Do you ever feel like you just don’t have time to prioritize your health and you end up putting it on the backburner?
Lately I’ve been hearing too many stories about scopists who have ended up in the hospital due to prolonged sitting. Unfortunately, prolonged sitting has been proven to lead to depression, back/neck pain, weight gain and much more.
Since this career is 100% at your desk, couch, bed, or table, here are some tips to continue bringing home the bacon without letting your health suffer as a result. Because, let’s be honest, the money stops flowing when you’re dead.
Choose Your Energy Boosters Wisely
It’s no secret that energy drinks are terrible for you, but when a late-night expedite is ordered, you’ll do just about anything for a burst of energy. However, the boost is short-lived, while the health effects are long-lasting. Fortunately, there are some healthy alternatives that will give you an energy boost without sacrificing your health. Some of my favorites are green tea, nuts, and dark chocolate.
Manage Your Stress
Looking for ways to manage your stress? Drinking Earl Grey tea has been shown to lower cortisol levels. Herbal teas have tons of great benefits, so feel free to stock up on them.
But if you who have no intention of replacing your liquid gold with tea, try adding a teaspoon of extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil to your java. Stress relief, increased energy, and weight loss are just a few of its many benefits.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water boosts your mood and increases brain power. Try to avoid getting dehydrated, as long periods can actually impair brain functions, leading to error-filled transcripts. There are two ways to tackle this: First, getting more water can be a great excuse to get up from your desk, stretch your legs, and walk to the kitchen. If you find that you’re not taking those breaks for water, then it’s better to have a large container of water beside you, making it easily accessible. Squeeze in some lemon for a nice burst of energy.
Get Enough Sleep
Easier said than done, right? Expedites can sometimes make this impossible. And since expedites are where the real money is at, you probably have a tendency to prioritize them over your well-being. I certainly have. Sometimes it’s just unavoidable. But do your best to try not to make it a habit. Lack of sleep can mess with your hormones and can affect your transcript accuracy. On nights I’m not working, I’ve found that just turning off my phone and computer at a scheduled time does wonders for my sleep.
Plan to Eat Right
Ever find yourself in the middle of a daily, reaching for an unhealthy snack out of pure convenience? Guilty as charged. If I don’t have something healthy ready to go, it’s fast food or the most convenient thing in my kitchen. So plan out some healthy snacks and meals in advance to avoid those unnecessary fast food trips.
Something that’s comfortable now could be killing you in the long run. Bad sitting posture can lead to bad standing posture, which can quickly develop into an injury, i.e., the last thing you want to deal with as a freelancer. Sometimes I don’t even realize what position I’m in until my husband makes a comment about how unsafe and uncomfortable I look.
Protect Your Eyes
We’ve covered general health, but it’s easy to forget about the health of your eyes. Since your eyes are your livelihood, it’s vital that you protect them. So when scoping jobs during the day, and especially at night, set your background to yellow, or invest in some yellow-tinted glasses. Computer glasses are great for reducing eye strain that inevitably comes from staring at a computer screen for long periods of time. I’ve personally noticed a big difference in my scoping life, and I even use them to watch TV.
If you’re interested in investing in your eyes, here’s a link to some great ones.
Take Frequent Breaks to Stretch
The Pomodoro Technique is just one of many options to choose from. Find what works for you and try to implement it into your daily workweek. You’ll be surprised how much your productivity increases.
There are so many benefits to gain from stretching daily. My all-time favorite is that my chances of spraining something (just from getting up from my desk) are significantly reduced.
I can’t stress this enough: Be conscious of how much time you spend sitting. You can find a quick personal assessment here.
One of the last things you probably want to do is fit exercise into your already busy schedule. But no matter how busy your life gets, it’s important to squeeze some time in to exercise. And if you have more than 10 minutes, it’s been proven that walking 30 minutes a day can relieve stress and reduce your risk of heart disease by 40%.
Since walking in the Texas heat is unbearable, I recently bought a treadmill. It’s been so nice to take a break from a job, walk into my living room, turn on some music, and just clear my head while exercising.
If you’re interested in buying one that won’t break the bank, here’s a link to the one I bought and love.
Take Time for Yourself
As a scopist, it can sometimes be hard switching your brain from work mode to life mode. Scheduling time for yourself is essential to keep from burning out. This can mean going to lunch with a friend or just staying in and pampering yourself.
I’ve found that a bubble bath and a glass of wine can do wonders.
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