Being healthy may not be top of mind while you’re busy at work, but your healthy habits at work and well-being have a profound impact on your productivity, your happiness, and your overall satisfaction with your job. After all, work takes up a large portion of our lives, wouldn’t you want to take care of yourself during this time?
Setting in place just a few healthy habits at work can make the difference between a job you find draining and need to recover from at the end of each day and one you’re excited to show up to work for. Granted, not all jobs have complete flexibility to apply these tips, but with a little creativity, there are always ways to improve your wellness at work.
Why Workplace Wellness Matters?
If you’re still not quite sold on the idea of bringing wellness practices into work, consider how often you feel sick, tired, or run down and how this affects your ability to perform at your job. As the common saying goes, “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for your illness.”
By being proactive with your healthy habits at work, you can show up with high energy and motivation to do a job well done. This not only serves your overall well-being, but it could even potentially mean a promotion at work.
A final factor to consider is how mental health affects your experience at work. Many people experience burnout at their jobs not solely because of the physical tasks they require but also because of the mental stress. Poor coworker relationships, toxic bosses, and personal issues can all add up to dissatisfaction at work, no matter how great the actual job is. It’s important to care for your mental health just as you would your physical health, especially at work.
Practical Tips To have healthy habits at work
There are countless ways to improve your wellness at work, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Stay Well-Hydrated
Few things lead to exhaustion, headaches, and brain fog, as well as high stress, being in front of a computer all day, and dehydration. Staying adequately hydrated throughout the day will make a noticeable difference in your energy and mood.
Bringing a large water bottle to work can be a helpful solution for this, as well as incorporating electrolyte drinks if needed.
This is particularly important if you have a physically demanding job that requires you to be on your feet for much of the day.
One popular option is the zero-calorie flavored electrolyte drink known as propel water. Some health enthusiasts might ask the question: is propel bad for you? Many people find it to be an affordable and tasty option with a bonus of added vitamins and minerals.
2. Bring Healthy Food
Some employees are lucky enough to have workplaces that already serve healthy food options, but the majority of people, they’ll need to be more creative to ensure optimal nutrition during the workday. Many people rely on nearby restaurants, cafes or fast food joints for lunch and snacks during the day. Unfortunately, most of these options are loaded with processed ingredients with little nutrition. This will leave you feeling sluggish, depleted and slowly contribute to worsened health over time.
Instead, packing healthy food and snacks in advance can allow you to conquer hunger, satisfy your cravings, and stay on track with your health goals no matter where you are.
Here Are Some Healthy and Packable Food Options to Consider:
- Salad with Protein (chicken, salmon, chickpeas, edamame, black beans, tofu, turkey, etc.)
- Protein Oats
- Pasta Salad
- Quinoa Salad
- Cold Noodle Dishes
- Rice Bowl
- Hummus and Vegetables
- Energy Bars
3. Move Your Body
Being sedentary all day, every day, for years on end, is harmful to your health. This might not be something you can completely avoid if you have a desk job, but there are several strategies to improve this situation.
The first solution is simply to get up and walk around every so often. This will help circulate blood, combat stiffness, and keep your brain feeling refreshed. Even a short walk to the water cooler every 30 minutes or hour can make a big impact.
If you can’t leave your immediate area, another option is simply to do a few chair stretches. This can help relieve pain, give your brain a short break, and help you stay focused on your work. Some people even enjoy using standing desks, treadmill desks, or an exercise ball chair to help them utilize their core muscles and get some non-exercise activity thermogenesis into their day.
4. Spend Time Outside
Chances are you work indoors, and being indoors all day under artificial lighting has a reputation for interfering with natural circadian rhythms, leading to poor sleep and chronic tiredness. The quickest way to fix this is simply to spend even a few minutes outside every day. Natural sunlight is excellent for mental health, sleep, proper hormone production, and energy.
Try taking your lunch break outside, walking to work, or even working next to an open window, if possible, to increase your time out in nature. This is also an effective way to combat stress.
5. Foster Positive Relationships at Work
This final tip may surprisingly be the most important one. Perhaps the biggest health issue surrounding work is stress, and one of the leading causes of stress at work is an unhealthy workplace social environment.
Making efforts to have a positive relationship with your boss, your coworkers, or anyone else you encounter in your daily life allows you to be a happier person who is more naturally resilient to whatever obstacles life throws your way.
This isn’t an option in all circumstances, but doing your best to be kind to others (while still holding healthy boundaries) will actually make a profoundly positive impact on your quality of life and healthy habits at work.
As mentioned, there is no ideal workplace that will check all of the boxes of achieving absolute wellness. Doing the best with the circumstances you have and choosing a career that fits within the lifestyle you want is the ideal way to optimize your healthy habits at work. There’s no point in stressing over the factors you can’t change. Instead, focus on the ones you can to cultivate a healthier workplace environment.