Sick employees can be a considerable cost to a company in lack of productivity, time commitments and benefit cost. However, the real reason you want to focus on your health is for yourself.
Think back to the last time you had a killer head cold or the flu and focus for a minute on how you felt……. achy, tired, grumpy and wishing it would just go away now! Why not take care of your health up front so that you are less inclined to get that virus going around?
Tips to practice daily
You’ve all heard the “wash your hands” mantra – but do you really follow it? I recommend that you avoid touching door knobs with your hand and use a tissue or your sleeve. While I’m not a huge fan of hand sanitizers (you do not want your environment so free of germs that you don’t build up immunity), I do use them when traveling.
Echinacea along with extra Vitamin C is great if you feel you are coming down with something. If I’m getting a head cold, I have found Zicam to be very efficient at knocking it out quickly, as long as I explicitly follow the directions. I also use an immune booster from Shaklee called Nutriferon every day.
By this time everyone has heard about getting enough sleep – young as well as older folk. The body needs rest time so if you aren’t getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night you are more prone to becoming ill, irritable and unable to focus at work. This is especially true if you are exposed to children who are a whole universe of germs themselves. If you add stress from work, relationships, extra deadlines, and personal and professional goals, you have a full recipe for catching the latest virus.
I eat small meals throughout the day and stop eating late at night because that can disturb sleep. I also avoid caffeine after 1pm, as it is looked on as a sleep disrupter. Alcohol falls in this category too! You might think it helps you sleep, but what sleep you get won’t be restful.
Physical exercise kicks your immune system into high gear. When I have a fever or the flu, I stay in bed, drink hot fluids, and sleep, sleep, sleep. If I am feeling a bit under the weather, I typically still do a light workout, but only if I feel up to it. None of this exercise advice is meant for you to take competitively or to push yourself to exhaustion. The point is, work out regularly when you are well, to stay well.
Fresh air via a quick 5-10 minute walk does wonders for my mood and spirit. Standing burns more calories than sitting, so I always try to stand during a meeting or telecon, while reading a hard copy document, and at my monitor when convenient. You can also try the “walking desk”, or take an exercise class at lunch.
Since I work from a home office, I cannot use the gym at the work site. I do, however, fit in tiny workouts throughout the day on breaks from the computer and also utilize the On Demand TV workouts via my cable company at lunch, immediate after work, or go to the air force gym in the evening free of charge.
When you travel, do you take over the counter medicines to help you get to sleep? Have you ever tried melatonin. It’s a natural remedy that really works for me!
Another trick I use is to change my watch the minute I get on the plane to reflect the time of where I am going. I try to go to bed at the destination at a normal sleep time even if it is hours earlier at home, and do my best to stay awake on the plane so I can adjust more quickly.
To sum it up:
Health wise, YOU are in charge. My leave hours are a benefit that I cherish, and I work hard to stay healthy and not use them up. Do you have any tricks for staying healthy at home or on travel you would like to share?