We writer types spend a lot of time on our keisters.
Unfortunately, all that sitting is killing us. We also tend to work too much—often in stressful, volatile, unfulfilling environments—all while devouring things that shorten our time on earth. Ain’t life grand?
Instead of focusing on the bleak, unpredictable or unchangeable aspects of modern working life, let’s consider three things we can control.
Movement. Movement begets energy, creativity, confidence and endurance.
According to the BBC: “There are health and cognitive benefits of working out while you’re on the clock that could help you feel better, look better and perform better.”
You don’t need a Peloton in your cubicle, and you don’t have to take a tire-flipping Crossfit class. Start small. Set “stand up and stretch” reminders throughout your day. Go meet Fred and Fanny face to face instead of emailing those rascals.
Take your eyes off the screen, get outside, and walk around for 15 minutes. If you work in an office, recruit others to walk with you. If you work from home, do all those embarrassing stretches that your colleagues don’t need to see or know about.
“Creative types” might be tethered to sedentary jobs, but it doesn’t have to define us—nor ruin our health. Let’s use whatever freedom and flexibility we do have to move as much as possible in 2020.
Food and drink. If you are one of those remarkable people who possess the forethought, discipline and willpower to pack a healthy lunch every day, good on you.
For the rest of us whose “meal prep” consists mostly of unwrapping cheeseburgers, let’s aim a bit lower. How about packing lunch one or two days a week? For those working at home, how about replacing chips with nuts? Instead of doughnuts for breakfast, how about a nice grapefruit, or even a hard-boiled egg?
Just as with exercise, start small. Fewer units of booze and sugar. Less meat and lower sodium. Instead of depriving yourself, swap out truly terrible things for healthier approximations of similar items.
Mental and spiritual well-being. How do you like to relax and unwind? What activities make you truly happy and fulfilled? What gives your life meaning?
Let’s do more of those things in 2020. Midday meditation might not be possible, but 90 seconds of deep, relaxed breathing can offer a reset.
In addition, let’s scrape as much ancillary crap off our work plates as possible. Aggressively delegate. Stand up for yourself. If you don’t like your current job, push to make it more manageable or interesting. If your boss won’t work with you, find something else to do.
Life’s already short. There’s no need to shorten it even more because of work-related stress. Prioritize your mental and spiritual health in 2020 by any and all means necessary.