Do you worry that your hectic work schedule will take a toll on your health? You’re concerns are certainly founded, especially if each day rolls into the next without thought to the effects on your body and mind. There is, however, a simple formula that you can incorporate, which can help keep you strong and healthy when you feel work is eating you alive.

What’s at the Core of the Formula?

Staying healthy while working too much is essential for your overall wellbeing. In the short term, getting sick can mean loss of wages and a breakdown in home management. In the long term, overtaxing your body and mind can leave you vulnerable to disease, cellular degeneration, and a host of other negative physical and mental ramifications.
We all experience stress. But, the key to staying healthy is learning how to manage and reduce it. Chronic stress from working too much can impact your immune system, which leads you more open to getting colds, the flu, digestive disorders, headaches, and can increase your chance of heart attack and/or stroke.
A formula is a method or mixture comprised of various elements to achieve a result or goal. At the core of this epic formula to maintain your health while experiencing super-busy days is stress reduction.

Don’t Worry, Be Healthy

Applying this stress-reduction formula requires no extra work. So, don’t worry. In fact, it’s possible that in no time, you’ll actually feel healthier—and happier.
Instead of adding more to your plate, this epic formula simply suggests you replace what you’re already doing—only with something better and more advantageous to good health.

Replace Lousy Sleep with Good Rest

According to the National Institutes of Health, when you sleep, your brain actually forms new pathways to help you remember information and learn more. Sleep helps build and maintain your immune system. It also helps repair blood vessels in your heart. Additionally, it assists in balancing hunger hormones. These are some excellent reasons to habitually get a good night’s sleep.
“How do I get better sleep?” you may ask.
Here are a few suggestions:
-Assign your self a steady bedtime. There’s no shame in going to bed at 10pm when you have to awake at 6am. (In fact, 8 hours is the recommended optimum numbers of hours per night.)
-If you have children, assign them an earlier bedtime than your own. Also, if you have a partner, work with him/her to divvy up nights so that some nights you’re on call for the kids, and others he/she takes over and you rest soundly.
-Instead of watching TV, engaging in political debates over social media, or thinking about bills before going to bed, choose activities that are conducive to peaceful rest. Soak your feet in a bucket of warm water while painting your nails (or chopping carrots.) Play music you love and imagine beautiful places you’ve seen or would like to visit.
-Read in bed to yourself or aloud to another.
-As you drift off to sleep try to empty your mind of all worries. Worrying won’t solve any problems. You can figure out solutions in the daytime when your brain is functioning at it’s peak (after a good night’s sleep.)

Replace a Lousy Diet with Proper Nutrition

We’re all familiar with the reasons why eating well is beneficial to optimum physical and mental health. But, what’s expected when someone suggests proper nutrition? According to experts at the Harvard School of Public Health, it’s a simple guide on how to fill your meal plate.
Whether it’s in a bowl, on a dish, or from your blender, the portions go like this: ½ fruits and vegetables; ¼ whole grains; ¼ protein. The more colorful the fruit and veggies, the better. Organic rules in every category. Whole grains can be brown rice, quinoa, even whole wheat. Protein can include chicken, turkey, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Try to limit red meat, sugar, and avoid processed meats and cheeses.
Use olive, coconut, and flaxseed oils. These are good fats, along with avocados and nut butters.
So, instead of grabbing that frosted donut, spread some almond butter over whole-grain baked goods. Replace that bag of Doritos with bean chips dipped in guacamole or hummus. Your brain and your body will thank you.

Replace Sitting with Movement

For those of us on our feet all day at work, sure, sitting is a luxury. Although, when we find ourselves hovered over a desk for hours at a time, getting up intermittently is a necessity. And for all of us, moving our bodies is one of the most helpful, healthful activities for our overall health.
Along with sleep and nutrition, exercise is the third key to staying healthy while working too much. “How can I fit this into my hectic schedule?” you may ask.
Again, it’s not about adding more, it’s about replacing less healthy behaviors. Here are some suggestions:

  • Park your car far away from building entrances or get off an earlier bus stop, and use the opportunity to walk. Better yet, bike or walk to work, if possible.
  • Play ball, go for a walk or hike, or play Twister with your kids, friends, or coworkers. You’ll be modeling excellent life habits and bonding with others.
  • At your desk, you can use random items (stapler, water bottle, even your chair) and do arm lifts.
  • At the office, use breaks and lunchtime to get outdoors, if possible. Use the stairs. Walk around the block. (By the way, this shouldn’t be stressful. Use this time to clear your mind and breathe deeply.)
  • Work standing up or sitting on an exercise ball when possible. If you have a standing desk, every once in a while, do a few squats or leg lifts. No one will see you. (And if they do, they may be tempted to join you!)

This formula may seem simplistic—perhaps because essentially it is. Staying healthy shouldn’t be hard or complicated. Work and life can sometimes be all we can manage. Our health, however, should always take priority. So, if you can replace older habits with healthier newer ones, it will become second nature in a very short time. And before you know it, you will be smiling more, your body and mind will feel better, and “working too much” should become less stressful.
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