Work and your Health
I know firsthand that staying healthy in the workplace can be a challenge.
Now that the weather is warming up and we are full swing into Spring I wanted to share a few things that have drastically affected and improved my health at work and can make a difference for you as well. As I’ve implemented these habits into my life the past couple years I have seen a huge difference and am passionate about sharing the lessons I’ve learned.
Here are 7 tips from me to stay healthy and thriving in the workplace!
1) Get Enough Sleep
If I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep a night I can hardly function the next day. Now the number will be different for everyone but getting the right amount of sleep is critical for being able to function at work and in life. But don’t just take my word see what the National Sleep Foundation has to say about it!
“Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. For many of us with sleep debt we’ve forgotten what “being really, truly rested” feels like… Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it’s important to assess not only where you fall on the “sleep needs spectrum,” but also to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress.”
Makes sense, right? Sure does, because a good night’s sleep can help make us healthy in the workplace too.
2) Limit Your Caffeine Intake
I start the day with lemon water instead, don’t get me wrong I LOVE coffee.
(I hope someone appreciates this beauty of a Gilmore Girl’s reference.)
I used to drink 3-5 cups a day. I would wake up in the morning and my first thought was about turning on the coffee pot. Then I would stop at Wawa or Dunkin Donuts on my way into work, and when that cup ran out I would refill it with a cup from the Keurig in our office. I would get heart palpitations and my hands would shake.
I still drink coffee but I limit it most days to 1 cup at the office after I start the day with water, and I will drink lemon water throughout the day.
I’ve never felt so awake, refreshed, and energetic before!
3) Beat the Rush to Work
It will ruin your entire day and attitude if you are stressed out from rushing.
How often have you felt the stress and frustration of your morning commute? Worried that you are going to be late and have to explain it to your boss. My commute in the morning is about 45 min with traffic, if I leave 5 minutes later than usual it takes and extra 20 min to get to work, crazy right!? That’s Philly for you.
So to avoid the stress I leave 5-10 min earlier and enjoy my ride into work listening to the radio or a book on tape instead of getting stressed out.
4) Take Breaks
Get up from your desk, go outside, take a walk and eat lunch away from your desk. If you stare at a computer all day getting your eyes away from a screen will help you recharge.
For lunch I like to go outside and sit on our patio area while reading a book. The break from a screen makes a difference for me and I love being outside smelling the fresh air and hearing the sounds of nature. Plus leaving my desk gives me a solid hour of time I can read, which for my literature loving self does good not just to my head but for my heart as well.
5) Eat Healthy Food
It will make all the difference
I love junk food, as much if not more than I love coffee. But eating it all the time, especially at work makes me feel sluggish. About 6 months ago I started bringing all of my lunches from home, with healthy snacks. The difference is huge.
I have A LOT more energy and it lasts throughout the entire day!
6) Enjoy Your Day
Laugh, listen to music, put photos of your loved ones on your desk. You spend 8+ hours a day at work, sure it’s not all roses but find the good in life and grab onto it.
I listen to music (which helps me focus by drowning out the other noises of the office and brings joy). Whether it is the Hamilton sound track or Beauty and the Beast anything to make my feet start tapping.
Yes, I keep photos of my loved ones on my desk where I can easily see them if I need something to bring a smile to my face.
7) Exercise Before, During, or After Work
Depending on who you are different times of day will work for different people. In our office people like to go running or play basketball at lunch to get their mind off of work.
I am NOT a morning person, so waking up early is not in the cards for me, and getting sweaty at lunch is not appealing. So I go after work. I block off 2-3 evenings a week to stop at Wissahickon on my way home to run. I feel healthier after the workout, I sleep better that night, and I have more energy throughout the week.
Now be honest with yourself, how good are you at these 7 things I outlined?
Don’t worry you don’t have to send us an email with a detailed confession. No one will find out if your score is 0/7 or 7/7. But honestly look at your day to day and ask yourself, am I where I want to be?
Full disclosure, I am hardly ever a 7/7 but if I put a bit of focus into each area I have a nice balance!
Let us know what your favorite ways to stay healthy at the workplace are… here at the office we love our water cooler!