When you’re running a business, one of the biggest challenges is staying healthy. Don’t get us wrong: we know that most of the time, being busy is a good thing. It means you’re working hard at what you do and succeeding because of it. When you’re coming up with the right hashtags so that you can get more real Instagram followers and contacting investors to help you raise money for a new business, it’s worth taking the time to do it. But sometimes, you end up staying late at the office and ordering delivery because you don’t have time to eat later, or forgetting to go on runs in the morning. And suddenly, your health is suffering. That is the last thing anyone (especially someone as busy as you) needs.
Getting back to balancing your busy entrepreneurial lifestyle with healthy habits is all about getting back into them–but doing it sustainably. So if you’re ready to start being healthy again, here’s how.
Plan meals, in and out of the office
One of the best ways to stay healthy (that isn’t going to take too much time away from your schedule) is by eating well. While it’s important to make time for other things we’ll get to later (such as exercise), those take a little more time and organization. But by stocking only healthy food at your house, and making sure you have vegetables in every meal at home, you’ll suddenly feel healthier. If you don’t have time to eat at home, then cook healthy meals in bulk, and bring them into your office.
If you’re too busy for even that, think about using a healthy foods delivery service. There’s no excuse to eat badly when these exist. And considering that Americans spend more money eating out than at home, you can splurge a little on your health. Food Matters, an NYC-based meal delivery service, works like this (according to Goop):
“Food Matters is a collective of experienced chefs and nutritionists who work as a team to offer busy New Yorkers a two-pronged approach to wellness: A nutritionist maps out your dietary needs then passes the info off to a chef, who’ll customize delicious, locally sourced meals to meet them. All dishes fit the detox bill (no gluten, refined sugars, or dairy) and are prepared fresh daily.”
Schedule time for exercise–and use apps
We know that you’re busy, but it’s a fact: you need to make time for exercise. In addition to exercise being good for you, it has benefits in the business world, too. For one thing, exercising helps you when you’re stressed out, uplifting your mood and helping you focus. That makes a meeting with a potential partner or giving a presentation much easier. Additionally, looking healthy is important for any business leader, because we live in a world (unfortunately) where many judgments are made on looks.
So even if you’re super busy, schedule three to five times a week when you exercise. Wake up earlier if you have to, or force yourself to leave the office exactly at 5:30 so that you have time for the gym. Additionally, think about using an app to help cut down exercise time. ClassPass, for example, is perfect for a busy traveler. You can schedule classes in many cities in the US, and they have thousands of classes and studios, which means you can switch from kickboxing to spinning to yoga whenever you want.
There are also many apps you can use on your phone that will save you time. You can get personal trainers to motivate you with body weight exercises, and you can find HIIT routines that take only twenty minutes.
Think about your mental health
It’s also important to prioritize your mental health. Considering that almost 40 percent of Americans are even more anxious in 2018 than they were in 2017, it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about your emotional situation. If you’re feeling stressed, list out your stressors (most likely one of them is work), and commit to finding healthy ways to deal with them. Schedule a few times a week where you spend some time relaxing and reconnecting with family members and friends.
If it’s necessary, remember that there’s no shame in getting professional help. And with so many therapists now taking appointments over the phone and online, even the busiest of people can make time.
These are some of the best strategies for staying healthy as a business leader. What other strategies would work for you, and how would you make time for them?