The Turnaround Season Requires Healthy Living
Turnaround season is in our midst, and it seems like light years since we were in vacation mode, enjoying time outdoors with our family and friends. But rest and relaxation (R&R) is a good thing, and doctors have declared it is essential to good mental health. Unfortunately, now is not the time for R&R, as we are in peak turnaround season instead. Therefore, now is the time to think about changing some not-so-healthy habits so we can be in better shape for the next vacation and able to enjoy it with family and friends.
I’m not a health nut or a nutritionist, but I have made a conscious effort to change some old habits to healthier new ones. The other day, I was thinking about my time in the field. My routine during turnaround season was deplorable, but I was young and thought I was immune from any repercussions.
The way it was
I’d jump out of bed when the alarm sounded at 4 a.m. Then, I would hurriedly get ready, run out the door and hightail it to the nearest Jack in the Box. I’d order an ultimate cheeseburger with curly fries and an extra-large soda. By the time I ate and drank all of this (while driving), it was approximately 5 a.m. I still had plenty of time to have a few smokes before reaching the plant gate at 5:30 a.m.
Lunch was a luxury, so most times I would grab a few of the remaining donuts in the turnaround trailer. The only good habit I had then was working hard. I took pride in my job and felt a duty to my co-workers to do the best I could.
I would roll away from the plant at approximately 7:30 p.m. I didn’t need to worry about dinner right away because a few beers with the guys would fill me up temporarily. I’d hit the sack about 11 p.m., and first thing you know, the alarm would sound the beginning of another day.
Don’t do as I did
If this is your pattern during turnarounds or if your daily pattern is even close to what mine was, please stop! A healthy and balanced diet with regular eating times is one of the best things a person can do for his or her body and mind. The way I treated my body back then has resulted in high cholesterol, and there may be more health problems in my future.
The magic trio: Mind, body and spirit
There’s a lot of talk about having a healthy mind, body and spirit, and I think it’s very true. Having a clear mind throughout the turnaround (and throughout every day) helps us to stay focused and accomplish more.
When we take care of our bodies, it also helps clear our minds. About 20 minutes of weight training three times a week is all some experts say we need. It helps our metabolism and helps us lose weight. It feeds oxygen to our blood, which travels to our brain and vital organs and throughout our bodies.
Spirit is probably the most important thing in most people’s lives. Spirit is not about any particular religion, although people use religion to reach the spirit. Spirit is about a feeling of well-being and believing in something greater than ourselves. I have been pleased to find that at the close of many morning safety meetings, a designated member of supervision will say a prayer for himself and all the workers. This invites the spirit to join us throughout the workday, and it can be the third cog in having a healthy life and turnaround season.
Having good and regular sleep habits will help our bodies, minds and spirits, too.
Good life or good times?
We are living longer today than any generation before us. I know I want to live a long life — provided I’m healthy, too.
I once thought I was living the good life. I’m glad I finally realized I was not going to be forever young and indestructible. Now that I’ve changed my habits, I know that good times are far more enjoyable when I’m alert and healthy. Now that I have children, I also see the importance of setting a good example for them.
When we treat our bodies well with proper nutrients, sleep and exercise, our brains are more alert, and we can work more safely. When we also believe in something bigger than ourselves, we are happier and more at peace.
Have a great turnaround season, and stay well.
For more information, contact Whitney Strickland at (281) 506-7152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also published in BIC Magazine.
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