Friends. A significant other. Family. Work. The gym. Walking the dog. That book you starting reading last year…
In the 21st century, technology has made it possible to pack more into a day than our parents or grandparents would have ever thought possible. But how do we sort through these competing priorities, so we can be productive and successful – while also maintaining our health and happiness?
I sat down with Ira Malik, Group Director of Spa for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and a leading global wellness expert, to talk about how the modern working woman (and man!) can find an equilibrium in their daily lives.
Here’s what she suggests:
Step One: Re-Think “Wellness”
Wellness isn’t a narrow concept that can be addressed with one single prescription. Think of wellness as a four-pillared structure. If one pillar is weak, the whole edifice will crumble. Here are the 5 keys to wellness she suggests you look at first.
“Finding balance in your life can be easy once we become aware,” she told me. “We simply need self-reflection to get there.”
Step Two: Design a Flexible Routine
Design a routine that meets and balances your wellness needs. Maintaining structure is key to wellness, but ultimately, if your routine isn’t something you can stick to — and isn’t flexible enough to withstand the vicissitudes of daily life – it won’t be effective.
This is especially crucial for physical wellness, which can be so deeply affected by how we feel on a given, our work schedules, our travel schedules, and so on. Instead of saying, “I’m going to go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings,” try “I will exercise my body three times a week.” Instead of “I will eat green foods every night for dinner,” try committing to adding more vegetables and non-processed food throughout your daily meals. Adaptability is key.
Step Three: Do Regular Check-Ins
“Wellness is ultimately a lifestyle,” Malik explains. “It is a 360-degree, wholesome need. And what is important in any particular moment may change.” Be sure, therefore, to check in with yourself often to ask, “Am I taking care of my whole self?”
Step Four: Unplug and Destress
This is particularly important for avoiding burnout. Try to ditch the phone even just for an hour each day, or set a technology “bedtime” — the point at which you pledge to stop checking your email and apps. We often don’t realize how much emotional energy our technology sucks up. Putting it aside lets us engage in self-reflection, and take care of our other needs: spiritual, emotional, physical or otherwise.
Step Five: Stay Healthy While Traveling
Millennials are traveling for work like never before. Unfortunately, work trips — with early morning flights, long nights, and the limited options for healthy eating and exercise — can easily derail one’s wellness routine. As much as possible, Ira advises, eat meals at your regular times. Get an adequate amount of sleep. Try to get enough physical activity — if your hotel doesn’t have a gym, try to compensate by taking early morning or evening walks.