Do you find it hard to stick to healthy choices at work? It’s easy to make resolutions during the weekend when Monday is next week’s problem, but sticking to them is another story!
Remembering to eat healthy is hard when you’re already busy trying to meet deadlines, attend meetings, respond to emails, and answer calls all week. But if you spend at least 7 to 8 hours sitting in front of a computer, five days a week, it’s going to take a toll on your body. Think about the eye strains, the candies that co-workers leave invitingly at your desk, and the tension neck syndrome. All of these could affect your health negatively.
You may be reading this and shrugging “I don’t have time to watch my health at work”, but did you know that your productivity level is greatly determined by your health status?
The adage that says “health is wealth” is not untrue. If you can maintain a healthy lifestyle at work, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and therefore gain more time to get work done and dusted.
Need inspiration? Here are 6 tips that will help you stay healthy and in shape at work:
1. Eat sensibly
One of the most common mistakes office workers make is that they accept whatever food comes their way. Imagine, sitting at your desk, stuck with a tedious or time-consuming task – when suddenly you realise that your stomach’s grumbling and you feel the gnawing sensation of hunger pangs. Your colleague offers you some calorific treat or junk food – which you gratefully accept because really, you don’t have anything else, and sugar is basically raw energy, right? Wrooong. Sugar will only get you so far before you experience a crash, and then what? More sugar? Learning to rely on, and autopilot towards healthy food is the best way to help yourself succeed. Not only will healthy food provide you with balanced and sustainable energy levels throughout the day, it will help balance your mood, and boost concentration levels as well.
Eat a filling breakfast before leaving home to start the day off right. For lunch, juicy fruits, salads, and veggies are the nutritional foods you need in your life – just make sure to eat away from your desk to give yourself a proper, refreshing break. If you’re feeling peckish during work, steer your hand away from the candy jar and grab nuts, granola bars, or a healthy smoothy to snack on instead. They will keep you satisfied without leaving you with the sluggish after effect that junk foods do.
2. Drink plenty of water
When you have so much to do at work, you can easily lose track of how much water you drink a day. However, being dehydrated doesn’t just leave your mouth feeling puckered and dry, it causes drowsiness and will make you feel sluggish as well. So, for maximum efficiency and concentration, keep sipping water!
Whether you enjoy your water in tea or just plain and fresh, ensure you drink around eight glasses of water a day. Depending on the nature of your work (if it requires a lot of physical exertion), you may need to consume more than this. This will also depend on the climatic conditions of the region you live/work in (e.g. very hot regions will make you perspire more and hence you need to consume more water to replenish).
3. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages
It can be hard to avoid caffeinated beverages completely but try to limit the amount you consume. Caffeine can increase your anxiety levels and make you crash later in the day. This doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking your favourite beverages completely, but by simply limiting the number of coffees you drink to one-a-day, it will make a big difference overall.
4. Take frequent breaks
Everyone wants to finish work and go home as quickly as possible, but that doesn’t mean you should skip breaks!
The key to efficiency is not working yourself into the ground, it’s taking regular breaks. In fact, while skipping breaks can make you mentally lethargic and less creative, taking the time you need to refresh your mind will actually increase your productivity and decrease time spent procrastinating.
So, try taking a break from your desk – at least now and again for a few minutes. Your mind will thank you!
5. Maintain good hygiene
If you love your health and want to stay on top of your game, don’t joke about hygiene! Hygiene is no laughing matter. Easy steps you can take to prevent the spread of germs and make your office area happily germ-free is keeping hand sanitizer in a draw at your desk or in your handbag – basically anywhere with easy access!
6. Learn to manage stress
If you’re juggling several roles and responsibilities, its no wonder your feeling stressed and burnt out. While reallocating tasks might not be an option for you, there are ways you can make it easier for yourself.
By learning how to manage stress in ways that work best for you, everything can become more manageable and less draining. One way you can beat stress is to give yourself time to enjoy the little things such as spending time with family and friends, reading some good books, and watching movies.
Exercise is another must when it comes to stress-relieving activities because it literally decreases the amount of cortisol (stress hormones) in the body. Whether you like working out at the gym, or just going for a pleasant walk, get your body moving a little today.
So, we hope you can see from the above that balancing work with a healthy lifestyle is easily doable and simply incorporating a few good habits into your daily routine will make a big difference. Don’t run yourself down or rely on sugary or nutritionally lacking foods to get you through the day. Eat sensibly, reduce your caffeine intake, drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks, keep good hygiene, and lastly, learn to manage your stress in a healthy way.
“Your health is your wealth.” If you treasure your body, it will reward you. These little habits will benefit your mental and physical wellbeing overall, not just in your work life, but in every aspect of it.