Guest post by Maris Degener of Yoga Maris.
As someone who writes about both mental and physical health, I’ve found one of my greatest challenges to be following my own advice.
The fact is, much of what we prescribe as health bloggers and writers goes against the traditional standards of online work. Writing requires a vast amount of time sedentary in a chair or at a standing desk. Expanding a blog requires more time than we’d like scrolling through Instagram or punching out tweets. Deadlines and big projects sometimes mean a few more late nights staring at a screen or obnoxiously early mornings to try and get work done before going to our “real job” than we’d like.
So it’s ironic that we do all of this in an effort to empower others with information to create their happiest and healthiest lives.
However, it doesn’t have to be as one-sided as it can so easily become. With a little conscious shifting and effort, it’s possible to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk in the world of health blogging. Here are three tips to staying healthy as you guide others to do the same:
Tip #1: More isn’t always better.
Quality over quantity should become one of your most cherished mantras. More time working isn’t always the answer. Seek out the time management techniques and skills that help you be more efficient with you work and spend less time glued to a computer screen or locked in your chair. Use methods like the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused during work times and not drag out these hours with procrastination or a wandering mind.
Instead of priding yourself in the number of hours you put into your projects, pride yourself in the effort you put into them. As with everything, balance is key here. Work hard, but also rest hard. You’ll be more efficient, creative, and motivated if you’re not completely exhausted from hours upon hours of the grind.
Tip #2: Create a work environment that promotes healthy habits.
If you work from home, as many bloggers do, you have a strong control over your environment. Create an atmosphere that makes it near-effortless to maintain your healthy habits. Perhaps invest in a standing desk, or build your own on a budget. Keep water and healthy snacks at the ready, instead of classic office fare like candies or vending machine munchies. Don’t make it hard to maintain your health, it’s easy enough as it is to get sucked into hours of screen time with no movement and plenty of nutrient-poor snacking. Make it a priority to create an environment that makes healthy choices the easiest ones.
Tip #3: Sleep above all else.
This is another great mantra to carry with you. A deterioration of sleep health is one of the biggest threats to your wellbeing, and unfortunately, current business culture glorifies “never sleeping” and “working when others are asleep.” However, studies have proven that when we are sleep deprived, our performance decreases drastically. By not making sleep a priority, we are sacrificing our ability to do our best work, as well as signing up for a host of health problems that may present themselves in the long-term. You’re also adding another obstacle to making smart choices: how motivated are you to hit up the gym or prepare a healthy meal when you’re completely exhausted?
If you find yourself working after the sun goes down, staring at a brightly-lit screen can damage your ability to get quality sleep. Download a program like f.lux, which is free and controls the temperature of your display color in relation to the time of day, to reduce eye strain and limit the effects on your body’s circadian rhythms. Additionally, you can purchase a pair of amber-tinted goggles/glasses which block out the blue light emitted from screens.
Remember, the most efficient and effective you is the healthiest you. The advice you have to give and the message you have to share are important and helpful to this world. Put yourself in the best position you can to continue sharing your work with others by making your health your greatest priority. We all have to sacrifice for our work, but making too many sacrifices to your health won’t serve anyone.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.