The physiological impact that stress has on the human body is not a matter to be taken lightly. While in the short-term stress often proves detrimental in helping one cope with adverse situations, in the long run, it may result in serious medical complications like heart disease, strokes, depression, and anxiety. A highly competitive business environment, tight deadlines, high sales targets, and long working hours are all staples of the modern corporate world, and as a result, stress affects more working professionals than ever before. And the role of CEO is arguably among the most stressful jobs given the level of responsibility it entails. Here are some simple some stress-busting countermeasures that all CEOs should take:
Understand What You’re Eating
In order to practise a healthy lifestyle, one must first have a basic understanding of nutrition. Every person’s body has a unique biochemistry, meaning what’s good for the goose need not be good for the gander. But by and large, the rules of nutrition are rather consistent with proteins being muscle builders, carbohydrates a fuel source, and fats being both a reserve fuel source and structural component of the body. Eating a good quality macro balanced diet is perhaps the best way to address many of the physiological effects of stress, although determining what constitutes such a diet at an individual level would require the services of a nutritionist or dietician.
Observe Fixed Mealtimes
Sticking to fixed meal times is difficult, especially for anyone at the position of CEO, a role which often requires considerable travel. At a basic physiological level, eating meals at fixed times allows for a concise level of blood sugar in the body which facilitates regular metabolic processes, while depriving the body of its regular source of energy contributes to weight gain. Eating at regular intervals signals to the body that nourishment is readily available, preventing it from activating survival mode. It also allows the brain to operate at peak efficiency throughout the day.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is the essence of life itself and not drinking enough water causes digestive problems, lethargy, and the increased risk of kidney stones. To avoid these unnecessary complications it’s advisable to set reminders that make sure you consume enough amounts of water periodically.
Corporate life tends to be physically sedentary and many in the workforce suffer from lifestyle diseases brought about by a lack of exercises such as obesity and heart disease. Sitting for long periods can be as dangerous as smoking. To avoid these problems engage in basic physical exercises like pacing up and down the office stairs or going for regular walks.
A lack of sleep results in water retention and swelling of the body, alterations in digestion and metabolism. While the necessary amount of sleep one requires depends from person to person, most experts agree that 6-7 hours per day are ideal. Sleep is the time when hormones synchronise to burn fat and repair lean muscle, detoxes overall and the brain gets physical relief from a hard day’s work. While compromising on exercise regimes and mealtimes is sometimes necessary for the sake of work, one must never compromise on sleep.
As important as one’s job might be, at the end of the day, it’s just work and health should always be of utmost priority. As CEOs, we have a fiduciary obligation towards our shareholders to be as effective as possible, but we should never let that take away from the fact that as people we an obligation to our families and ourselves to live as healthy a life as our current circumstances allow. As members of a profession that thrives on bringing about change; we need a change.