Workin’ 9 to 5, just trying to make a living. Dolly Parton knew exactly what she was saying in that epic karaoke song. Possibly more than we would ever know…
Because while we are grinding our day jobs to pay our bills, we also have to keep our own health in mind during those 8 hours. Sometimes we forget that!
So, how can we do this? Let’s start by following a few helpful, healthy habits for your workday:
If you think you’re rolling out of bed for your job, think again! You’re not at work, yet – so don’t let it control the start of your day! What makes you put your feet on the ground? Start small, like the smell of the fall air outside or listening to your favorite song. Finding that joy will help you feel perky and optimistic!
Extra tips to find that morning pep:
- Listen to music
- Eat breakfast (even if it’s a shake!)
- Take a whiff of essential oils: Lemon, Orange and Peppermint are natural cleansing stimulators.
We know this is easier said than done. But while working, we sometimes push our snack times or even our lunch breaks due to the stack of work that has piled up. We have a million excuses: the big project that needs immediate attention, an “in the zone” work flow, impromptu meetings, or just not wanting to get up from your seat. But this isn’t good, even if you don’t mind it.
Inc. echoes this notion in their write-up on skipping meals: “You might be able to work for hours without a break when you’re in the flow – deeply focused – but your brain may not appreciate it.”
Skipping seems like it could be more productive for your workday. You’re getting more done, so it’s positive, right? Actually, no.
In fact, the Harvard Business Journal suggests the contrary: skipping can actually lead to a less productive day.
This is chalked up to the idea that we will not have enough energy to power through the day, increasing our sluggishness and decreasing our ability to get things done. Plus, skipping meals might make us more susceptible to binge on foods that are not good for us later on in the day.
Here are some tips to stay satiated:
- Block out time for lunch and snack breaks in your calendar. Don’t be afraid to even mark them out on shared calendars, that way your coworkers know not to intervene during that time. Make sure to get your greens in.
- Eat small throughout the day to help fight hunger. This will help prevent you from gorging through lunch, and wanting to hibernate immediately afterward. Need a light pick-me-up? Try our Can’t Beet This! for energy or Bio Fruit for a splash of color.
- Pack healthy snack packs (with fruits, almonds and other goodies) in your work bag. This trick can help you stay away from vending machines or give you a much-needed reserve for you desk stash.
Take mental health breaks.
Mental health breaks are super vital to general health. Unfortunately, there’s a general stigma around the topic, especially in the workplace. Because of this, we place its importance on the bottom of the totem pole.
Moving it up in priority seems like it can be counterproductive. But, again, it can actually have the opposite effect. Here’s why.
According to a 2015 study conducted by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, happy workers are more productive workers.
That seems to be a little common sense, but let’s look at the issue a little closer with an example. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 18.8 million American adults will suffer from a “depressive illness” in a given year. Some of these adults (if not most) have 9-5’s to deal with.
And that’s just the beginning. Here’s two more important CDC findings:
- Approximately 80% of persons with depression reported some level of functional impairment because of their depression, and 27% reported serious difficulties in work and home life.
- In a 3-month period, patients with depression miss an average of 4.8 workdays and suffer 11.5 days of reduced productivity.
Combining these two pieces of data, mental health can have REAL effects on workload. So, yes, it’s important to do something about it.
Here are some tips to stay on top of your mental health:
- Make sure to schedule at least one break or moment where you can compose yourself. Even if it’s just 5 minutes of calm breathing at your desk, ensure there is time. You might even talk to your manager or department about scheduling some group-wide relaxation points, so there are no distractions.
- Don’t take on what you can’t do. We’d like to think that we can all juggle on a tightrope while also filling our taxes, but we just can’t. Make sure you’re realistic with your work goals and don’t set yourself up with failure.
- Release some stress. Don’t be afraid to store stress-relief tools in your desk to help blow off some steam. This can also mean going for a walk or just switching out of a laboring task to something easier for a quick second. Just CHILL.
Get up and get out for healthy work habits.
Did you think sitting at a desk all day was the most healthiest way to spend your day? Probably not. And when you add glaring at a computer screen to the mix, your odds aren’t looking any better.
Let’s look at the research.
Sitting doesn’t require too much energy. Sedentary behavior can encourage weight gain and a slower metabolism, which then can encourage other health issues.
And staring at the computer? That makes things worse.
Time reports that long hours of screen time can lead to computer vision syndrome (CVS) (yes, that’s a thing). After using a computer, symptoms may include:
- burning feeling in the eyes
- blurred or double vision
- headaches and neck/shoulder pain
The good news? Well, this doesn’t cause permanent damage, usually. But it still not the best for your health.
Here’s some tips on getting you up from your seat and away from your screen:
- Take a small stretch break every hour or two. Stand up and stretch it out for a little, to give you body some activity. Getting up to refill your water bottle is a good way.
- Integrate ergonomic or desk exercises when possible. Very Will Fit outlines a great variety of easy “workouts” you can do at or near desk.
- Make a small office/cubicle trip instead of emailing. Need to email a question to a colleague that sits nearby? Why not walk and ask personally, every once in a while?
- Enjoy the outside. Breathe in the outside air by taking a break away from the computer or simply talk a walk outside.
Have any more helpful tips to stay healthy during work hours? Let us know below. Check out iShopPurium for products that can help get you through your 9 to 5.