By continuously putting others first and sacrificing their own well-being, leaders become vulnerable to stress. While leadership is fundamentally about being able to set a vision, one can’t forget the importance of persisting over the long run to lead yourself and others to take on big challenges and work toward the finish line. With a compromised health, that’s pretty hard to achieve as taking care of ourselves affects our energy levels and stamina in the long run.
With National Doctor's Day approaching, it's an opportune time to reevaluate your approach to health and well-being. It is crucial to prioritise your health as much as your work and business endeavors. Seeking expert advice, People Matters has exclusively gathered tips from industry experts to assist you in achieving holistic wellness.
1. Optimising sleep
As leaders, long working hours are part and parcel of the hustle. This can often mean you’re not sleeping for the required seven to eight hours every night. “Even if you’re just getting five to six hours of sleep—although, it isn’t ideal—you need to make it count. When one sleeps well, they have better focus and concentration, communicate better, have better memory, are more empathetic, and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. That’s why founders need to optimise their sleep,” suggested Dr Marcus Ranney, Founder and CEO of Human Edge.
He added, “Start by disconnecting from all devices at least an hour before hitting the hay to ensure blue light doesn’t interfere with their sleep. Similarly, eating a light meal three hours before bedtime can ensure they have sound sleep, minus any discomfort.”
2. Work-life balance
Creating a harmonious work-life balance, or work-life integration, is crucial for improving your physical, emotional and psychological well-being and also paramount to your career progression. This balance can be maintained by keeping in mind some simple things in everyday life, such as realistic deadlines to assignments, bucketing and prioritising tasks at hand, understanding strengths of your team and ensuring their maximum efficiency etc. This not only builds confidence in you but also helps fostering a cohesive work environment,” said Mr. Sanjeev Meghani- Head of Human Resources at Care Health Insurance.
3. Balanced meals
Our bodies are machines, and just like any other machine, it needs fuel to keep moving. That’s why nutrition through the food we eat is extremely crucial for our health. “Despite busy schedules, leaders need to ensure they’re getting both macro- and micro-nutrients and they’re properly hydrated. Here’s a bio-hack that helps meet the hydration goals - drinking a glass of water (about 250ml) with the juice of two freshly-squeezed lemons (medium-sized) helps replenish the body. Moreover, this is also a great way to include more vitamin C in their diet,” Dr. Marcus Ranney told People Matters.
4. Don’t be afraid to unplug
Cutting ties with the outside world from time to time will allow you to recover from weekly stress. “Leisure time will give space for other thoughts and ideas to emerge. Unplugging can be as simple as using your daily commute to practice transit meditation rather than reading work emails,” advised Mr Vinay Singh, Executive Director and CEO at Thomson Digital.
5. Analysing biomarkers
We produce close to 2 MB of data every second and it’s time to use it to assess our health. Using wearable devices can help leaders create biomarker streams that allow them to better understand their health. “Smartwatches allow users to examine their sleep patterns and overall quality of sleep, and continuous glucose monitoring devices (CGM) give insight into blood sugar levels throughout the day. These are some devices they can invest in to be on top of their health,” recommended the CEO of Human Edge.
2022 brought us chaos, but also the opportunity to review, renew, and advance. Read the end-2022 issue of People Matters Digital Magazine for a look back, and some key takeaways to bring forward.