Maintaining a Healthy Work-Style When Working From Home
By American Home Business Association
People’s attitudes about health have undergone many changes over the course of history. Before science proved differently, illness was often thought of as an invasion of the body by evil demons. Recently there has become a great revival of interest in one’s health — healthy eating, exercise, and stress reduction.
Of course, you’re interested in staying healthy. Since you started your own home business you’re the boss over yourself and your own company. You don’t get paid for sick days as you did in the corporate world. You need to stay healthy so your business can thrive.
Be Good to Your Body
As a home-based business owner, you need to be the dog that wags the tail, rather than the tail that wags the dog. Don’t let your business send you to an early grave, or work you into a state of ineffectiveness. Sure, there will be times when you have to work hard and long to meet a deadline, fulfill an order, or get a handle on a problem that arises. But times like those should be the exception — not the rule.
You’ve got to take care of yourself with a few good health habits that will help the physical body withstand work stress. Here are a couple of ideas to put in your common-sense bag of tricks:
Get some sleep. A deep, restful sleep is one of the surest ways to feel strong and energized for your next day’s work. Because most of us require seven to nine hours of deep sleep, try to get to bed by 11:00 o’clock. Pay attention to things in your bedroom that can interfere with your getting invigorating, deep sleep. Don’t fall asleep with the television or radio on. Make sure your room is dark; close your shades completely to keep street light from creeping through the edges.
Avoid sugar-loaded foods such as doughnuts and pastries. These foods offer a temporary burst of energy but raise your blood sugar levels too quickly, causing the body to release insulin to control sugar levels. This metabolic response takes a lot out of the body and can cause fatigue that lasts the rest of the day.
Get a Handle on Stress
Stress is a fact of life. It always has been, and always will be. But today, it becomes a much more omnipresent and constant part of life than ever before. As a home business owner you are faced with computers that frequently malfunction or lose data in the middle of a special project, financial or tax problems, even traffic problems — these are just a few of the stresses that plague our lives today.
Do you suffer from excessive stress? Common signs of this might include a lack of energy, irritability, high levels of anxiety, depression, or headaches. There’s no way to completely avoid stress. But you can try to reduce the intensity of stress by learning to cope effectively with it.
Become aware of those things that cause stress in your life. Make a list and prioritize it from the highest stress factors to the lowest. Make a note about how you react to each of these forms of stress. Take this list and start working on eliminating or minimizing the effects of stress in your life.
Plan regular “stress breaks.” Daily, this might be done by taking a short walk, exercising, or reading a novel. On a weekly basis, plan at least one day off each week to “get away” and do something fun or interesting.
See your health care professional. The proper medications, prescribed by a qualified health care professional, can sometimes quickly and effectively solve the stress problem.
You can find new clients, develop new services, acquire new products, and design new programs. But there’s one thing you can never replace: you! You are the lifeblood of your business; its greatest asset. As long as you take care of yourself and stay physically and emotionally healthy, you have a good chance of keeping your business healthy. HBM