Keeping healthy at work has become a challenge, mainly due to two reasons:
- People sit too much
- People stress too much
These two factors comprise a slew of various components, jointly resulting in unhealthy habits and psyche.
There’s no denying that hectic times wait for no one, but is there really nothing we can do to slow down, relax, detox and move on?
Of course, there is, but we need to learn to organize our daily routine and find the necessary time to unwind, no matter the circumstances.
Let’s take a look at some simple and achievable ideas.
1. Move Around
The first and most obvious problem is that, for many people, sitting for hours on end is a daily routine. This is one of only a couple of issues that equally affect office workers, freelancers and digital nomads, so it deserves to be mentioned first.
The first thing people think about when sitting is mentioned is back pain — a troublesome issue everyone has suffered from at least occasionally. However, the truth is that there are many other health issues caused by the sedentary lifestyle — from night cramps to disturbed sleeping patterns to unhealthy eating habits to obesity.
There is an easy way to break this harmful routine. The first obvious step to undertake is to take a short break and move around. Stretching is always a good idea (even for people without any health issues), so establish a routine that can be performed at work. Perhaps, a couple of yoga exercises or any other mindfulness techniques that include efficient stretching exercises and proper breathing techniques are the best start.
Plus, if you can, walk to work or ride a bike. Even with electric cars, EV chargers and the lot, it’s always best to use your own body as much as possible, both for the exercise and the release of stress.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Next on, you should take your time to plan out your meals in advance until you’ve gotten used to the new routine. Many people report that eating regular meals at the same time every day helps them stay full, thus eliminating the need for snacks.
However, snacks are more than just food. For many people, they are a psychological outlet and a habit that they perform unconsciously — much like smoking or excess coffee drinking.
There’s a solution to that, too. Instead of keeping chips and similar on your desk, add a bowl of fresh fruit. Over time, you’ll get used to fruit and won’t get hungry, so look at this strategy as a step towards a healthier lifestyle overall.
Couple that with a nutritious diet. Don’t eat fast food for lunch. Instead, take your time to enjoy a proper meal in a relaxed atmosphere.
3. Socialize at Work
This tip may seem tricky, especially to introverts, but in fact, it is not. By communicating with people whose company you enjoy (not everyone and not at all times), you’ll keep the stress at bay and get the chance to unwind instantaneously.
You don’t necessarily have to discuss rocket science (unless you’re a rocket scientist who loves exchanging ideas with colleagues). A chit-chat you enjoy will make do. However, make sure to avoid toxic environments where gossip blossoms (sadly, every office seems to suffer from this bad habit).
4. Put a Photo of Your Loved Ones on the Desk
This simple heck can make your office hours more enjoyable without you having to do anything except cast an occasional glance at the photo. Some people keep photos of their family, others of their pets, and others still of anything they like seeing. Even a photo of the mandala will do if it helps you relax.
5. Work Outside
If your job consists of staring into the screen, bring your laptop outside whenever possible. Sometimes, changing the environment can be enough to help you relax. If the weather is nice, you can find a pleasant spot outside. If the weather isn’t to your taste, you can enjoy a cup of your favorite drink at a relaxed café.
6. Stay Organized
Since stress can lead to real physical illness, it is crucial to stay organized. That doesn’t mean you should follow your daily schedule to the letter (especially if your tasks tend to change on a daily basis); rather, it means that you should plan your time ahead.
Thus, draft a daily schedule to include slots for work and slots for regular breaks. No matter how hectic the day seems to be, don’t skip on the breaks. Instead of falling into that usual trap, re-arrange your schedule to include new tasks and still allow for stress-free regular breaks.
Another strategy that can help you organize your time better is the standard operating procedure, which does wonders for regular tasks and projects. Simply put, it portends optimization of regular procedures and tasks, which provides a certain level of security and keeps stress at bay. For example, in addition to your daily schedule, you can also draft an email calendar or a marketing calendar or a content calendar, all depending on your daily tasks.
Incoming emails are, especially, known to interrupt daily schedules and lead to further delays. Turn off email notifications and create templates for similar groups of emails, especially if you receive many similar ones.
E.g., customer support emails broadly fall into only a couple of categories: assistance with a, b, or c, depending on the types of products/services your company offers. Follow-up emails are also perfect for email creatives, and so on and so forth.
Bottom line, it is always better to spend some time organizing things so as to simplify ALL incoming tasks than to waste time every day on typing similar emails that can be made into efficient templates. A simple calculation will tell you that the amount of time saved in this way is enormous, so think up your standard operating procedures.
Even though maintaining a healthy work-leisure time balance can sometimes seem like an impossible mission, the simple truth is that many things can be optimized. As for unwinding, simply stick to your daily schedule, don’t skip regular breaks, eat balanced meals, replace unhealthy snacks with fruit, move around, and learn proper breathing techniques.
Take one step at a time and be persistent in changing unhealthy habits. After all, after some time, the new routine will become your new habit and soon enough you won’t even have to spend energy on thinking about performing them, as you’ll be performing them automatically.