By Jennifer Martella
Jennifer Martella recently participated in our MBSR program and is Owner and Founder of Strategic Wellness Concepts. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about sustainable wellness and personal/professional balance.
To inquire about our UCSD Center for Mindfulness WorkLife Integration Programs please contact Program Director, Ellyn Wolfe at email@example.com. 858-737-4341
After spending over fifteen years in corporate America, I understand the challenges that face busy, success-motivated executives. I spent many years on the corporate treadmill trying to “make it all work,” only to find that my personal health and wellness suffered as a result. Determined to find a better way, I finally turned the corner by discovering a few simple tools that changed my life – both personally and professionally – and helped me find balance. The solution is easier than you might think.
· Invest your time wisely. One of the biggest hurdles we face on the path towards improving health and wellness in our lives is time. There is never enough at the end of the day, and ironically, the one item that typically suffers is our personal well-being. The solution? Time management and prioritization. Carve time into your daily schedule just for you. Whether you use this time for exercise, spending time with a friend, reading a chapter out of your favorite book or enjoying a carefree walk, calendar it, prioritize it and make it happen!
· Mindfulness. Learning to live in the moment is key. Corporate America thrives on multitasking. Although at times it may be necessary, too much can lead to inefficiency, decreased productivity, frustration and exhaustion. As often as possible, focus on the “now.” That is, the task at hand or the person you are with, and particularly when exercising or spending time with family and friends. The benefits are far reaching!
· Unplug…and lose the iPhone. Ok, not literally, but take time each day to “let go,” unplug and unwind. Our brains need a vacation – especially from the Smartphone!
· Do at least one “selfless” thing each day. Each day, do something for someone else – even a complete stranger. For example, thank someone for their patience, buy lunch for someone, or tell someone they made your day. Random acts of kindness and generosity are the moments when you are truly living!
A few words about exercise
· Keep it simple. No time for the gym or a run outdoors? How about a fifteen minute walk around the block? Take the stairs back to your building? Walk to your lunch meeting instead of opting for a cab? While you are at it, think about your surroundings – how your muscles feel – it may sound odd, but this practice of mindfulness will actually give your brain the ability to refuel, recharge and refresh!
· Have fun. If the treadmill isn’t your thing, that makes two of us. Find out what is, and enjoy it.
· Exercise that pays the most dividends. Less is often more, and variety is key. It’s the quality, not necessarily the quantity that counts.
Chew on this
· Eat mindfully. Have you ever finished a meal or snack and moments later not even realized what you were eating, let alone that you were eating? I spent years eating most meals at my desk while multitasking (reading the WSJ, scanning emails, preparing for the next deadline) and never even tasting my food. Each day, try to eat at least one meal mindfully – that means doing nothing else but enjoying the meal, thinking about what you are eating and taking the time to chew. You just might find yourself satiated sooner and in a much more positive frame of mind!
· Plan ahead. No time for lunch? Another vending machine or coffee day? Bring almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, even a protein powder or shake to sustain you until you can actually sit down for a meal.
· There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Do the research, listen to your body and find out what works best for you!