Take Care of Yourself

I don’t want to overexplain or overcomplicate what I am about to say. So I will make this brief.

When it comes to excelling at something in your life (such as your career) the most important thing you need to do is take really really good care of your physical and mental health. It’s your first line of defense against stress, bad attitudes, you name it. Being in an above-average physical and mental state can help improve just about any situation (maybe not improve, but you will be much better equipped to handle whatever is thrown your way).

There are five main things that you must do consistently if you want to be successful in life. By consistently I mean every day. EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

Number One: Eat Foods that are Good For You

I am not a nutritionist, and I love me some birthday cake… but what I do know is that your body has needs. You need vitamins, minerals, and calories for your body to function properly. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, and protein. It’s not complicated. You don’t need charts and grids and food lists. Just focus on eating things that come directly from the Earth. There isn’t a birthday cake plant, so I eat that very sparingly. Avoid sauces like the plague (they just add extra calories). Just because there is fruit or vegetables in something does not make it a healthy choice (pie, fruit salad covered in cool whip, vegetables in cheese sauce, you get the idea). Take some time to learn about what nutrition really means. If you can, try to meet with a nutritionist. Be honest about what and how much you eat. Try to eat small meals, healthy meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. Also, take a daily vitamin.

Number Two: Drink Water

You should be drinking at least eight cups of water a day (you can Google how much water to drink for a more exact number of ounces). Water flushes out all the toxins and keeps you hydrated. Most of the time when people feel sleepy or hungry it’s actually dehydration. Avoid beverages that include a lot of sugar like pop, juice, Kool-Aid. If you wouldn’t wash your counter with it, you shouldn’t flush your system with it. If you don’t like plain water I recommend adding a squish of fresh fruit/veggie juice – my favorites are cantaloupe and cucumber).

Number Three: Exercise

Move your body every day outside of your regularly scheduled activities. EVERY.DAMN. DAY. I don’t care if you walk a lot at work, make sure that you spend thirty minutes a day doing something physical outside of work. You want to walk?  You want to run? You want to dance? You want to do karate in the garage? If your favorite movie is also Step Brothers, you are laughing with me right now. I don’t care what you do, but you must do something. My dad always says “A body in motion stays in motion” and I am a firm believer.

Number Four: Breath

Your body needs oxygen. Pay attention to your breathing for an entire day. I bet when you get stressed out you literally hold your breath. At the top of every hour, stop what you are doing and take a minute to just be, just breath. If you can’t remember, there are a lot of free apps that send you reminders. You can also add little alarm clocks to your phone. I know a few folks that have them set on their Apple watches and they get reminders throughout the day. We are literally at the point where technology is controlling our breathing but at least we are getting oxygen!

Number Five: Sleep

With a million things to get done, it’s easy to put sleep last on the list. It’s important to add to your priorities. I’m not saying that you must sleep in but staying up all night or living on three hours of sleep on an ongoing basis can be detrimental to your health. Aim to get at least six uninterrupted hours every night. There will be times when you have to give up sleep to achieve your goals and that’s fine but that should be the exception, not the rule. I know that binge-watching your new favorite show feels like a good way to unwind after a long day but I promise you that you will regret getting sucked in when you can’t function at 100% the next day.

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