Now that the year is (gasp!) halfway over, you may find yourself doing a self-check on your new year’s resolutions…Nope? Just me? Did you chuck yours out the window several months back?
No shame if you did – if I’m being completely honest, I’m not doing the best at mine (but still trying!). It’s still a good idea to make new year’s resolutions – even if you don’t keep them.
Chances are, at least one of your resolutions had to do with improving your health. Five of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are about self-improvement: 23% of people want to live healthier, 21% resolve to be happier, 20% want to lose weight, 7% would like to exercise more, and 5% resolve to quit smoking.
But now that July has rolled around, if you find yourself with no time to take care of yourself because you spend all day at the office (or working from home), no excuses! You can absolutely practice self-care to improve your health no matter where you work.
Below are some simple tips to improve your health while on the job:
- Start the morning by taking care of yourself.
The best way to set the tone for a positive workday is to start taking care of yourself at home. Rest well at night; sleep at least seven hours (not more than nine). Leave yourself plenty of time in the morning so you’re not rushed. Have a nutritious breakfast before you start working.
- Have a mindful commute.
If you choose to use public transportation to go to work, you will arrive more relaxed because you won’t suffer from the stress of traffic and you will get some exercise by walking and going up and down the stairs. The exercise benefits are even greater if you travel by bicycle, but this option is not always possible. If you drive to work, listen to an audiobook or a favorite podcast instead of listening to the news.
- Take a break!
Scheduling several short breaks while you’re at the office or at home is a great way to recharge mentally and physically. During your break, you can walk around, drink some water, and don’t forget to stretch! We have a few samples of the stretches you can do here and below:
*A downloadable file of this educational resource is available at this link.
- Make healthy meal/snack choices.
Whenever you feel yourself start to get hungry, rather than reaching for a bag of greasy chips you should have a healthy snack composed of healthy fats and carbs as well as some protein. If possible, try to plan and prep your meals for the week, even if you’re working from home. EXTRA TIP: We recommend that the size of your lunch or snack container be medium, so you don’t eat more than needed, which can lead to fatigue and feeling too full to function optimally.
- Walk and stand throughout the day.
In addition to the small breaks you take to stretch and eat, it is ideal is that you also walk every hour or so for a few minutes. Get up, go to the bathroom, walk outside, enjoy some fresh air, and come back. If you have the option, switch between a sitting and standing desk to give your body different positions throughout your workday. Make sure you practice good ergonomics (see Page 2 on this handout and below).
Hoping these tips help you get healthier and work smarter!