. You’ve noticed you are more tired than you used to get.
- You have goals in life. You don’t think you’re going to meet some of these because you don’t have healthy habits: food, sleep, movement, brain breaks.
- You want to be a good role model to your children, employees, team.
- You want to be your best, at work and in life. A lot is working but you’re not quite feeling you take good enough care of your greatest assets: mind and body.
What Can We Do: Start with Easy
Take a look at the healthy habits list in the InfoGraphic. You’re going to want to choose just one ….and only one …. to focus on.
Habits take awhile to establish; you’ve probably tried some of these before and it’s not been easy. Choose one, put all your effort into that one, and once you feel it is a habit, then move onto the second one. The easiest way to fail is to start with too many to work on. Focus.
Think, too, about any habit you’ve ever started and done well with. How did you do that? Use those same techniques here.
You can choose what sounds like the easiest habit. This is an example of one that might be easier to start with than others. No equipment except your timer, which is something you may have on your phone, or with your Time Timer or in your kitchen.
**Allan Hedge, director of Cornell University’s Human Factors and Ergonomics programs, suggests this mix: “In each half hour sit for 20 minutes, stand for 8 minutes, and move around and stretch for two minutes. And when you are seated, choose seating that encourages a range of healthy postures (vs. a static seated posture).”
The key, per the article, is to vary your postures and not get stuck into anyone of them. So to do that, use your timer.
Bonus: Using the timer for this will help you get a sense of time throughout the day if it tends to slip away. It will also help you to break down larger projects into smaller steps and bookmark where you are, when the timer goes off. All great productivity habits!
Stretching, hydration, eating well, healthy snacks to keep you going, keep moving …. Which is yours to start with …. and what’s your “why?”
Part 2 will talk about what we can do to get ourselves started and working on this new habit.
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And do take a look around my Pinterest Boards. I curate on several topics and I’d love to have you there, too, if you’re not already. [But of course, not within an hour of when you want to sleep, right?]