Guest written by Mark Mohammadpour, APR, Founder & CEO, Chasing the Sun
This spring, I had the honor of working with Bloom Communications to lead a month-long accountability program designed to help their employees prioritize their mental and physical health. It was inspiring to work with a group of trusted advisors who spend a lot of psychological and physical energy helping their client partners—organizations they genuinely care about—reach their business goals.
And, because they spend a lot of energy on others, the team at Bloom allowed me to be their cheerleader, supporter, and nurturer to empower them to stay mentally and physically fit.
I love working with companies like Bloom that want to prioritize the well-being of their employees. Not only is it immeasurable for employees themselves, but it’s important from a corporate reputation and financial perspective as well. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), it can cost companies $4,000 to hire a new employee.
Now that we’re heading towards summertime, which means barbeques, family vacations, and hopefully special moments with loved ones, it’s time to enjoy the sunshine and get outside with intention. I always feel more confident and ready to tackle what’s in front of me after a long walk, run, bike ride, or other exercises to get my body moving and heart pumping.
Although life is slowly getting back to “normal” now that people are getting vaccinated and our communities are opening back up, I also recognize that we will redefine what “normal” means in this new era we’re entering. So, how do you stay physically active while still being cautious with the pandemic, working from home, managing a family, and creating a brand-new set of daily habits?
Here are six of my favorite tips to have a successful and healthy summertime season.
Shift Your Mindset!
We need to remove the idea that physical activity and working must be separate. You can still incorporate physical activity and act as business leaders during the workday.
- Recommendation: This is a mindset shift! Since many of you are now working from home, keep in mind that the daily chores you’re doing—from dishes, laundry, and cleaning to mowing the lawn, gardening, keeping your children and pets active, and cooking—all burn calories.
A recent study from Microsoft, Research Proves Your Brain Needs Breaks, shows that joining fewer back-to-back video meetings can have a positive impact on your stress levels.
- Recommendation: Each week, examine your calendar and identify which meetings can be audio-only. Yes, it might feel weird at first, but trust me, it will make a huge impact on your health! Also, schedule short breaks to reduce as many back-to-back meetings as possible or shorten 60-minute meetings to 45 or 50 minutes, providing a quick break before your next appointment. This will not only benefit you but also your participants and co-workers.
Get Outside With Intention!
We need our Vitamin D. It’s easy, especially for those working from home, to stay inside all day. But, getting outside every day for our Vitamin D intake is essential in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphates in the body. These are needed to keep our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
- Recommendation: We all know the best way to get Vitamin D is to be outside in the sunshine. To ensure you get this time, schedule 10 to 15 minutes per day to get outside. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!
While you’re outside soaking in those rays, you might also notice that you feel more creative. Have you ever been out in nature when an idea suddenly popped into your brain? A study by Stanford University showed that walking can help increase creativity by up to 60 percent!
- Recommendation: As public relations professionals, we are constantly brainstorming new ideas. Next time you need to get creative around strategic planning or writing new story angles, get outside with a pen and notebook that fits in your pocket, get moving, and get those creative juices flowing.
Being outside can also reduce stress and anxiety. Spending time around trees and nature helps to calm nerves, decrease anxiety, and ultimately puts everyone in a better mood. There’s research behind this as well!
- Recommendation: This summer, identify parks, forests, or greenspaces that you can access quickly, and without much difficulty, so you can take a call or spend a well-earned break by yourself. Not near a park? Find a nursery or garden center close to your house. You will thank me later!
Finally, continue to show grace.
As we watch our clients, professional partners, and colleagues move to other jobs—focusing on the relationship and those you’re working with long-term will pay dividends throughout your career.
If you implement these tips, you’ll have an enjoyable summertime!
Be safe. Be kind. Be well.
About Mark Mohammadpour, APR
Mark Mohammadpour, APR, is a strategic communications executive, certified personal trainer, and health coach. After losing and keeping off 150 pounds over the last decade, Mark launched Chasing the Sun, which offers health coaching tailored for PR professionals. Visit chasingthesunpdx.com, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Instagram or Twitter @markmoh.