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How to Build Healthy Habits to Thrive in Your Career

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Build healthy habits for a healthier career.

When you’re not feeling your best, whether that’s because of stress, lack of sleep, or just a simple cold, you don’t have a lot of energy. You might even be easily annoyed, are quick to anger, and find yourself struggling to focus on the work you have ahead of you. If that happens often during the week, your boss might see your work performance take a noticeable hit and you can risk damaging your career. Before you add worrying about your job to the pile of stressors in your life, trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference and might even stop your stress issue in its tracks. Knowing more about exercise, nutrition, and how your body works is the first step toward getting back on track to feeling like your best self. Here’s how you can work toward a healthy life.

Health isn’t a number on a scale.

While healthy eating and regular exercise are essential to feeling like your best, it’s also important to know what makes a person healthy overall versus just appearing to be so. Health isn’t defined only by weights and measures. It’s actually a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, with each part influencing the other. If you’re not physically well, your mental and social well-being suffer, and so on. Taking care of yourself begins with knowing what you need to do to be healthy for you, not what’s healthy for others.

Consider what works for you.

Before you start making plans to start a strict diet and run five miles a day, think about what you need and what works for your life. Not everyone can dedicate four hours a day to the gym or spend an entire Sunday cooking and packaging prepared meals for the week and that’s okay. A healthier you could mean cutting back on coffee, having fruit for breakfast instead of a fast food sandwich, or parking further away from your office so you have to walk a bit more than usual. Making a few small changes is an easy way to start and, as you start to feel better, you can add more to your new routine.

Get on a sleep schedule.

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, if you have a job that requires you to get to the office by a particular time, too little or too much sleep can leave you dragging. When you get to work, your brain is tired and it takes you longer than it should to get into the rhythm of your day. While a rough night’s sleep every now and then won’t hurt your work performance, poor sleep habits over time can hold you back.

Think about it. After a few days of restless, sleepless nights, your brain just doesn’t work the way you want it to. It’s hard to focus, you’re irritable, and finishing the work assigned to you takes twice as long. When you do sleep well, you’re spending that energy on catching up on all the tasks you got behind on. While you’re in a cycle of getting behind and catching up, there’s no time to work on moving ahead in your career.

If you’re not sure how to start a steady sleep schedule, try a few of these tips.

  1. Kick your caffeine habit - at least after 2PM. While you may not feel the effects, caffeine sticks around for about 8 hours after your last sip. Cutting yourself off from coffee or tea earlier in the day can help you stay sleepy when it’s time for bed.

  2. Turn off your digital devices an hour before bed. Or at least stop using them an hour before bed. While it’s fun to scroll through your social media while waiting for sleep to come, the light from you screen is tricking your brain into thinking it needs to be awake.

  3. Stick to a routine. Daily habits and rituals help you stay on track with different things, and sleep is one of them. If you have a nighttime ritual, do it every day before you go to bed, no matter what. Your brain will eventually realize that these tasks are a signal to start powering down for a good night’s sleep.

When you wake up with energy, ready to start the day, you can power through your to-do list cheerfully and your coworkers and boss will take notice.

Learn more about fitness and nutrition.

Most people aren’t born knowing what makes for a healthy lifestyle. Fitness and nutrition are skills that you pick up overtime, either through family and friends, or school. It’s also a skill that needs practice. If you push healthy habits to the side to make room for everything else in your life, eventually, you forget how to do it. Taking a short course in fitness and nutrition as an adult can help you develop a deeper understanding of why your habits are important, and how to fine tune exercise and healthy eating to your needs.

Through ICS Canada’s online Fitness and Nutrition Certificate program, you can pick up tips and tricks on managing your personal health, understand how certain exercises impact different parts of your body, and how the food you eat gives you energy. You don’t have to start running a marathon, but learning a thing or two about being the best version of yourself can help you feel better and do better at work. Find out more about our flexible, affordable health and wellness programs by speaking with an Admissions Specialist today at 1.888.427.2400!

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