Last week, I asked a simple question and one which bloggers and Internet freelancers often ignore: What do you do to stay healthy?. Such a question is easy to ignore, and any discussion of the topic is easy to dismiss as irrelevant mumbo-jumbo. But I can assure you that it’s not.
I also made the case in that post that health is a topic of vital importance. Think about it. Why do you work? You work, fundamentally, to preserve and enhance your own life and the life of your family. Many of us get so obsessed with work that we forget why we do it, and in the process, neglect the very things we work for: ourselves.
As a blogger, your well-being should be something you think about. You should pay attention to the state of your body and the state of your mind. Do you find yourself feeling sluggish a lot of the time? Do you find yourself feeling depressed? These are signs that your body is giving you that are indicative of something being wrong. By taking these signs seriously, you can use them as cues for action.
The good news is that I can personally attest to the fact that respecting and committing time to the health of your own body can pay huge dividends. Your mind will be clearer. Your motivation to act and be productive will get stronger. Your ability to interact with and enjoy other people will increase.
Over the last two years I’ve been systematically trying to take my body seriously. I’ve taken its cues and made every attempt to improve my overall quality of life. Below, I’ve listed 23 tips that will help you do the same.
Twenty-Three Health Tips For Bloggers
1. Before you drink coffee in the morning, drink a glass of water (keep a steady supply of water at your desk). This will help minimize the negative fidgety-buzz that coffee can give you.
2. Start your day off with a 20 minute walk
3. Walk away from the computer at least once every two hours and take a step outside
4. Keep at least one 10-25 pound dumbell by your desk, and use it at least once a day when you notice that your in the middle of a productivity funk.
5. Eat one small meal every 2-3 hours
6. Start your day off with twenty minutes of Yoga or Pilates. I’m personally a fan of the GAIAM series.
7. If you can’t sleep, take a sleeping pill. Sleep is critical to your overall well being. Just make sure not to take sleeping pills more than 3 days in a row.
8. If you feel sluggish, get down on the floor and do some push-ups
9. If your mind feels twitchy, it’s probably because you’ve had too much coffee. Drink some water and get some fresh air.
10. If you feel depressed or sad, immediately find a friend on AIM or in a private forum to talk with. It does wonders.
11. Buy an odometer/speedometer for your bike. Then go for a bike ride around 2pm each day. It’ll give you a “second-wind” for the day. Challenge yourself to go a little bit further and a little bit faster each day.
12. If you’re in a healthy relationship, have sex at least once every 3 days. I’m dead serious about this. It can be critical to both mental and physical stability.
13. If you’re addicted to IMing, porn, RSS reading, movie watching, shoe shopping, music searching or whatever else dominates your time…. TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOURSELF and YOUR TIME … addictions of any kind are not healthy – a healthy person has full control over him or herself.
14. Once a quarter, try something new. A hobby, an online project, a daily habit. Trying something new and succeeding at it is both physically stimulating and mentally liberating.
15. Buy a dog. While a puppy may result in mental torture and sleep deprivation for a few months, the benefits are pricless. Dogs lift your spirit and can give you the incentive you need to take a walk. But please don’t buy a dog unless you are serious about giving it a walk at least twice a day.
16. Try detoxing your body for a week. When I’m feeling really bad physically, I use two principles: A) Drink nothing but water and B) Eat nothing but fruits, vegetables and nuts
17. Get some sun. Seriously. Half an hour of good skin exposure to the sun can revive the body.
18. Find an excercise partner to help stay motivated. If you can’t find an exercise partner, motivate yourself through the habit forming stage with a massively enticing reward (50 inch Samsung LCD with a PS3 anyone)?
19. Minimize your intake of processed breads and carbs. Keep a healthy stash of nuts and fruits (grapes and walnuts are a great snack) to satisfy your snack cravings.
20. Guys, challenge yourself to work on the beer gut everyday for 10 minutes and stick with it. Take that challenge as seriously as you take your latest internet project or fantasy football team. Girls, challenge yourself to work on the cellulite areas. Take that challenge as seriously as you take your latest internet project or the your desire to get your 101st handbag.
21. Don’t drink alcohol after 7pm. Not only can it prevent you from sleeping deeply, but it can also result in more carb-based weight gain. Or…you might wake up the next day with a bad headache;-)
22. Challenge yourself to save alcohol and desserts only on the weekends. Your body will feel much more stable during the week if you keep it toxic free.
23. Your mental health demands that you are working on projects that you enjoy and that elicit creativity. If you find yourself bogged down in meaningless, tedious work, start taking the steps to transition into healthy, rewarding work by carving out time each day to pursue your own interests (rather than those of your boss – even if your boss in an alter-ego of yourself;-)