Whether you work for yourself or for an employer, looking after your health is vital. If you work without any consideration for your health, at some point things will catch up with you in one way or another. Your health is one of your most important assets. Here are 9 healthy habits that can help you stay on top of your well-being at work:
Finding time for exercise is important for our health and is a great way to manage stress. Exercise is often further down on the to-do list compared to other tasks, but it is something that you need to find time for — particularly if you work at a sedentary job that has you sitting at a desk all day. If you don’t currently exercise, start small and build up. Go for a walk and start getting your body moving. Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a huge difference. You can find other ways to exercise as you get more comfortable with the new routine. Make it easy for yourself and find exercise that you enjoy.
2. Eat Well
Eating well is another important cornerstone of good health. Our work habits can make it hard to eat well but with some small changes, we can take control of what we eat and stay healthy. Plan your meals in advance each week and shop accordingly. Planning your meals will help you to eat well at home and have ingredients to prepare food for work. By making your own food you will be able to ensure you are eating healthy foods that enhance your health. Bring healthy snacks to work with you (like fruit and nuts) to stop the temptation of unhealthy stop gaps. Doing this is also very good for your bank balance.
3. Drink Water
Drinking water has a variety of health benefits. Almost two thirds of our bodies are made up of water, so it is important to stay hydrated. Stress and electrical equipment are two things that can negatively affect our hydration levels at work. A general rule is to drink two litres a day. Have a glass of water or some herbal tea on your desk to help remind yourself to stay hydrated.
4. Fresh Air
If you work indoors, getting some fresh air each day will help you feel better. It will blow the cobwebs away and help you to feel rejuvenated when you get back to work. Fresh air also helps to eliminate bugs and bacteria that can build up in workplaces (especially if you work in a crowded office). Rather than work through lunch, get outside and breathe deeply. I guarantee you will feel better for it.
5. Sleep Well
Getting into a good sleeping routine really helps you to feel and stay healthy. Try to avoid working and eating late and if possible, aim to go to sleep around the same time each night. Six to eight hours sleep per night is recommended by most experts.
6. Employ Healthy Workplace Practices
It is important to practice good habits at work that support your health. Be aware of the effects of computer work on your eyes and body, make sure you stretch regularly and move away from where you are working when you can. Practice being aware of your body and what it needs throughout your work day.
7. Keep a Good Work-Life Balance
Keeping a good balance between your work and home life will help you feel and stay healthy. When you are working long hours or always available for calls and emails from your workplace, your well-being (physical and mental) will get out of balance. Practice setting boundaries around your time and honouring them. Make your life outside work enticing and fun so that you enjoy being away from work and are able to switch off. A good balance will also help you to be rejuvenated and motivated when you go back at work.
8. Create a Pleasant Working Environment
If you work for an employer you may not have a complete say about your work environment, but there are usually positive changes you can make. Bring a plant to work for your desk. Get in the habit of keeping your work space clean and tidy. Choose an inspiring desktop image. If you work for yourself or from home, you may be able to make more changes. Sitting next to a window can make you feel better and enhance productivity. Find a way to make where you work inspiring and inviting.
9. Enjoy the Work
The amount you enjoy the work you are doing will directly influence your health and well-being. Try to enjoy each day you are at work. If there are some difficulties with your job, see if you can make any changes. There is usually something that can be done to make things better if you look deep enough. If you really do not like the work you are doing, maybe its time for a change. Don’t be afraid to look for change if it’s needed. Remember, your well-being is important and you deserve to enjoy your work. Not enjoying your work can do the most harm to your well-being over time.
Have you got a healthy workplace habit that I haven’t included on this list? Let me know in the comments.
(Image courtesy of Neal. under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 generic license.)
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