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Wellness & Work. An Oxymoron? You Decide

Date: Thu, 16 May, 2019

Wellness & Work. An Oxymoron? You Decide



The link between wellbeing, performance and productivity has always been known but nowadays it’s hip to discuss it.

Take Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey’s daily routine of intermittent fasting, meditation, sleep diary, journaling, ice baths and saunas. Does that sound excessive? It shouldn’t, since being fit is no longer viewed as a ‘nice-to-have’ but as a ‘must-have’.

Whether we are entrepreneurs, freelancers, or employees, whether we work in an office or virtually, being productive and simultaneously fulfilled is challenging without harmony of mind and body to uplift the spirit.  Only an integrated and personalised system of lifestyle habits and practices can sustain this alignment. Failure to do so results in depletion and the mayhem that everyone is, to some extent, familiar with. 

Health and intellect are two blessings in life. Use them. 

With rising competition at every level, remaining on top of one’s game is vital. Those who fail to invest personal wellbeing are simply less capable of handling the increasing barrage of external and internal stressors that our bodies were never designed to cope with.

Finding and maintaining wellbeing starts with self-awareness and taking charge of one’s life, right now. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. An internal dialogue to establish a viable framework to optimize performance and empower our day, is fundamental.  

Maybe less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass is the way to go?  

If, unlike Jack Dorsey, the morning ritual is challenging, what’s the solution? For me, it’s a constant trial and error. I’ve trained myself to never give up and experiment with the next ‘best’ approach. Those of us who don’t have his means and discipline could start by focusing on two of the main pillars of wellness: Nutrition and Movement

Mens Sana in Corpore Sana’ 

A healthy mind in a healthy body 

Enough has been said about this so now is the time to put fitness into the schedule and stick to the program. I book my daily exercise regime, as a meeting in my calendar and work my other commitments around it, not vice versa. An early morning workout or a workout after work? What about a break during lunch break? Everyone is different. Without vitality, stress or even worse, gloom at work will creep in. There is no right or wrong. No biohacking secret. Exercise is not negotiable

Food affects your mood 

If you fill your body with garbage where are you going to live? Never underestimate the connection between gut and brain: a deficiency in the right nutrients leave us drained and trigger brain fog, irritability, fatigue, as well as memory and sleep problems.  Simply put, if we eat crap, we look and feel crap - especially after 40 years old.

Think of food as fuel for your body and brain and follow the “if it’s white, it ain’t right diet”? guide - which advocates avoiding sugar and processed anything. Give intermittent-fasting a try. The core of this method is to limit food intake to one or two meals a day to allow the body to rest and regain its efficiency. This has been shown to sharpen focus, boost weight loss and more  - The benefits on mind and body are numerous. 

Maintaining a new habit is not for the faint-hearted; it takes dedication and a strong mindset, particularly for those averse to structure and discipline. These personality types, more than others, need a daily framework to guide them, otherwise the state of mind will degenerate into anxiety, burnout and depression, then it’s game over. 

You are what you do, not what you will say you do. 

Of course it takes ‘different strokes for different folks’ but overall, it is understood that investing in personal wellness is vital. This can range from choosing a holistic retreat instead of the usual sloth-fest holiday, and devising a daily regime that embraces smart lifestyle practices, added to mindfulness and service activities that invariably make us more resilient.

By building the attitudinal musculature to make a plan and stick to a plan, whatever that may be; we become physically and emotionally better equipped to navigate the vicissitudes of life.    

Whether we can emulate Jack Dorsey’s navy seal routine, have the discipline to uphold an impactful routine or need a targeted retreat to reboot and refresh, wellbeing is a work in progress. The only way to thrive is to cultivate a growth mindset and invest in wellbeing pursuits and experiences, be it in the workplace, at home, on holiday, or even within oneself.      

What is your key wellness secret for a balanced mind, body and spirit?