Are you often the first to arrive in your office and the last to leave? Do you devalue personal priorities, work through lunch hour and check your email around the clock? If this rings a bell, you may be a workaholic—and it could be taking a serious toll on your health.
The truth is, however, you should never fall victim to prioritizing work over your personal health. Your physical and mental well-being can be a deciding factor to whether or not you're able to work in the first place, so it should never be placed on the back-burner. And if you think you're far too busy to place health on the top of your priority list, chances are your body needs a well-balanced diet and physical routine now more than ever.
"Every 7 years our body will change completely. This means that each and everyone of your cells will have been renewed and exchanged for another one that your body has produced," writes Leo Widrich of buffer social. "...And science suggests that this gives us a unique chance to change and erase any mistakes we’ve made in the past. How? Through a focus on the food we eat. Fortunately we don’t have to wait 7 years. Day-to-day changes to our diet can have a massive impact on our productivity."
The benefits of eating healthy for the workaholic...
A healthy, well-balanced diet nourishes the body with the nutrients it needs in order to function normally, and without it, your physical health declines. Furthermore, without a healthy diet your body lacks the vitamins and minerals your brain needs to stay alert, focused and productive. As a result, the body's mental and physical performance suffers, which ultimately means the quality of your work declines. While working hard for something gives your life meaning and contributes to your mental well-being, the bottom-line is you can't let the quality of your lifestyle choices decline if you want your performance to stay afloat. Perhaps more importantly, eating a proper, nutritious diet will help you live a longer, more fulfilling life by preventing numerous chronic illnesses and diseases.
...and how to accomplish it
First things first, rethink your strategy for getting and staying healthy. If you never have a free moment, consider ordering your groceries online and have them delivered. Another option you have is to join a local farm share program that preselects healthy ingredients for you; all you need to do is find a convenient pick-up location and check out Pinterest for healthy-recipe inspiration. Once you have your ingredients picked out, schedule a meal-preparation day and make it fun by including a friend, family member or significant other. You can get more out of your time by preparing a few key ingredients and incorporating them into multiple dishes for the week. Some examples include grilled vegetables, meat or a vegan substitute and quinoa.
We all have those days where we just don't have time or we missed out on our scheduled meal preparation because of a meeting or project that ran late. But don't be so hard on yourself. Instead of heading to the nearest fast-food restaurant, stop by your local market and check out the hot or cold bar for something quick and easy—but still healthy and nourishing. The goal of implementing a healthy, well-balanced diet is to aim to do your best instead of looking for absolute perfection. In other words, if you let your slip-ups get the best of you, you may completely derail your goals—and no one wants that.