My friend Niki Pappas at First Day Wellness wrote the article below – it’s so succinct and helpful I asked her if I could republish it:
Most of the important things in life aren’t at all simple, so when something comes along that is, I believe it’s worth sharing. After I read the article referred to in #2 below a couple days ago, it struck me that daily wellness can be as simple as 1-2-3. I’d like to offer this simple 1-2-3 plan to you today, to support your wellness journey!
1 – Do ONE Thing at a Time. We may pride ourselves on our multitasking abilities – and fellow women, I’m talking to you! – but guess what? Multitasking is a myth! Studies of our brains in action show that we are capable of focusing on only one cognitive task at a time. Our attempts to do two things at once are actually about “task switching”, and we’re not nearly as efficient or effective as we think we are. In a recent Forbes article, Dr. JoAnn Deak states that in the short term, multitasking doubles the amount of time it takes us to complete a task and usually doubles our mistake rate, or worse. Other research suggests that task switching reduces our productivity by up to 40%. Not good!
Clearly there’s a downside to multitasking, but the good news is that there’s such an upside to monotasking! We perform, feel, and just are so much better when we focus – our eyes, our attention, our time, our energy, our love. I suggest to my clients that they mindfully “sink in” to whatever they’re doing, for greater effectiveness, efficiency, and most importantly, enjoyment.
2 – Walk TWO Minutes of Every Sedentary Hour. A recent study reported in the NYT Well blog links “gentle walking” for just 2 minutes per hour with a 33% reduction in mortality. Respondents in this large-scale longitudinal study wore fitness trackers to measure their movement, and the researchers measured death rates 3-4 years later, thereby discovering this strong association. What better reason to get up from your chair on at least an hourly basis and take a little walk? You will give your body and your mind a break, and your pause can serve as a transition from one task to the next (in service of goal #1 above!). Of course, intense exercise provides incremental physiological and psychological benefits, so please continue to include it in your routine as well!
3 – Eat Fruits & Veggies THREE Times a Day. There’s no better dietary advice than to eat more fruits and vegetables. I like the simplicity of including produce with every meal – for example, luscious berries at breakfast, a crunchy salad and an apple at lunch, and any one or two of hundreds of veggie possibilities at dinner, whether sautéed, steamed, or even spiralized. Fruits and vegetables provide a multitude of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, and they have been shown to protect against various types of cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. They are truly the best medicine, and bring color, texture, and delicious flavor to every meal. Bon appétit!