We spend approximately 47 hours a week at work, which comes out to about 30% of our week. That’s quite a bit of time to be spending at work since it doesn’t factor in sleeping. It goes to reason that since you spend so much of your time at work, that it’s a great place to make the healthy habits you to intend to follow, a reality.
1. Drink Water: Being even 1% dehydrated affects your ability to think clearly. If you aren’t drinking enough water right now (about 64 ounces a day), start small and add one glass a day. Bring or keep a water bottle at work and refill it often.
2. 3 Minute Stretch: Sitting is notoriously bad for us and yet we do it for hours on end. Take a few minutes every hour and stand up, walk around, or stretch. If you can, take 10 minutes and go outside. Moving regularly will keep your muscles from getting stiff. A recent study showed that even a minute of moving makes a healthy difference, physically and mentally.
3. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand: No matter how well you plan – stuff happens. Keep a healthy snack like nuts and dried fruit on hand for those days where meetings run late or you aren’t able to get lunch on time. Staying fueled throughout the day will keep you from overeating later.
4. Plan your meals: I’m not suggesting you create a menu for work. Instead, think about what your day looks like in terms of what you’re going to eat. Are you going to bring your lunch or eat out? Do you have meetings all day or is the cafeteria offering something that you love? If you have a general plan as to what you want to eat, then you’ll be less likely to skip meals or snack out of the candy bowl at the receptionist’s desk.
5. Eat Breakfast: You wouldn’t expect your vehicle to run on an empty tank, right? Well, not eating breakfast is like not putting gas in your tank. You can’t run on empty and expect yourself to be at your best. Give your body the fuel it needs by taking a few minutes to eat something that contains both a protein and a whole grain carb in the morning.
6. Wash Your Hands: As you move through your office, you touch things that everyone else has touched as well! Your desk is dirty and it has been proven that your keyboard can be one of the biggest breeding ground for germs – possibly even more so than a toilet. I know… yuck! Wash your hands a couple of times a day and spray down your desk (particularly your keyboard) to reduce your possibility of getting sick.
7. Smile: Smile at your coworkers, your boss and most importantly yourself. Smiling not only makes whoever you are smiling at feel good, but it can give you the warm fuzzies too because it triggers neuropeptides in the brain-which, conveniently, reduces stress.
8. Use a Post It: New habits take repetition and reminding. Place a Post-It note (or a couple) in places like your monitor, desk, or car with a list of your healthy habits. It’s a great way to remind yourself to drink water, stretch, or smile too!
9. Make a Tomorrow List: Plan out your tomorrow today. Before leaving for the day, write out the 3 most important things you need to get done the next day. Prioritizing what you want to accomplish will keep you out of the email and social media trap.