Amidst your stressful and crazed work routine, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of behaviour that drains and wears you down. Having a happier, healthier workday is an attainable reality that can be reached by simply starting a few new habits. By taking small steps towards forming healthy daily rituals, your work productivity, attitude and overall experience are bound to improve immediately.
Adopt a Morning Routine
Work life is full of demands, deadlines, meetings, expectations and stressful situations. It’s important to begin your day calibrated and balanced so that you can go into your workday calm, focused and prepared for whatever comes your way. A great way to acquire this morning zen is to listen to a mediation track on the way to work or at your desk first thing, before the work influences set in.
When you picture meditation, you may imagine a monk or a yoga teacher sitting indian style in a zenful state. But, consider that meditation looks different for everyone. It’s all about becoming aware of your breathe, releasing tension and allowing yourself to observe your thoughts without trying to change them. The ultimate goal of meditation is to become more centered, balanced and better at managing stress.
There are a multitude of meditation apps that you can use to assist you. With guided meditations as brief as 1 minute, there’s no reason that you can’t incorporate this habit. A good beginning goal is to strive for a 5 minute meditation every morning. As you witness how it is benefitting you, you’ll be driven to make it 10 minutes before you know. Keep in mind that the key is to simply start somewhere, even if it’s a baby step.
Pack a Healthy Lunch
Good nutrition is the first thing to fall by the wayside when more responsibilities get piled on to your to-do list. To have a healthier workday, it’s crucial to prepare for this ahead of time. In advance, expect that you will get busy and will need some quick, healthy fuel for your system to keep your energy levels high, blood sugar balanced and mood optimal.
In addition to a healthy entree-side meal for lunch, it’s a good idea to pack some snacks as back up. A few ideas for snack ideas are a clean protein bar (with simple ingredients and no additives), fresh fruit, a pre made salad, a protein shake, veggies & hummus or roasted vegetable paired with a protein like fish or chicken.
If you fail to prepare yourself with healthy options, you’re more likely to run to the work cafeteria or vending machine and pick an unhealthy option that will weigh you down and decrease your productivity. Keeping a stash of shelf-stable protein bars at your desk is a another small way to set yourself up to succeed.
An added perk of proper nutrition is improved mood; meaning you’ll feel happier and you’ll have a more positive impact on those you interact with. Mood and brain function are both very closely linked to the vitality of your gut and digestions system. Thus, it’ll help out your entire well being to stay honed in on good nutrition.
Set Reminders to Exercise
Exercising at work can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the back of the lot so you have to walk farther to your workplace. Thinking outside the box in regards to having an active lifestyle is important to make it work within the context of your life.
Taking a post-lunch walk outside in the sunshine is another great way to fit some movement into your schedule as well. Simply adding in small, active habits every day will add up to large improvements.
If you find that the work day often gets away from you in regards to time management, start setting reminders on your phone to get up and walk around. Even if you start by walking to a water fountain or some common place in your building, it’s better than nothing. This will get the blood flowing through your body and keep you alert and efficient. Look at it as a meeting you are scheduling with yourself and make it a priority to attend.
Find an Accountability Coworker
The human species is communal by nature, in that we are meant to thrive in a collaborative, joint-effort, team setting. That’s not to say that success can’t be attained alone. But you may perhaps find that you achieve health goals faster and enjoy the process more if you are sharing it with a coworker.
Finding a colleague or two to be active with also creates a dynamic that’s conducive to maintaining accountability, staying on track and truly instilling habits until they are second nature.
The commotion surrounding you at work is a facet of life that’s out of your control. What you can control, though, is your internal state and how you react to the world around you. This is closely tied to self-care, personal wellness and active living.
Finding solace and empowerment in your health journey will serve you in the long run, ramp up your work productivity and leave you feeling motivated. A healthier, stronger worker is a better worker because the mind is clearer and the body is more resilient.
Guest Writer – Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.