How inspiring are the Olympics? With Ledecky looking as though she’s the only one in the pool during her record-breaking 800m swim, Phelps ahead of countries like Argentina and Mexico for most career golds won, and the Biles-Efron love story, I’m reconsidering my second morning doughnut. While I recognize it’s dangerous to compare oneself to a professional athlete, the talent, grit, and perseverance these professionals exude is truly admirable. My unhealthy Olympic binge watching has challenged me to consider what small changes I can make in the workplace to achieve an overall healthy life.
I recently gave a workshop on office yoga, teaching poses anyone can do in their chair in common work attire. Constantly working to combat my personal definition of “workout” as this all-or-nothing, high-intensity, experience, I’ve realized how beneficial any form of movement can be – for both body and mind.
How do we do that?
True, I’d be hard pressed to fit in a crossfit-style workout 30 minutes before a staff meeting. But I may be able to take a meditative stroll around campus. I can intentionally block after-lunch office time on my calendar to go to the campus gym during lunch without a meeting directly afterward. I can invest in a standing desk – oristand is $25! – and commit to using it two hours a day. I can choose salad over pizza in the dining hall at least once a week. Small, repetitive, positive changes in mind and routine can make a big impact in overall wellness.
During my first professional role, I saw both my director and executive director go on near daily runs during lunch. As a newly minted professional working to form my own professional identity, what a great example to witness. Because of this, I felt confident setting goals for myself, knowing I would have the support of my superiors. We must realize the lead-by-example mentality is all too real. It is important to have conversations as a team to form plans that everyone can feel good about.
Last, let’s shed that guilt, y’all.
My current campus has a very healthy culture. We stock our cafeteria with produce from our campus farm. Staff actively use the miles of hiking trails outside our office doors. Standing desks abound. Yet, even with the avid support of my supervisor, I am still anxious about carving out time to be active. I never want my colleagues to feel I am not pulling my weight. Similarly, once goals are set and, inevitably, not met because, well, life, we can give up and lose our way. We must stop. Be kind to ourselves. Understand we are always our greatest obstacle.
Whether a regular exerciser or a couch potato, able-bodied or not, there are always small (or large!) changes we can make to be more intentional in working towards a healthy lifestyle. Make space on your calendar for yourself this year, and I’ll see you on that Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal podium.
With the start of another year, #SACareer turns the focus on Self Care. Nestle in with a cup of tea and enjoy some motivational words to get you in a positive frame of mind for the 2015-2016 year.
This post is part of our #SACareer series, addressing careers in student affairs, careers outside of student affairs, and the work of career services professionals. Read more about the series in Jake Nelko’s intro post. Each post is a contribution by a member or friend of the Commission for Career Services from ACPA. Our organization exists to benefit the careers of career services professionals, student affairs professionals, and anyone supporting students in the career endeavors. For more information about how to get involved with the Commission for Career Services or the #SACareer blog series, contact Cristina Lawson at email@example.com.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Conor McLaughlin on SA Work-Life Balance