Given that the majority of us spend at least 1/3 of our lives at work – it is a great place to start implementing some changes when trying to increase our overall health and quality of life. Not to mention increasing workplace productivity and decreasing days of sick leave taken (employers take note!). Here are some simple steps to help cultivate wellness in the workplace:
- Break the fast – a good breakfast should encompass a balance of good fats, protein and complex carbohydrates, in order to keep our blood sugar and energy levels stable and ensure our brain is working at its optimal throughout the day. It really is the most important meal of the day!
- Healthy snacks – having good quality food to munch on when hunger pangs arise is important to keep our brain fuelled and prevent the 3pm slump. Seasonal fruit, un-roasted nuts and seeds or homemade bliss balls can all be easily stashed in your desk draw or handbag to prevent any hanger.
- Step outside – there’s not much that fresh air can’t fix and being kept inside all day isn’t good for many things including productivity levels. A few deep breaths of fresh air increases levels of oxygen to the brain and enhances our parasympathetic (cool and calm) nervous system to keep us thinking straight.
- Eat right – taking time to prepare food for the week always pays off. Again, a balance of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, colourful fruits and vegetables), good quality protein and healthy fats is key to keeping energy levels stable throughout the working day.
- Hydrate – we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day. Drinking enough water is essential for keeping us alert and preventing any brain fatigue and headaches. Keeping a 1 litre glass water bottle in sight and making sure to fill it up at least once is a great way to ensure you’re staying hydrated. Add fresh lemon, blueberries or mint to keep your tastebuds interested!
- Tea time – having a stash of herbal teabags can come in handy on so many occasions. Some favourites include green tea to keep you focused and for an antioxidant hit, echinacea tea for when cold and flu season hits, chamomile tea to calm any frazzled nerves and peppermint tea to help digest your lunch.
- Movement – the amount of time we spend sitting at our desks is something that public health experts are increasingly concerned about. Not only is it bad for your posture but research is also suggesting that it’s contributing to a lot of the chronic diseases that are on the rise, including cardiovascular disease. Taking the stairs whenever possible is a great place to start. Standing desks are increasingly popular, but if you don’t have access to one of these then getting up from your desk every 1/2 hour and going for a quick walk – to fill up your water bottle, go to the toilet or pop the kettle on – all adds up.
- Wind down – such an essential thing to do after a long day at work! It might be a yoga class or writing down a couple of quick words about how the day went and what you have to do the next day, to prevent your work from going home with you. I’m a big fan of listening to either a podcast or a meditation exercise on the way home from work! It’s a nice way to switch off from the day at work and get your best self ready for the people you’ll be spending your evening with.
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