I’m delighted to have partnered with Naked Juice on this blog post. All opinions are my own.
If you’re feeling stressed, tired, or are just plain depleted, you’re not alone. An overwhelming number of Americans are burnt out, and studies show that the percentages are highest in women. It also has been recognized that burnout may be a syndrome linked to chronic stress at work.
And while many of us are given our allotment of paid time off (PTO) days, many of us are not using those days – a major missed opportunity for self-care. Studies have shown that more than half (55%) of Americans are not using their PTO days. Workers report not using their PTO days because they don’t feel like they can take a full day off, unless they’re bed-ridden, flu-addled, and fever-stricken. Seriously!? We have to be that sick to justify some personal time.
But hey, I get it! I’m also often pushing my self-care to the wayside in the hopes of achieving (or fear of not achieving) one more “great job” from a client, “thank you” from a family member, or simply checking off one more item from my “to do” list.
‘However You Healthy’ this Winter
Naked believes there is more than one way to be healthy – and that every little choice can add up to make a difference. Inspired by Naked’s However You Healthy campaign and motivated by this PTO insight, I decided to take some personal time for myself to experience how making small, healthier choices would impact my wellbeing.
What I needed was to take a half day to myself, and make some time to chill, connect with nature, and nourish my body. While I’m not a fan of beach crowds or sweating in 90-degrees with sand stuck to my thighs, which is why I seldomly take advantage of living so close to the beach, a quiet winter beach day sounded like just the thing to recharge my batteries.
While on my normal work day I rush lunch, this day I took the time to enjoy a beautiful meal. My healthy picnic included cobbling together some of my favorite foods, like a sourdough baguette, hummus, fruit, cheese, almonds, and a Naked Juice Green Machine. Not only is Green Machine my favorite tasting smoothie, it’s made with so many different fruits and veggies so I know I’m fueling myself well. Some things are that easy.
What wasn’t that easy, surprised me – how long it took me to unwind. I actually felt uncomfortable for the first hour or so. My mind was overactive, I had the urge to check my cell phone every 30 seconds, and I was a little nervous that I was missing something important. I had to force myself to breathe deeply, listen to the waves crash, and turn my phone off. Eventually I did unwind, and it was magical.
If you’re not able to enjoy a winter beach day, being in nature of any kind has huge benefits. Hiking in the mountains, sitting in a garden, or playing in the snow all contribute to your physical wellbeing. Research shows experiencing nature can reduce your blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones. It’s actually so powerful that viewing scenes of nature can produce similar benefits.
So, what does ‘However You Healthy’ mean to you? Or better yet, take a half day like I did and share your experience. I’d love to hear what you did and how it made you feel!