Well-Being at Work
“I wish I had more time to focus on my health – but my job gets in the way.”
For a lot of people with demanding jobs, their work responsibilities can seem to get in the way of self-care. Between long hours spent seated, cravings for sugary snacks in the afternoon, and stress, they can feel at a loss for how to have a healthier lifestyle.
If you find yourself in that camp, read on for a few simple tweaks that can help you make your time at work a lot healthier.
1. Get a meditation timer
Whether you are an entrepreneur running your own show, or someone who works for someone else, professional responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming and all-consuming. However, to stay at your peak, it is important to give yourself moments to recharge, re-center, and get grounded.
To address this, I recommend taking a brief meditation break at least twice a day. Download a meditation app for your smartphone (I’ve just discovered Sattva) and set the timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. This practice will leave you calmer, refreshed, and in a more clear-headed space when dealing with your daily challenges.
2. Put up artwork, posters, and/or pictures that give your mood a boost
Whether you choose an inspirational saying, picture of a loved one, or sculpture that makes you smile, having a beautiful environment can give you a greater sense of well-being. And, research shows that when you are in a positive mood, you are more effective in a variety of realms.
As an additional tip, due to a process called habituation, we can become accustomed to our surroundings. Therefore, the poster that gave you a boost on day one, might not even register 4 months later. So, it can be helpful to change up your artwork periodically so that you can notice them anew (For that reason, I like using a digital frame which rotates through hundreds of pictures of loved ones).
3. Stock your environment with healthy snacks
While people like candy dishes, there is actually research that shows that eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with a more positive mood. Healthy food will also help to avoid the sugar comas that junk food can induce.
When you are under stress, your level of willpower declines, making you more prone to make unhealthy choices. To combat this, keep nuts, fruit, vegetables, herbal tea, and other nutritious snacks on hand. The easier you make it for yourself to choose healthy options, the more successful you are likely to be.
4. Get an activity tracker
I personally use the Garmin vivosmart to keep track of the number of steps I take each day, my heart rate during gym workouts, miles walked, and a host of other health-related behaviors. Another very popular options is the famed FitBit.
One particularly useful feature for those who have sedentary jobs is the device’s reminder when you have been sitting still for too long. We know the dangers of prolonged sitting for our health, and so the device gives you a gentle reminder to move around by vibrating. Using this as a cue to move your body can help you to get the blood pumping, clear your head, or perhaps connect with a colleague also can renew your energy level and perhaps spark a creative insight.
Experiment with these tips and see how they work for you!