By Tony Rutigliano
Spring is a time of budding flowers, lengthening days, warmer weather and, yup, cleaning. But spring cleaning should go beyond just cleaning your home or office. It should also be a time to refresh your body, mind and spirit.
As a hard-working professional, you may have been stuck in a rut that’s sapped your energy. Spring, with its message of rejuvenation and rebirth, provides an ideal opportunity to get that energy back.
This is important because a person’s overall wellness is a vital component of productivity and growth. We have found that leaders who have excellent physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational and spiritual health are the individuals who make the most difference in their organization and their world.
So, with trees and plants blooming and temperatures rising, it’s time to start spring cleaning your life. Here’s how to do it:
Physical: As the weather gets nicer, there are more opportunities to get your body moving. So, instead of sitting at your desk during your lunch hour, try going on a hike, attending a Pilates class or dancing away at Zumba. Exercise isn’t good only for the body: Studies have shown that it can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, as well as instill an overall sense of well-being.
Emotional: Warmer weather means it’s time to reset your emotional health. So get rid of those negative thoughts and focus on positive thinking and self-awareness. Consider forming a new hobby that will help you ride out the stresses in your life with greater equanimity. Meditation or yoga can be a great way to be mindful of these feelings and to help resolve them. So can walking through a garden or art gallery, or volunteering at a local food pantry.
Intellectual: Take time to explore some of your favorite subjects, or dive into a new one. Take an art class or enroll in an online learning course. Joining a book club will spur you into more reading, and will provide lively discussions of opinions and ideas.
Social: As John Donne wrote, “No man is an island.” Interacting with others is vital to our emotional health, yet we too often remain locked in our offices during the work day. Set a goal to eat with colleagues more frequently. Moreover, learning about your co-workers can enhance cooperation and learning, and may even make your job more enjoyable.
Vocational: Open up to the ideas of others, and engage with colleagues and industry leaders on subjects you feel strongly about. Work on a shared project that enlists people’s commitment and ownership. Forge productive relationships with colleagues that model authenticity, connectivity and reciprocity. Doing so will promote a culture of excellence and accountability.
Spiritual: The word “spirituality” means different things to different people. For some, it equates to faith in a higher being. For others, it means being at peace with nature or in relationships with others. In general, it reflects how you view the world and what you believe is your higher purpose. Improving your spiritual health requires taking time for yourself every day, being open to spiritual experiences and practicing forgiveness. You can attain this through prayer, meditation or worship, or simply by learning to live joyfully.
Leaders who embrace these keys to healthy living will see better outcomes in themselves and their businesses. Spring is a great time to kick-start this road to wellness and—hopefully—keep you on track for the rest of the year.
Tony Rutigliano is the president of Healthy Companies, which implements leadership development programs at all levels within organizations, including Global 2000 corporations and government agencies.