Albert Lea, MN

Albert Lea MN Improves Work-Life Balance With Blue Zone Recommendations

Tree Langdon

It's time to reassess.

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Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the importance of work/life balance.

The pandemic has reinforced the need to reassess what we focus on in life.

For some, working from home has made it easier to adjust our lifestyles to focus less on work and more on family or home life.

For others, it’s increased the time spent on zoom calls, and supporting clients remotely.

In either situation, it might be a good time to reset and perhaps readjust our priorities to ensure we have a healthy balance in our lives.

Albert Lea MN became a designated Blue Zone in 2009.

They offered businesses the chance to participate by improving work/life balance for their employees.

They completed an assessment of their work environment and received recommendations to improve things in order to increase the long-term health and well-being of everyone involved with the business.

More than forty-five workspaces signed up and made changes according to the recommendations. The improvements are intended to benefit the physical, emotional, and social health of employees, owners, and customers.

The project looked at ways to support larger employers in Albert Lea, by recommending workplace clinics that focused on employee well-being and reducing the cost of healthcare. Some of the larger employers joined forces and created a dedicated clinic to support employees. Other's opened them on their own. They resulted in financial and health savings for both the companies and the employees.

The pandemic shook things up and changes were made out of necessity.

Now's a good time to reassess and perhaps reaffirm the Blue Zone steps put into place in 2009.

Think of how these habits are affected by your work. 

Move naturally

  • Focus on your strengths.
  • Instead of trying to be everything for everyone, work hard in your specialty.

Purpose

  • What’s your job?
  • What’s expected of you?
  • Don’t get sidetracked into someone else’s problems.

Find ways to shed stress.

  • Get out in nature. This is the single most effective way to shed stress. Remember to turn your phone off or leave it behind.
  • Letting go of perfectionism is a classic recommendation when considering your work/life balance. 
  • Strive to do your best and let it go.

The 80 % rule or reduce food intake.

  • Snacking at your desk is the single worst thing for healthy food habits.
  • If you do feel low in the afternoon and need a lift, try a green smoothie. 
  • Stay away from sweetened snack bars that are masquerading as a healthy option. 

Eat mainly plants.

  • Prepare your lunches.
  • If you must eat out, choose salads and lighter options.
  • Bring cut-up veggies for snacks. I know it’s boring. But you’ll feel so much better when you don’t crash from the sugar high.

Drink wine moderately

  • There’s nothing social about drinking in the workplace. Be careful that you don't let drinking affect your reputation or your performance.
  • No matter what the situation is, it’s still the workplace and you need to keep that in mind.

Belong

  • if there’s a weekly tee time when your peers play golf, join. Take lessons to get started if you must.
  • Take up jogging at lunchtime if that’s what your peers are involved in. 
  • Join the group that collects for the local food bank, or organizes a charity draw.

Family first.

  • Draw firm boundaries around family time and stick to it. Others in your organization will begin to do the same.
  • Marc Randolph, one of the creators of Netflix, called it Tuesdays at 5:30.
  • Limit time-wasting activities by evaluating the benefit of all that you do. Use that time to be with family instead.

Choose your work network carefully.

  • Choose a supportive network of professionals that will be there for you.
  • Be a mentor as well. Someone helped you out at the beginning of your career. 
  • Don’t hang around with complainers or partiers. Instead, bow out and go home early.
  • Politely excuse yourself when the work party has gone on past the time when it serves a valuable networking purpose. 

If you’re able to look at these Blue Zone habits with your work/life balance in mind, great improvements are possible.

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A merchant of dreams. ♡ I love to connect humanity to technology. I write news, and fiction, exploring Worldview plots. Was a CGA/CPA in a past life. I have a lot of life experience. Parenting, Art, Finance, Investing, Auditing, Project Management, Writing, Story Grid Method, Science, Forensic Anthropology, Extensive overseas travel including Asia, Greece, Thailand.

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