Embracing Your Health and Wellness as a Business Artist
What is required to “get the job done” as a creative, artist, or business leader?
In previous decades the answer might have been “whatever it takes.” You might recall movies like Glengarry Glen Ross or Wall Street, which showed us what happens in the business world when people decide to “win” at all costs.
They sacrifice their integrity, but perhaps even worse, they destroy their mental and physical health.
All the talk about creativity, flow, and innovation is wonderful. However, we can’t ignore the impact of health and wellness on our ability to be effective Business Artists. We all exist within physical bodies that get tired and need proper hydration, rest, nutrition, and exercise.
Operating at Your Peak
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has an almost religious belief about the importance of sleep. His perspective is that the higher up you go in a company, you make more important you make each day. There’s more at stake, so you must be at your best.
During a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington in 2018, he spoke about the importance of sleep. He reflected, “I think better. I have more energy. My mood is better.” Bezos is very calculative about why he believes eight hours of sleep is the key to boosting productivity and making high-quality decisions.
In addition, a 2017 study published in the Annals of Neurology discovered that your decision-making is impaired when you don’t get enough sleep. This is only the very tip of the iceberg since a massive number of studies have been done on the mind-body connection.
It cannot be over-stated enough how much sleep, diet, and exercise play into your physical energy, mental mood, and motivation to being an effective leader and artist.
I can always feel when I’m “off.” I’m less patient, more impulsive, more irritable, and go through the motions. I have to shift my energy to compensate in certain bursts throughout the day.
It’s dreadful to know you’re not at your best, but we all have these days or moments. It’s equally important to know how to match the energy of your customers or colleagues.
We shouldn’t be left to our own devices to figure this out, however. Company initiatives can have a major impact on the health and wellness of their employees and team members.
How Companies Can Make a Difference
With massive cultural crises in obesity, mental health, and more, companies have paid much more attention to this area in recent years.
It’s hard to argue with a company that might take the viewpoint of personal responsibility since employees are responsible for their health and well-being. However, I believe any company serious about getting the best cognitive output from its employees should do whatever it can to promote and educate the benefits of health and wellness, but not require it.
There has been an explosion of companies and resources available in this space. A colleague of mine, Matt Prostko, left BTS to initially run sales and now heads up Products for TaskHuman, a company that connects employees and individuals with one-on-one sessions to promote wellness.
These sessions can involve scheduling a yoga teacher, nutritionist, sound healer, sleep therapist, or someone to lead you in guided meditation, all the way to more career-focused areas like sales and leadership coaching.
It’s a great company that sees the value in the mind-body connection and found a way to make services affordable, scalable, and, most importantly, on-demand. Any Business Artist can schedule a session whenever convenient or when they feel like they need it.
I have personally experimented with guided meditation sessions just before I needed to do some heavy creative work. It helps to remove the rest of the day’s mental debris that will make it harder to focus.
Three Simple Suggestions
It’s easy to overcomplicate health and wellness. There are endless books, programs, podcasts, courses, and resources to help you get healthier.
I’m no health and wellness guru. However, I humbly offer three simple suggestions to help you become a better version of yourself by taking care of your body and mind.
1. Find time to get fresh air every day. Going outside and taking a short walk will do wonders.
2. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Shoot for eight hours of sleep.
3. During this holiday season, do everything in moderation. It’s easy to indulge in sweets and junk food, then promise yourself you’ll do better come January first. Why not get a jumpstart now?
You don’t have to completely upend your life in order to make positive changes. Just putting these three simple suggestions into practice can do wonders for your health. I always recommend starting small, and then improving from there.
If you don’t feel like you’ve been operating at your best, spend some time concentrating on your health and wellness. You can’t divorce your body and mind. They are part of the same being. When you take care of yourself, you’re in much better shape to be an effective Business Artist.