5 Recommendations in Honor of Healthy by Association Milestone Anniversary
In 2017, I established Healthy by Association (HBA) for people in the stress-riddled association and hospitality industries to connect around a shared lifestyle, commiserate over the frustrating obstacles it presents when trying to embrace self-care, and ultimately, inspire each other to not only set the bar high and invest in their health, but to actually enjoy the journey along the way.
It's hard to believe that was five years ago. At the time, it helped me to consistently get back into the gym after a bad breakup. My friends and family were positively responding to my consistent Facebook posts (as well as adamantly arguing the superiority of outdoor running to indoor running!), so I transitioned them from my personal account to a dedicated Facebook group.
Over the years, a rotating roster of GoalGetters-turned-moderators have helped to curate and offer an extensive list of services:
- Regular community posts with tips, resources, and motivation
- Recipe swaps and curation
- Workout playlists curated by members and moderators
- Healthy by Association podcast (available wherever you listen to podcasts)
- HBA Live! video series featuring guest speakers and links to additional learning materials
- Weekly Wellness Checks (posted throughout the pandemic to the Facebook community)
- Health and wellness blog posts on a wide range of topics
- Space to network, offer peer support, and coordinate conference meet-ups
- Regular member contests and workout challenges
- Member accountability program
- Challenge coin recognition program
- HBA-branded fitness apparel (the infamous socks!)
- And so much more!
All these years later, the community still motivates me to regularly move, eat (decently) well, prioritize self-care, and honestly talk about my mental health. And as I plan for the year ahead, following are five ways each of us can easily integrate more intentional health and wellness practices into our personal and professional lives:
- You can’t show up for others if you don’t first show up for yourself. It’s the reason your flight attendant urges you to put your Oxygen mask on before assisting others. So consider how you might prioritize this year the various dimensions that comprise wellness, including emotional, physical, occupational, social, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and financial.
- A support network is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. On the days you’d rather stay in bed than hit the pavement or make the trek to the gym, it’s incredibly motivating to have the support and encouragement of others who can empathize with you. Identify your circle of friends and family that are best positioned to support and motivate you. (The good news is: “feeling like it” isn’t a requirement.)
- Don’t underestimate the benefits of a healthy team. Healthy employees improve company health and culture through greater productivity, energy, engagement, and morale, as well as improved job performance and greater self-confidence. Whether your team is fully remote, fully in-person, or somewhere in between, consider the small changes you can introduce to more intentionally support the wellbeing of your team.
- Prioritize health and wellness for your members in-person. As your organization returns to in-person meetings and events, remember to plan healthier snack and meal options. Provide water infusion stations to promote better hydration. Incorporate more white space for self-care, stretching, and reflection. And offer group workout options such as yoga, swimming, and running.
- Continue to support the unique needs of members joining remotely. This includes, among other things, shorter video calls, frequent breaks, opportunities to stand and stretch, and reminders to stay hydrated. It also means creating reasonable expectations around connection, gratitude, and the permission to step away, as needed.
While it can all seem a bit overwhelming, it’s important to remember that “baby steps” in one or more of these areas will still move us forward. So, to start, maybe pick just one of these recommendations to focus on, identify a couple of action items, and set a realistic timeline for completion.
In honor of Healthy by Association’s five-year anniversary, please share with us what the community has meant to you using the comments below or by emailing us at email@example.com.
Likewise, should you be interested in spending an hour or two a month helping others on their health and wellness journeys, please take just three minutes to complete this brief volunteer survey and we'll work hard to match you with the right opportunity. Our goal is to find you a short- or long-term volunteer position you'll love without overcommitting you.
In the meantime, I raise my green smoothie in celebration of all we’ve accomplished and in anticipation of what the next five years has in store. Cheers!