The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) can be an especially crazy and hectic time of year, but that doesn’t mean you should compromise your well-being to make a few extra sales. In fact, taking care of yourself will benefit you — and your career — in the long-run.

Our Agent Survival Guide team has a bunch of valuable tips and tricks to keep you healthy and motivated during Medicare’s busiest sales season and beyond. Refer to them any time you find yourself in need of an energy boost!

Get Your Zzz’s

It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep helps us feel better the next day. No one can be productive if all they can think about is taking a nap! The importance of getting adequate rest isn’t just a myth — it’s backed by science that the amount of sleep we get directly affects our performance throughout the day.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states that people who are sleep deficient are less productive at work, take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes. On the flip side, they report getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night can increase your alertness, help improve your memory, keep your stress levels low, and even spur your creativity!

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night can increase your alertness, help improve your memory, keep your stress levels low, and even spur your creativity!

When meeting with a client, you don’t want to feel like you’re not on top of your game because you’re tired. Worse, you don’t want to be in violation of CMS’ Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMG) because you made a careless mistake. Create a realistic sleep schedule, and do your best to stick to it — even during Medicare’s busy season!

Pro tip: Cut out electronics about an hour before bed to help your mind relax and improve the quality of your sleep.

Ditch the Junk Food

Tempted to grab a donut or some drive-thru fast food between appointments? While junk food can be OK in moderation, indulging in it too often can start to take a toll on your body. In fact, some foods, especially those heavy in carbohydrates (e.g., fries, candy, and chips), can even decrease your productivity.

But wait — aren’t carbs supposed to give you energy? Yes and no. While carbs are a necessary part of a healthy diet, eating an overabundance of them can have negative effects on your body and overall health. It can also cause you to feel super sleepy! Think of how you feel after eating a ton of stuffing and turkey on Thanksgiving. We’re going to guess not super productive.

So instead of planning to stop for some mid-day Mickey D’s, consider meal prepping before the week begins. This will help you have a predetermined eating schedule that will be harder to deviate from, especially if you’ve already bought the groceries! Planning out meals ahead of time also allows you to make healthier choices. Foods like blueberries, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and kale chips have been proven to improve memory and brain power. They’re also pretty yummy and easy to eat on-the-go. If you’re going to be in and out of the office, you can even keep some healthy snacks in your car or a desk drawer, so you can focus on getting work done instead of being hungry.

Feed Your Soul

Meditation isn’t just for yogis who sit crisscross saying “Om.” It’s been proven to have positive effects on the mind and the body. Even if you take just 20 minutes daily to meditate, you should start to feel less stressed and less anxious and even get better sleep.

Actively engaging in meditation can also increase your attention span. Several studies have shown that people who meditate have a more detailed memory and the ability to focus for a longer period versus those who do not.

What’s great about meditation is you can do it almost anywhere. Try meditating first thing in the morning while you’re still in bed or even in the car between appointments. There are many apps you can download and YouTube videos you can watch to help you incorporate meditation into your daily routine.

Detox and De-Stress

Everyone de-stresses a little differently, so it’s important that you find out what works for you. If you never take some time for yourself and your mind is constantly on work, you may grow to resent your job. Achieving a good work-life balance is imperative to having a successful and rewarding career.

Achieving a good work-life balance is imperative to having a successful and rewarding career.

If you work with a field marketing organization, like Ritter Insurance Marketing, they can help to make your job a bit less stressful. Resources like Medicareful and e-applications can make your life easier and leave less room for error. The guidance, trainings, and product recommendations that Ritter provides will also help you feel less alone and more supported. If you do find that you’re feeling stressed, you’ll always have someone to reach out to for advice or assistance.

Take time out of every week, if not every day, to do something for you. Go for a bike ride or a walk, watch a movie, or play a board game with your family. We understand AEP is busy and that there’s not always time for “fun and games.” But, making an effort to incorporate some “me time” into your routine will benefit you and even your loved ones.

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Our goal is to motivate you and help you have the best AEP you can! Pushing yourself to the breaking point won’t help you — it may just end up hurting you and your business, and that’s the last thing we want. Be sure to take care of yourself mentally and physically to have your best AEP yet.