10 Keys to Getting a Life, But Still Having a Wildly Successful Wellness Program

As a wellness professional, you put heart and soul into helping others adopt healthy lifestyles. But you can’t give what you don’t have; craft a healthy, well rounded life with these 10 keys:

  • Power down every day. Unplug from all electronics at least once a day. Use the intervals to practice mindfulness meditation, go for a brisk walk, play with your kids or pets, or cook a healthy meal from scratch.
  • Spend time around people who aren’t into wellness. You’ll avoid shop talk and gain valuable insight into the wellness challenges your participants face in their everyday lives.
  • Establish healthy boundaries. Health promoters often wear multiple hats, and things can pile up quickly. Set clear priorities and learn to say no to or delegate less important tasks. Clarify expectations about off-time availability for calls and emails; don’t let work interfere with your home life.
  • Cultivate relationships. Strengthening ties with family and friends keeps you focused on what really matters in life — and that helps work stress stay in perspective. Catch up around the dinner table, on a leisurely walk, or while playing board games.
  • Read fiction. Got a few minutes to relax before bedtime? Don’t pick up the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Reach for a mystery, a time-travel tale, or a romance. You need a break from the constant drip of health promotion research and information; the latest bestseller may even spark ideas for your next wellness challenge.
  • Reflect. Spending time on things that aren’t aligned with your personal mission leads to discontent. Dedicate regular time to reflection, keeping a journal, and goal setting to help you stay energized and in your groove.
  • Pursue your burning interests. Have you always wanted to take guitar lessons? Travel to Greece? Make floral arrangements? Like many wellness pros, you may gravitate toward health- related hobbies and recreational pursuits — like vegetarian cooking or hiking — and that’s great. But exploring new pursuits unrelated to wellness can help you relax and recharge in ways you never thought possible.
  • Walk your talk. Even wellness pros need a health tune-up every so often. Meet with a registered dietitian, a certified personal trainer, or a wellness coach as needed to make sure you’re on the right path to feel your best. Need help with serious stress? Contact your employee assistance program or ask your doctor for a counseling referral.
  • Manage your energy. Include natural energy boosters in your daily schedule — like exercise, a nutritious breakfast, and frequent activity breaks. Do your best to avoid everyday energy busters — like sugary foods, sitting for long stretches, and too much screen time. If certain people drain you, figure out how to interact less or learn new ways to respond.
  • Mentor someone. Offering guidance to a new health promoter can be very rewarding, personally and professionally. List mentoring as an interest on your LinkedIn page, and check with organizations you belong to — as well as your college alumni office — to connect with early-career wellness pros.