Looking after yourself -

How to become a great PA – Look After Yourself

In the third part of our How to become a Great PA series we are going to look at your own health and mental wellbeing.

The everyday trials and tribulations of being a busy PA can really wear you down. It is important to eat well and get enough sleep to stay healthy, alert and productive.

Eat Well

  • Starchy foods should make up one third of the food you eat
  • Eat 5 different types of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, ideally oily fish that are rich in omega 3
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
  • Cut the salt out
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day

Sleep Well

  • Try and set a regular bedtime
  • Set an alarm for the same time every morning
  • Have a cat nap but limit it to about 20 – 30 mins in the early afternoon so it doesn’t affect a normal good nights sleep
  • Try and get some daylight in, melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is controlled by light exposure, more light equals less melatonin that your brain secretes and the more awake you will feel during the day. Equally at night try to avoid backlit devices like iPads and try and turn the TV off half an hour before going to bed.
  • Avoid big meals at night
  • Avoid alcohol before bed, you may think a glass of red wine makes you sleepy but what actually happens is the alcohol reduces your sleep quality resulting to you waking up later in the night
  • Cut down on the caffeine and try not to drink it too late into the day, the effects can last up 10 to 12 hours

Exercise

Exercise is hard to fit into a busy lifestyle but try and incorporate some easy wins into your daily activities and you will find that it relieves your stress and helps you feel better at night. A couple of exercise points you should aim for in your daily routine include:

  • Aim to walk 10,000 steps a day – get a fitness band, use the built in pedometer on your phone or get a cheap pedometer. Get competitive with yourself!
  • Try and stand up at least once an hour and have a little walk around or a stretch. People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.
  • Adults need at least 150 minutes of activity a week to stay healthy, 20 to 30 minutes of activity a day is enough to keep you on track.

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