By Sarah Kalamchi for Next Jump
I have always been a healthy and active person, but it wasn't until several years ago when I began facing some of the most challenging moments in my life and my career that I realized how valuable proper nutrition and exercise can be for stress reduction and energy management. As many people do, I allowed wellness to be an afterthought. It was easy to not take care of myself and it was no surprise that I eventually found myself physically depleted and emotionally drained.
I began investing in my health and after experiencing my own personal wellness turnaround, I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to help others do the same. Working as the Director of Wellness at Next Jump has afforded me that privilege.
In my role, I take the health and wellness of Next Jumpers seriously. The physical vessel matters -- healthier employees perform better, are more present and are happier overall -- a practice Next Jump has spent 20 years iterating on and improving upon as a company. It's no secret that human beings require energy to perform well. When tired or under pressure, we need good energy from proper fitness and nutrition to execute sound judgment and stay committed.
Some of the wellness practices that Next Jumpers have found to be most impactful are:
• Starting with Breakfast: The most important meal of the day! By stocking the kitchen with nutritious breakfast foods, employees know they will have healthy options to start their day with.
• Fitness is Fun: Participating in the company-wide fitness competition allows everyone to bond in new ways and ensures that I always have a friend to hit the gym with!
• Exercise is Strategic Disengagement: Exercise as an integral component of the productivity equation, I find workouts provide stress relief, a boost in energy and a way to step away from a problem and come back with a fresh perspective.
If you are trying to find ways to incorporate health and wellness into your day-to-day, below are a few suggestions for getting started:
1. Create a Ritual: It takes time to create a new habit. Start with something manageable yet meaningful (perhaps eating a healthy breakfast or drinking more water) and practice this daily. Our body is constantly repairing itself -- red blood cells regenerate every 90 days -- think about taking those 90 days to wipe your slate clean and imprint new habits.
2. Find a Partner: I love finding a good workout buddy; it keeps me accountable and gives me that extra push when I need motivation to work a little harder.
3. Be inspired: Keep little reminders of your goals so that they are always top of mind. I keep quotes and pictures at my desk to inspire me to move more throughout the day.
4. Practice Moderation: Adopting healthier habits doesn't mean there aren't occasions for indulgences or rest. Think about the 80/20 rule -- try to keep 80% of your diet balanced and full of fresh and healthy foods. Use the remaining 20% for occasional indulgences.
I have the great fortune of working for a company that values the health of its employees as one of its foundational principles. Even better, I am now in a position where I am helping others achieve that sense of health and wellbeing that I once lacked. I try to do something healthy for myself everyday and encourage you to try the same!
About Next Jump
Next Jump was founded in 1994 making print coupon books for college campuses which evolved into online marketplaces for corporate employees in partnership with human resource departments of Fortune 1000 companies. We attribute the success of our business to our culture and the NxJumpers who run it; defining culture as Better Me + Better You = Better Us. We design and build products geared towards bettering both employees (starting with our own) and companies, with the ultimate goal to make the world a better place.