Nicola Deall, Chief People Officer, dentalcorp
Professional athletes place as much importance on their rest and recovery as on their performance strategy. Why? Because the time we spend recharging directly impacts our ability to perform and thrive both personally and professionally, as well as cope with stress. With life’s daily demands, it is essential to manage our personal well-being so we can be the best professionals, parents, partners, and friends we can be.
The below essentials will help set you on a path of physical and emotional well-being and better equip you to handle whatever life throws at you next.
1. Get adequate sleep. Sleep is the foundation of well-being, and while we all know we need it, we often make decisions to prioritize Netflix or scrolling through our phones over a good night’s sleep. While watching your favorite show is a great way to relax, sleep provides the deep restoration we need to have the energy and mindset to perform at our best. Research shows that looking at screens and devices late at night inhibits the brain’s ability to enter deep REM states, so it is a good idea to switch off for at least 30 minutes before bed and opt for a book instead.
2. Meditate. Mindfulness has emerged as one of the most effective treatments for depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. It is also used as a tool for athletes and high performing individuals to create clarity, focus and calm. At the heart of mindfulness is training the mind to experience calmness and deepen the capacity for internal stillness. The benefits are broad and include physical, mental, and emotional regulation. It can be tricky to find a chance to spend 20 minutes with your eyes closed, and it certainly takes some getting used to, but once you do, you will notice a difference between the days you practice and the days you don’t. If you are just starting out, try downloading a mindfulness app like Calm to help guide you as you learn.
3. Eat healthy on-the-go. Most of us know what healthy eating options are – the trouble is making healthy choices amid our hectic schedules. Many of the unhealthy options are often fast choices, so, by doing a little planning in advance, you can make the right choices to fuel your body to perform at your best every day. Make a weekly meal plan and stick to it, and shop for groceries on a full stomach so you’re less tempted buy things you don’t need. Find a way to incorporate delicious healthy fats and veggies into your diet and aim to increase the nutritional density and breadth of ingredients every time you eat. The secret to moving towards more healthy eating is finding healthy foods you love so it doesn’t feel like you’re missing out!
4. Get physical. At all stages of life, there is an opportunity to adjust your strategy for being physically active. The dental industry involves physical intensity for long periods of the day, so knowing what physical activity supports your body for the long-term is critical. Improving core strength can help prevent lower back pain and injuries. Regular stretching is also key to balancing our posture and supporting structural alignment. Getting your heart rate up through cardio a few times a week is also important for heart health. Having a massage every now and then ensures that tight muscles are relaxed to prevent long-term injury. It can be hard starting and sticking to a new routine, but physical well-being is an investment in your long-term health and comes with a whole host of rewards, including feel-good endorphins! Try a free fitness app that works with your schedule like the Nike Training Club, or integrate physical activities you enjoy, such as walking, into your weekly routine. Asking a friend to hold you accountable during the week can also help keep you on track.
5. Make time for joy. Make a list of people who nourish you and make time for them, even if it is over the phone or on Zoom. Do more of the things that bring you joy in life and that leave you feeling fulfilled. Life is a process of trial and error figuring out what activities or experiences create real fulfilment, and it is different for everyone. But making the time to laugh, play, create, and genuinely connect with others is a great recipe for joy.
About the Author
Nicola oversees dentalcorp’s overall human resources strategy, including the attraction, retention and development of top talent across the network’s Practice and Support Centre teams. She also leads the Human Resources, Talent and Training & Development teams.
Nicola is a proven business leader with experience in high growth and large-scale businesses across financial services and media sectors, including organization development, HR consulting, people strategy, talent acquisition, systems implementation and analytics. She holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney.