Healthy In Every Life Stage: Working Professionals

Whenever I see Anthony at an event, I know that he’s coming from a previous engagement and is likely on his way to another. Aside from being a full-time socialite, he is a dedicated manager at Clorox, takes care of his mom, manages all his hobbies (hockey, poker, fantasy baseball, traveling, etc.), and still finds time to live a balanced and healthy life. I was looking forward to getting his perspective on wellness and figuring out how he works 40-50+ hours a week and remains active, social and mentally sound. Because he is analytical and really thinks things through, you’ll find his recommendations on how to live healthy extremely valuable and practical.



DEFINING HEALTH: What does being healthy mean to you?


Physical + Mental. Staying healthy is both physical and mental—a lot goes into both. Physical health consists of strength and endurance: Strength to reduce injury and the potential for mishaps, and endurance is needed for your body’s overall health. Mental health means trying to manage stress and keeping your mind active (by reading, watching educational videos, etc.). The mind is like any other part of the body and needs exercise to stay sharp.



CHALLENGES: What challenges do you face at this stage in your life in prioritizing your health and wellness?


Time. Finding time is the biggest challenge.


Mental toughness. As you advance in your career, you have more responsibility, which requires more mental energy and decision making. It’s important to separate the mental time you need for yourself as a working professional; and learn to compartmentalize what you need to do for work and what you need to do for yourself.



SUCCESSES: What have you found to work or be successful in living healthy or achieving your wellness goals?


Dedicating time for yourself. Devote time to the things that keep you healthy. Prioritize your body by including physical activity. Mental health might look different for introverts versus extroverts so interact with others or spend time alone to the level that meets your needs. And leverage technology to your advantage (Zoom calls to connect with those who live far away, YouTube to learn a new skill or save time, reading on a tablet for more accessibility, etc.).


Motivation by accountability. Adding accountability to healthy behaviors is crucial. For physical health, join a gym or sports league (hockey for me) where you have weekly classes or commitments where others depend on you to attend and you are financially invested. What you are doing needs to feel like it matters to you. Measure and think about an outcome that is rewarding to you—it could be mental satisfaction or seeing or feeling physical changes in your body. Try to find health metrics that contribute to your overall well being.



PRIORITIZING: How do you find time to make health a priority?


Focusing on goals. Ask yourself what matters most to you. What is your definition of health and what would get you there? Without health, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy other priorities such as family or travel. Time is my most limited resource, so I need to be decisive about how and who I spend it with to promote my health. I’ve learned that I may need to make choices like spending money to access more time (for instance hiring a repairman instead of spending all day doing it yourself).


Doubling down. Incorporate things you enjoy with things that have health benefits. Find things that overlap and have efficiency where ‘as I do one task, it solves for another.’ For instance, I have found joy in cooking, and it’s become a fun activity that doesn’t seem so much like a chore. And it has the added benefit of learning and engaging my mind to be healthier. You could also listen to a podcast on a run, take some ‘walking’ meetings at work, or practice 5-minute meditation breaks to rest during busy worktimes.


Controlling my calendar. Manage your time to incorporate opportunities for healthy habits. Create fake meetings and breaks in your work schedule to take time to have lunch, go for a walk, etc.



RECOMMENDATIONS: What advice do you have for someone in your life stage to live a healthier, fuller, more abundant life?


Lifestyle: Have an understanding of your finances so you know where you’re spending. Money can help you achieve your health goals directly (e.g., buying weights) or indirectly (e.g., hiring a babysitter so you can have time to yourself). Make sure you’re using it toward your priorities, and understand where you can take risks and better allocate your funds to what’s most important to you. Are you taking full advantage of your company’s 401k match? Do you need every cable channel…or do you even need cable? Have you set up auto pay with a credit card to earn points and avoid late fees?


Mindfulness: Addressing mental health has become a priority for companies (especially during COVID) and many offer questionnaires and people you can talk to. Access available resources through work, family/friends, etc. to check your mental health and get an unbiased evaluation.


Fitness: Don’t buy elastic pants. If things aren’t fitting as well as they used to or if clothes are tighter, you need to check your fitness or nutrition. Stay active as much as you can in different ways. Try to get some form of exercise each day to be physically healthy.


Nutrition: Avoid processed foods. If you want something, stop buying the canned or bagged version and make it yourself. It will be healthier, you can make adjustments/substitutions, and you’ll actually know what the ingredients are. Plus, you will have more enjoyment eating it if you made it.


Clean Living: Make sure to floss every day, in addition to all the hygiene basics.


Rest: I am so terrible at this—don’t do what I do. Make sure you get enough sleep each night.