Wellness in the Workplace: How to Stay Healthy and Vibrant With a 9-5
It’s no surprise that sitting at a desk all day is not good for our health. Do you want to hide under the covers when the alarm goes off? Working long hours can contribute to stress and health deficits, draining us from our vibrant selves. You can transform your wellness with small shifts, leaving you feeling alive and vibrant. The wellness puzzle has many pieces, but here are 4 proven pieces to keep shining and balanced.
Focus on Fuel
The food we eat is going to have the greatest impact on our health and wellness. Our bodies use food on a cellular level; today’s food is growing tomorrow’s cells, hair, skin, bones, and nails. Too often we skip breakfast, work through lunch, and grab dinner. The only way to glow is with quality nutrients. Eating local, seasonal, and organic whenever possible. Quality fuel in the right combinations is key.
Fueling our breakfast plates, or bento boxes, with the necessary nutrition required by our bodies is essential. To stay vibrant our bodies require protein in every meal, roughly the size of your palm. Choose carbohydrates and vegetables that will offer energy while digesting easily: soaked or fermented grains, fibrous root vegetables, glorious greens, or fruit. Carbohydrates can be measured approximately with a cupped hand. For optimal nutrition, don’t forget to add a healthy fat. Healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, organic nuts, and grass-fed butter, should measure approximately the size of your thumb. These are necessary for proper hormone function and nutrient absorption. In fact, many vitamins and nutrients are fat soluble, which means they cannot be absorbed without fat.
Creating Mindfulness Throughout the Workday & Beyond
The truth is, we can eat all the healthy foods and do squats all day, but if we are not managing our stress, we’re not going to feel vibrant. (Disclaimer: still do squats, they’re awesome for you.) Stress comes at us in two ways. External stress, all the events and situations that come our way at work, or in life. It’s also, our constant inner-dialogue, or internal stressors. If our self-talk is constantly stressed, self-doubting, or negative, this can turn into chronic stress.
Building up our stress management techniques is like a workout for brains, and an essential component of wellness. This begins with an awareness of our thoughts, small shifts in perspective, and building a toolbox of mindfulness techniques. Practicing awareness in our thinking as often as possible. Adjusting the mind towards a more positive perspective, and practicing frequent gratitude. Other proven natural stress reducers: breathing techniques, mediations, mindfulness apps, listening to relaxing music, or going for a walk. Another great way to combat stress is through movement.
Movement is Fundamental
Movement throughout the workday can have a positive effect on our wellness, but in a corporate culture that breeds stillness, this can often be a challenge. Movement energizes us. It gets blood flowing, which helps us focus, think more clearly, and perform better. Movement is beneficial in promoting vibrancy. Start with movement on the inside. Staying properly hydrated is going to keep everything moving better internally. It is recommended to have at least 1-2 liters of water per day. Next, think about movement energetically. How is it flowing around us? Create movement with an organized, happy workspace. Finally, literal movement.
Sitting at a desk all day, can cause tension and discomfort. Movement is critical. Give chair yoga a try. There are several easy, yet beneficial poses that can be done right at your desk. Chair yoga will leave you energized and tension-free. It’s also designed not to capture the attention of your co-workers.
Last But Not Least, Restoration
Restoration is an important combination of sleep and self-care. If we do not take the time to restore we will be functioning on a deficit, and everything else will not make a difference. Exercise on a restoration deficit will only cause an inflammatory response. Restore throughout the day with breaks. Often we work through lunch, or scroll through social media. Break away from the screen, and pause to eat mindfully.
Sleep timing, duration, and quality play a major role in wellness. Follow proven sleep strategies. Reduce your exposure to blue light, especially before bedtime. Our bodies are light sensitive, keep the light away by using blackout curtains or a sleep mask. Turn down the temperature. Sleeping in warmer temperatures increases wakefulness. Turn down the late night snack or glass of wine. Your body will either spend the time digesting and detoxing, or it can use it can repair naturally leaving you refreshed and ready for the next day.