Archive for health

General lifestyle management

Posted in Lifestyle Management with tags , , , , on December 2, 2010 by virtualcitypa

Dr. Dan Rutherford, GP highlights in this article some good pointers to improve your work-life balance that we considered worthy of sharing once more.

Exercise

Most people think of exercise solely in terms of weight loss, but it also builds muscles and bones, lifts mood and is a great way of beating stress. If you don’t do 30 minutes of walking most days, plus one or two aerobic sessions a week, you aren’t exercising enough.

If you want to make changes to your routine, bear in mind it takes three weeks to adopt a new habit, so you should draw up a plan that carries you beyond this point.

Sleep

Most adults need six to eight hours of sleep each night. When we sleep, we rest and our body is able to renew its energy. This may be why a good night’s sleep seems to improve the immune system, minimising our risk of illness.

Sleep is also important because of dreams. When we dream, we process all the events of daily life. Getting a good night’s sleep, therefore, influences our psychological wellbeing.

Stress

We all have an instinctive stress response that releases hormones into our bloodstream when we are faced with danger.

These hormones cause instant mental and physical change in us, giving added strength and endurance so we can fight or take flight.

Instead of using our stress hormones in emergencies, we live at such a pace that many of us activate them all the time – like when we are going to miss a train or someone cuts us up on the motorway.

Most tense people don’t give themselves sufficient time and space to rest after each stress-filled moment. With no release, your stress hormones keep on working, which is why there are so many people around who lose their tempers at the slightest provocation.

If this sounds like you, make learning how to reduce and cope with stress a priority.

What we drink

Good hydration is essential for mind and body, so make sure you drink plenty of water every day. Not all drinks are equal, so if you need to boost your liquid intake, watch your caffeine (and sugar) levels don’t creep up.

Where we get energy from

The food we eat is used to provide energy for every function in the body, from walking and talking to digesting and breathing.

The main types of food – carbohydrate, protein and fats – are important sources of energy.

Current guidelines suggest that we should get:

  • about 50 per cent of our energy from carbohydrates (cereals, bread, pasta and potatoes)
  • 10-15 per cent from protein (meat, cheese, soya)
  • less than 30 per cent of energy from fats (70g per day for women, 100g for men). Many of us eat more than this a day.

The actual amount of energy you require will depend upon the type of lifestyle you lead.

The recommended figures are 2000 calories per day for women and 2500 for men – but you may need less than this if you take little exercise and sit at a desk all day, and more than this if your job involves manual labour.

www.netdoctor.co.uk

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5 Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

Posted in Lifestyle Management, Time Management with tags , , , on July 1, 2010 by virtualcitypa

At Virtual City PA, we feel its important to remember to keep a healthy work-life balance and are here to help take the strain. These 5 tips from Sherry Rauh made a lot of sense..

1. Figure Out What Really Matters to You in Life

1. If my life could focus on one thing and one thing only, what would that be?
2. If I could add a second thing, what would that be?
3. A third?
4. A fourth?
5. A fifth?

If you answer thoughtfully and honestly, the result will be a list of your top five priorities.  Research shows that a typical top-five list might include some of the following:

    * Children
    * Spouse
    * Satisfying career
    * Community service
    * Religion/spirituality
    * Health
    * Sports
    * Art
    * Hobbies
    * Adventure/travel

2. Drop Unnecessary Activities

By making a concrete list of what really matters to you, you may discover you’re devoting too much time to activities that aren’t a priority, and you can adjust your schedule accordingly.

If at all possible, you could try dropping any commitments and pursuits that don’t make your top-five list, because unnecessary activities keep you away from the things that matter to you.

3. Protect Your Private Time

You would probably think twice before skipping out on work, a parent-teacher conference, or a doctor’s appointment. Your private time deserves the same respect. “Carve out hours that contribute to yourself and your relationship,” says Stevan Hobfoll, PhD, distinguished professor of psychology at Kent State University, and co-author of Work Won’t Love You Back: The Dual Career Couple’s Survival Guide. Guard this personal time fervently and don’t let work or other distractions intrude. “Stop checking email and cell phones so often,” Hobfoll advises. “Few people are so important that they need their phones on at all times.”

If work consistently interferes with your personal time, Hobfoll recommends discussing some adjustments with your boss. “There’s a mythology in the workplace that more hours means more.” Demonstrate that you can deliver the same or better results in fewer hours. Your job performance “should never be judged in terms of hours of input,” Hobfoll says. Protecting your private time often leads to “greater satisfaction in both work life and personal life, greater productivity, and more creativity.”

If you’re your own boss, it’s up to you to create boundaries that keep work from intruding on family time. Lachlan Brown is president of Tech for People, a small business consulting firm specializing in Internet marketing. “I make it very clear at the beginning of any new business relationship that if I work nights and/or weekends then this is purely by choice,” he tells WebMD. “I’ve told clients more than once that if they call me at night or on the weekend that they shouldn’t expect me to a) answer the phone and b) reply until the next business day.”

4. Accept Help to Balance Your Life

Allow yourself to rely on your partner, family members, or friends — anyone who can watch the kids or run an errand while you focus on other top priorities. “Try tag-teaming,” Hobfoll suggests. “One spouse works out before dinner, one after dinner, while the other watches the kids.”

To get more alone-time with your partner, accept babysitting offers from friends and family, or try arranging a regular trade-off with another couple. “‘I’ll watch your kids this Saturday if you watch mine next Saturday.’ Tag-teaming is a great way to create extra free time,” Hobfoll says.

5. Plan Fun and Relaxation

Fun and relaxation are an essential part of living a well-balanced life. That’s why Brown makes time for weekly guitar lessons, a yoga class, a date night with his wife, and a guys’ night out a couple times a month. In addition, he exercises on a trampoline in his backyard most days of the week. How does he squeeze in all this playtime while running his business and sharing the responsibilities of raising a daughter? “If you believe that the most important thing is to be happy in life (not when I’m a millionaire or when I retire but right now) then you can always make time.”

Until you get into the habit of taking time for yourself, set aside space in your planner for relaxation and fun. Plan what you’re going to do and make any necessary arrangements to ensure you’ll be able to keep your commitment. “Remember, you make time for what you want to make time for,” Fortgang says. If something is important to you, don’t brush it aside with a dismissive “I don’t have time for that.” You are in charge of your own schedule — it’s up to you to make time.

WebMD “5 practical steps toward better work-life balance” by Sherry Rauh
Reviewed by Charlotte E. Grayson Mathis, MD
http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/5-strategies-for-life-balance?