Amanda's Note: This was provided by an online contact. 

Very often in our lives we come to realise how much everything we do comes at a cost, both the good and the bad. Take a successful person who is at the apex of his or her career. The client portfolio keeps on expanding, the revenues come pouring in and the investors are happy. Sounds like the perfect picture – until you decide to take a closer look, when you realise just how much is being sacrificed along the way to fulfil these ambitions. Indeed, striking a delicate equilibrium between pursuing your success and staying motivated, as well as making time for friends, family, and your health is not easy. Anything which is not classified as work becomes a time-consuming “task” which takes a backseat to work and all that comes with it. If kept up, this imbalance is what will ultimately bring all your hard work to its knees.

But it’s not just about considering the need to respect this balance between work and everything else which gives your life meaning: the crux of the matter is that by introducing constructive measures into your personal life, you can also positively influence your business choices. As a businessperson or entrepreneur, you need to be on the ball 24/7 and you have to expect the unexpected. Remember that, although you cannot control everything, you can control your behaviour and habits, which will ultimately define who you are as an entrepreneur but also as a man. Keeping a journal, for example, can be your first step to achieving the coveted balance but it is far from being the only measure you can take. Every aspect in your life needs to be fine-tuned, strong enough to withstand sudden change, and in perfect sync with who you are and what you are doing.

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Diet

Many people don’t realise how much what we feed ourselves influences our mental health. After all, as the old adage goes, you are what you eat. It is extremely important to feed our brains and bodies as much nutritious goodness as possible, as doing so will have a positive impact on our health, and therefore affect the decisions we make in our day-to-day life.

  • Proteins like salmon and other deep-water fish are essential for maintaining excellent brain health and function. Rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, a portion two to three times a week is recommended for optimum results.
  • Fruits such as blueberries or “brainberries” are essential for helping to protect the brain from stress as well as helping to reduce the likelihood of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies have also proven that individuals who eat a lot of blueberries significantly increase their learning capacity and their motor skills.
  • Many nutritionists will also recommend populating your diet with foods such as avocados and nuts as they both contain monosaturated fat, which increases blood flow to the brain, while lowering blood pressure and the risk of hypertension which can both lead to a decline in cognitive abilities.

By eating these types of foods, you can actively help your brain to stay sharp, on the ball, and efficient – just the ingredients needed when pioneering the world of business. If you're short of time (who isn't?) why not plan ahead and make your grocery shopping last for two weeks? A bit more thought, a whole lot of time saved.

Exercise

We all know the importance of exercise for our general health, but did you know it is also an integral part of being successful in your working life? Exercise such as running, swimming, and weights teach you discipline and stamina- two extremely important traits to adopt when running your own business. Physical wellbeing is only one side of the coin: this type of exertion releases endorphins and other hormones into the blood stream which help improve your mood, increase concentration, and fight off conditions like depression and anxiety.

Keeping yourself in peak physical condition will have very positive effects on your capabilities to run and maintain a business, as well as ensuring those ideas keep flowing! It stands to reason that if you are disciplined with your exercise regime, there is a much higher chance that you are disciplined in your work-life as well.

Hobbies

Keeping your brain fit and agile outside the remit of work is another challenge you need to take on.  This is not about taking on a Ninja Sudoku level; you don’t have to do anything particularly complex or overtly time consuming. The secret is to find something you really enjoy doing and which works your brain at a different tangent than it usually does.

A great example of this is keeping a blog or a journal: jotting down your thoughts, ideas, feelings, and plans can help you analyse your thought processes, teach you about self-evaluation, and even help you form and develop new ideas. This does not have to take on the form of some kind of rhetoric. A few lines or points may suffice if that is all you feel up to. Don’t take on anything you feel is a burden, as it would defeat the purpose.

Puzzles, model-building, scrapbooking, or perhaps even clay modelling and cooking. Take on that hobby you had abandoned years ago and breathe life back into it. Or why not start a DIY project at home? Apart from the actual finished product at the end, you will also get that satisfying feeling at having done it yourself. Spend some minutes every day or whenever you feel like escaping into something which can really take your mind off things.

Cutting down on screen time

We bet your phone is, at this present moment, within arm’s reach, unless you’re reading from it. We also bet that, unless you’ve just woken up, you’ve spent some time on your laptop today. Whilst it is a necessary part of working, it is important to remember to step away from the screen as much as possible. Firstly, looking at a screen for hours on end is bad for your eyesight and can cause headaches and other physical complaints such as neck strain and back ache. Research has also shown that overuse of screens can significantly impact our interpersonal skills and happiness levels – two things that are of imperative importance to someone looking to conduct a successful business.

There really is no right or wrong recipe of what you should do to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Just as long as you find time to let your mind think freely of thoughts not tied to work, then you’re on the right track.