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Wellbeing routines sound like fun, but, in fact, they’re an essential way of supporting yourself while you do creative work like writing….
By Ann Gomez
To help you tap into the full power of wellbeing routines, I invite you to consider these refreshingly effective strategies and make them part of your life:
1 – Prioritize sleep
I know I’m not at my best when I don’t get enough sleep. I’m less patient, have trouble tackling bigger tasks, struggle to focus, and maybe worst of all, grumpy. Can you relate?
There is no doubt sleep leads to optimal health and mindset. And sleep also has a dramatic effect on our productivity.
When we sleep, our bodies do “repair work.” This crucial repair benefits our cognition and improves our mood by making it easier for us to focus, follow complex thoughts, and make decisions. Sleep even improves our memory by strengthening nerve connections. And ultimately, when we’re well rested, we find more joy in our work. A rested brain is more likely to find inspiration and purpose, which is a key driver of motivation.
Here are some tips you can use to enhance your sleep routine, so you can make a habit of getting a good night’s sleep:
- Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time
- Establish a wind-down routine, including no screens or blue light leading up to bedtime
- Try journaling, reading or meditating to quiet your busy mind
- Keep your room cool and dark
- Count your blessings instead of sheep!
This leads us to our next wellbeing routine:
2 – Practice gratitude
Can you adopt any of these gratitude routines?
- Send specific and thoughtful thank you messages (which can be effective via email, but are truly next-level when sent via a hand-written note).
- Celebrate milestones and wins.
- Catch each other doing things right – and let them know what your appreciate.
- Engage in meaningful conversations to let me know what you value about them.
- Start meetings by highlighting coworkers for their support.
By taking the focus away from yourself and showing appreciation for how others add to your life, gratitude strengthens our relationships and simply makes us feel better. We are also more likely to exercise self-care practices because we’re energized by our abundance mindset.
Find ways to spend more time thinking about what you appreciate, and your body (and mind) will benefit from your more relaxed, peaceful state of being.
3 – Exercise and eat well
Exercise and nutrition have a big effect on our productivity, by priming our brain to focus and so much more. One study found regularly getting your heart rate up could improve your mental performance by 20%!
Unfortunately, many of us spend far too much time sitting on the job or tempted by sugary pastries at meetings.
Try these strategies to offset this challenge:
- Schedule walking meetings
- Plan active events
- Serve healthy food at events
Eating healthy food is an essential part of any wellbeing routine.
4 – Practice mindfulness & meditation
Mindfulness and meditation improve our sense of calmness and physical relaxation by helping us remain present. Meditation also strengthens our prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for key executive functioning skills we use on the job, including when we’re making decisions, focusing, and planning.
Try these meditation tips:
- Start small. This is especially true if meditation seems somewhat abstract or intimidating for you.
- Integrate mindfulness into your day-to-day tasks. Try to cue yourself to shift your mindset to the present situation.
- Write it down to help to clear your mind.
- Pause to take some deep breaths. It’s amazing what a difference a few deep and intentional breaths can make.
Many people avoid meditation because they feel they can never get it “right.” I like this tip from mindful.org: Be kind to your wandering mind. Your mind will wander, just as your heart continues to beat. Don’t be harsh on yourself. If you find yourself lost in your thoughts – just come back.
5 – Make time to connect
When we are surrounded by a strong network, — whether consisting of family, friends or coworkers — there is no limit to what we can achieve. A strong network can challenge us, champion us, collaborate with us – and empathize with us.
Which of these tips would help you strengthen your connections at work?
- Start meetings with a personal connection.
- Be intentional. Be curious. Learn something new about your clients or coworkers with every connection.
- Make the most of time in the office by walking the halls, eating together, and leaning into serendipitous interactions.
- Turn your video on when you can.
- Book virtual coffees (and don’t talk about work!)
Try these wellbeing routines to tap into your most productive self and bring your best to all you do.
For more strategies to help you do your best work, see Ann’s latest book, Workday Warrior: A Proven Path to Reclaiming Your Time, published by Dundurn Press, 2022.