"You only get one mind and one body. And it's got to last a lifetime. But if you don't take care of that mind and that body, they'll be a wreck 40 years later...it's what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate 10, 20, and 30 years from now."
Apparently, the world's greatest investor likes to play life coach on the side. Truth is, Buffett has a point as taking care of your mind and body is serious business for keeping a workforce functioning at an optimum level.
To heed Buffett's warning and reap its benefits, we must learn to put into daily practice habits for nurturing the mind and the body. Here are five to consider:
1. Practice self-care.
Quite truthfully, this whole article is about self-care. But practically speaking, you want to start pursuing activities that bring you peace and joy outside of work, and that put bounce back in your step when you're in the office. Reflect on these questions: What is it that you love to do but haven't done in a while? What are some hobbies that have been buried for years? Even if you hate exercising, what enjoyable physical activities can you do for 15-minutes per day to get your heart pumping?
The benefits of meditation include lowering your stress levels, improving your focus, and even boosting your immunity, to name a few. While some people will spend 10-20 minutes sitting in quiet space and listening to focused breathing, if that's not your thing, simply use this time every day to cultivate peace of mind and restore yourself mentally and emotionally, in whatever manner works best for you.
3. Build rest cycles into your daily routine.
According to research included in Emplify's 2020 Employee Engagement Trends report, a startling 62 percent of respondents suffer from burnout at work. To counter its effects, Emplify's chief people officer, Adam Weber, suggests more rest periods: "Employees need the kind of rest that restores the internal resources needed to do great work daily. Building breaks into your daily and weekly routine refills the energy and focus tanks. Burnout happens when you neglect to replenish those tanks for weeks, months, or years."
Some companies are teaching their employees to adopt the concept known as "interval training" practiced by top-performing athletes. The idea is that to become more productive, you focus on doing high-quality and highly-focused work in chunks of 60 to 90 minutes separated by short breaks. Research has found this method can transform the workplace.
4. Get more sleep.
Elon Musk was criticized for his well-publicized but highly erratic 120-hour per week workload. Convincing research, however, has found that after 17-19 hours without sleep, our brains experience levels of cognitive impairment equivalent to a blood-alcohol level of .05 percent, just under the threshold for being legally drunk.
Sleep guru Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global attributes her success to giving up her sleep deprivation for 8-hours of shut-eye: "When I get eight hours, I feel ready to handle anything during the day without stress and without paying a heavy price in terms of my own health and my own mental well-being," she says.
5. Make play a part of work.
Human beings are inherently playful, whatever their age. Stuart Brown, M.D., founder of the National Institute for Play, and author of Play, says that play is essential for innovation, creativity, and joy. He argues that play is a "biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition," and adds that "we are designed by nature to flourish through play."
While these strategies for mental and physical wellbeing may stretch beyond Warren Buffett's original mantra, it's noteworthy to remember that, at age 89, the billionaire investor remains mentally sharp and in terrific physical health. So the question is, what are you doing to take care of your mind and body?