Working full-time can really make it hard to find balance when it comes to health. When 40 of your hours are spent sitting at a desk – muscles depleting – in an office that’s often plagued by the common cold, it’s hard to motivate yourself to practice self-care. So we’ve simplified it for you to fit into your routine. These 5 tips can keep your energy levels high, your immune system strong, and your mood stable when you’re at work.
1. Relax on the coffee, drink more water
I know sometimes the day seems impossible without coffee to keep you awake and engaged. However, we only think this because coffee becomes a routine habit. Caffeine is the most overlooked drug that has found its way into almost everyone’s life, yet all it does is lower our immune system and cause mid-day crashes unless we drink more of it. Try cutting back on the coffee intake and replace it with water. Not only do office building dehydrate you, but it can also cause fatigue – water flushes your system of toxins, promotes weight loss, and if you have it cold enough, can wake you up just as much as coffee.
2. Eat Healthy Snacks
Sitting at a desk can have us feeling fidgety, which often leads to snacking. It’s easy to go down to the vending machine and buy a chocolate bar to give yourself a sugar boost, but it’s also easy to bring fruit – which still gives a sugar boost, only naturally. All fruits contain vitamin C, which enhances your immune system. An apple a day keeps Karen’s germs away. If you’re more of a chip person, try replacing with roasted chickpeas, or lentils, or even a simple trail mix. All are high in iron, fiber, and protein which will tell your body when you’re full.
No matter how much time you allocate to your lunch, whether you can go outside or not. Take time to walk around. Listen to your body when you need to stretch and stand up to do it. Being away from your desk for a moment doesn’t mean you are working any less than anyone else. In fact, taking mental breaks, moving your body, can increase productivity. When you get back to your desk you can have a new perspective on something you’ve been staring at for an hour. Your body isn’t meant to stay still for 8 hours, let it work the way it needs to.
4. Wash your hands
Every single person in your office touches the same door handles, uses the same printer, fridge, sink, etc. If one of those people is sick, you’re sharing their germs. If you’re sick, you don’t want to spread them. So do yourself and everyone a favor by washing your hands often and thoroughly.
Part of wellness is your mental health. Relieve stress by expressing yourself in whatever way helps you best. Need more organization? Write to-do lists. Need to be creative? Write down ideas. Need motivation? Come up with goals. Writing things down is proven to help people organize, prioritize, and relieve stress. Let the consuming thoughts out, and if it isn’t something you feel like verbalizing, you can at least write it out.
Our overall mood and productivity rely on our wellness and health. Healthy minds and bodies improve longevity and reduce stress – something we could all use. These are minor habit changes that can have such a positive impact. When people are surrounded by others who take care of themselves, it encourages them to make the same changes – creating a positive environment to work in.