Part of my coaching practice centers around coaching others on effectively transitioning to new and better jobs and careers. Although clients want to focus only on things like resumes, interviewing, networking, job search strategies and values assessment, I encourage a more holistic approach by suggesting ways to maintain their wellness during these tough times.
Wellness, although very important, is often either put way down on the list of priorities or overlooked altogether. It's especially important since physical, mental and emotional wellness helps achieve a healthy outlook and improve mood and productivity and thereby make challenging times easier and can shorten the transition process.
Here are my top 5 strategies to having a healthy outlook and staying well in tough times:
1. Eat Well
- Get omega 3's by eating walnuts, flaxseed, eggs and oily fish like salmon and tuna. Omega 3's are especially good for brain function.
- Brown rice contains vitamins B1 and B3 and folic acid, and is a low-glycemic food, which means it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventing sugar lows and mood swings.
- Whole-grain oats contain folic acid and vitamins B6 and B1. Oats help lower cholesterol, are good for the digestive tract and help avoid the blood sugar crash-and-burn that can lead to crabbiness and mood swings.
- Cabbage contains vitamin C and folic acid. It protects against stress, infection and heart disease, as well as many types of cancers. Get cabbage into your diet by tossing it in a salad instead of lettuce, use cabbage in place of lettuce wraps, stir-frying it, making cabbage soup or juicing it.
- Foods like raw cacao, dark molasses and brazil nuts are also excellent for boosting brain function and eliminating depression. Cacao can be good for mood because it releases endorphins in the brain, but watch out for milk chocolate which is high in sugar. Also, since cacao can be very bitter, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is a viable alternative.
- Cut back on caffeine and foods high in fat and sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable and getting B vitamins is important for stabilizing your mood.
2. Exercise on a consistent basis
. Besides the obvious physical benefits, exercise lifts mood and alters brain chemistry in a positive way by releasing endorphins into the system.
3. Connect. Socialize. Network. Reconnect with old friends, make new ones, join social and professional groups. As much as possible, keep lines of communication open with family and friends. Besides the professional benefits, it helps improve and maintain emotional wellness
4. Structure your day. ANY type of structure or ritual in your day does a world of good. For example, visiting your favorite coffee shop at the same time every day to get coffee, read the paper, check email, etc seems insignificant but it goes a long way towards maintaining emotional wellness, not to mention gets you out of the house and in a position to connect with others.
5. Laugh. Did you know that children laugh about 400 times a day while the average adult gives up only about 25 chuckles a day? Laughter is the a key to good health. And during these tough times, it's even more important. It's been shown to:
- reduce stress
- lower blood pressure
- elevate mood
- boost the immune system
- improve brain function
- protect the heart
- connect you with others
- foster instant relaxation
Implementing at least one of these strategies, or ideally a combination of several, will help do wonders in your quest to make these challenging times a little less challenging!