Executives looking to increase their energy and decrease stress can get started with a few simple daily practices. Food has an immediate and powerful effect on energy and overall wellness; that's why we start our executive coaching programs with nutrition. But any of these practices will have a ripple effect on your wellbeing and leadership.
1. Drink Smoothies for On-The-Go Nutrient Density
In the winter months, fresh local produce is not as available. This is the perfect time to utilize your freezer. Frozen organic fruit and vegetables are great for making smoothies that are both nutrient dense and delicious. If you have never put vegetables into your smoothie, spinach is a great one to start with. Spinach has a very mild taste and besides turning your smoothie green, you won’t even know it is in there. Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat packed with vitamins and minerals.
2. Improve Energy with Balanced Meals and Snacks
Eating a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat in every snack and meal helps maximize your energy and balance your blood sugar. Eliminate that 3pm energy dip by having a snack like raw nuts around 2:30pm. You will be surprised what a difference balanced food makes in your day.
3. Get Up and Move
Even if most of your day now is at a desk, create new ways to put more movement into your day. Utilize a headset during calls (preferably wireless) and stand up during some of your calls. Try parking a little further away in the parking lot or simply use the stairs instead of the elevator. See how many ways you can find creative ways to add movement into your day.
4. Take a few Deep Breaths
The breath is our life force and can create clarity of the mind and stress release when utilized. It is important to take deep breaths during the day allowing the breath to go into the diaphragm. Try a few moments of pause during the day and taking at least one cleansing breath during that break. You may be surprised how much it helps to relax the mind and body.
5. Combat Stress with Gratitude
While most people know that stress makes us sick, it is a hard thing not to feel in today’s business world. Gratitude is actually a great way to combat stress. Gratitude helps boost the immune system and counteracts the negative health impacts of stress.
"Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress," says University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. Consider starting a gratitude jar, a journal or time during the day to reflect on all that you are grateful for.