This Insights article was contributed by Kelly Schaudt, senior director of Lean operations for Wilmington Health.
Engagement in one’s own health and wellbeing has been shown to be one of the most important indicators in a person’s overall health. And for those battling chronic illnesses, the more the patient is engaged in their treatment plans and therapies, the more likely they are to get better than those unengaged patients with similar illnesses, treatment plans, and therapies. Some data also indicates people who are more engaged in their health see overall financial savings, which is never a bad thing.
So why is this important to me? Because as women, we are seen by many of those around us to be leaders, friends, guidance counselors, caregivers, and, most importantly, parents. And because we care deeply about those we work with, play with, live with, and love, we must be more than just examples of health but also inspire them to be healthy.
So, I thought I would provide a few thoughts on how you can be an inspiration of health to others in your everyday life.
Inspiring Health at Home
Probably the most important item here is to be positive
in all things health related. Talk about the benefits eating/living healthy provides you. Discuss how exercise allows you to clear your mind and better focus on the tasks at hand. Highlight the energy you get from cleaner eating and how you don’t feel the highs and lows related to poor dietary choices. Family members, especially children, are taking their lead from you and your attitude toward all things.
Generally, you are making the decisions as to what does or does not come into the house as it relates to food. So instead of complaining about having a salad because you are trying to lose a few pounds, stay positive. Keeping the right mindset will not only keep you motivated to make healthy choices but also makes it easier for you to inspire healthy choices for those most dear to you.
Inspiring Health at Work
I would guess that one of the most common responses to the question, “How’s work going?” is “Stressful!” And often, there is very little that we individually can do about our workload. However, we can choose to handle our day differently and at least keep ourselves and our co-workers healthier, both mentally and physically.
First, help others avoid the unhealthy habit of stress eating. That doesn’t mean stop eating, just be the person who brings in a bowl of fruit instead of cookies. Ask your boss to include healthier choices in the vending machines. And finally, make suggestions on healthier lunch choices when you have meetings. Everyone needs energy to get through their day, and healthier choices can provide that energy. Don’t give in when you are stressed the most.
Secondly, encourage activity throughout the work day. On a regular basis, you will see people walking over their lunch hour, which is great. But why does it only have to be around the lunch hour? Many of our daily meetings require nothing of us but our minds, so why not meet and walk. Activity during meetings often brings out greater energy and creativity, which can lead to quicker solutions and decisions. Be the person who drives activity in your workplace, and see the rewards in both health and work.
I’m sure that many of you are already leading by example and inspiring those around you to be more engaged in their daily health. Keep up the good work! Diligence in maintaining our health and being an inspiration to those around us will only lead to great things for everyone in the future. Until next time—be well!
Kelly Schaudt joined Wilmington Health in 2010 as senior director of Lean operations. In that role, she oversees and leads the group’s Lean health care operations. She is responsible for ensuring that the process improvements throughout the organization, which focus on quality, customer service, and employee growth and development, align with Wilmington Health’s strategic plan and vision. Schaudt also has been the chief operating offi cer at Physicians Healthcare Collaborative since 2012. She is responsible for managing day-to-day operations and monitoring the success of initiatives designed to increase quality and provide cost savings to the patient and the health care system.
Jeff James is the chief executive officer at Wilmington Health and part of the team of providers and staff driving change in the health care system to reduce cost, improve quality and enhance the patient experience.