So I know my ‘workday’ may be different than most. On most days, my office is a quick walk down the stairs. Instead of phone calls and intercoms my white noise, I often hear the dryer running. If I go mobile, espresso machines and a coffeehouse playlist. Ten years away from the corporate world has definitely brought leverage on way of run, but with it – a forced responsibility to still maintain order, productivity, mental stability and health. I am a firm believer in making whichever ‘work’ environment a healthy one and thought to topic today’s post on 5 healthy habits for the workday.
Begin with Gratitude // Rachel Hollis advises a daily ritual of writing down 10 things she is grateful for each morning. The things she examples aren’t broad, but rather specific. The things that made her happy in the moment, such as “I’m grateful that my dog let me sleep through the night” or “I’m grateful that this coffee is doing its job.” Journaling gratitude can greatly impact your day, as it helps to improve your outlook on life, your career and yourself. I find I am open and optimistic about goals if my day starts with a ‘Thank you‘.
Get organized // When I sat down to write out bullet points for this post, it dawned on me that a lot of a healthy workday revolves around organization. When I am organized, I am productive. When I am productive, an immediate feeling of accomplishment follows. The weight of the day is off my shoulders and I am more happier. I am more at ease, less tense, and anxiety is less likely to trigger if – you guessed it – I am organized.
Organization is key. Routine, time blocking, maximizing your wake up – I’ve touched on topic before. Diving in deeper I’ll note my morning routine is an onset to proficiency. Making my bed, exercising, making my coffee to coincide with morning prayer and journaled reflection are all prioritized habits that render a feeling of accomplishment. And going into the day already at that level of proficiency puts me ahead of the game. This habit of early organization and setting yourself up for success renders a positive health and mindset.
Move // Tho exercise is part of my AM routine, it doesn’t have to be in the morning, much less a full on drenched sweat sesh. It’s simply moving your body to stimulate blood flow. Even standing for at least 30 minutes a day can help boost your energy, increase blood flow and boost productivity levels. I often will take an afternoon walk with Rebel, run errands, and utilize the school pick up an excuse to move. Take the stairs, walk to your lunch destination, or opt physical transportation to and from work; incorporate a healthy course of action every single day.
Take breaks // There are days when I get caught up on my todo list, and flip the ‘on’ switch until completion. Those days usually render a husband handshake and comical jab saying he hasn’t seen me for X amount of hours. You’d think the time spent would result in proficiency, tho often proves opposite. A constant go mode can quickly drain concentration. Ever have those days when you feel as if you’ve been working so long on something and you just can’t seem to get it done? You’ve writers block, technically difficulties or distractions present themselves and it’s difficult to focus on the task at hand? Take a time out. And take them often. Frequent short breaks give you energy, better concentration, and help to optimize your day.
Taking a short break, whether an afternoon walk or meeting up with a friend for coffee also helps to improve our social relationships. You’ll relax, laugh even, and increase happiness. These gifted results help to improve overall health and mental stability.
Finally, taking breaks from work does prove positive, but breaking from your environment is equally beneficial. Ever so often I’ll go mobile. I’ll head to a local coffee shop with my laptop to work. It gets me out of the house and helps me zone in on tasks I felt distracted from. Surprisingly I get more done when I’ve switched things up a bit.
Be conscious of consumption // Packing healthy snacks can not only keep energy levels up thru the day, but it can also divert you from choosing the donuts, cupcakes or other tempting break room treats that can be detrimental to your health goals. As stated, my work environment has no ‘break room’; It’s more known as the kitchen. (which, imo, is often harder to avoid) I know it may sound silly, but I purposely keep the ‘treats’ out of arms reach. I’ll put them high in the cupboard, so I am then forced to second guess my decision. Nine times outta ten, I’ll opt for the convenient grab. Snacking on almonds, carrots, or yogurt help avoid that afternoon slump.
Water is another – drinking plenty keeps you from mindless snacking and wards off dehydration. Headaches, fatigue and a lack of focus all stem from the dry out, so choosing to up my water intake is always the healthy choice. I’ll always have a 32 oz. water bottle within reach and set a goal to refill it at least twice throughout the day.
Lastly – specific to you office goers – pack your lunch. Like the snacks, if you haven’t made those healthy decisions beforehand, it’s going to be much more difficult to make conscious decisions with a limited menu. Packing your lunch helps to stay within limits, and naturally caters to preference! Plus – eating out everyday is a financial buildup. You’ll save money in the long run.
Home or office, your work is often determined by your habits. Your level of performance, productivity, and mental stability is a reflection of the choices you make on a daily basis. Prioritizing health by habit everyday brings out our best – let’s aim for that!