We spend more time working these days than actually spending time with our loved ones, so it’s vital we create a happy and healthy work environment. Humans need to feel a sense of fulfilment so that we can complete our jobs and feel satisfied, rinse and repeat.
Here are some ways to help with general well being for your time spent at work. They can be done just about anywhere so whether you're working in an office or at home make sure to give them a try!
Start a routine, stick to it and see if this works for you. Get up early, do some exercises or 10 minutes of meditation, watch morning news headlines, have your coffee. Set rules around what you won’t do in the morning and what is to be done only during work hours such as checking emails.
Make your desk a happy space, and set the tone of your day by using lavender oil or any other relaxing essential oil. There are some really handy travel and desk size products that are very easy to use. Make your space aesthetically pleasing with diffusers or frames but nothing too distracting like games.
Exercising before, during or after work is a great stress relief. Be mindful of what time of the day suits you best to maximise your session and make sure you add it in your diary to make it happen; as I always say, if it’s not in the diary then it won’t happen. If you can't commit to 30 minutes of exercising each day, try 10 minutes x3 times per day. Go for a brisk walk, run on the spot. You will feel much better.
Keep your posture in check at all times. There are multiple stretches you can do at your desk to help combat stress and reduce tension. Body parts are compromised from sitting down too long — your shoulders, neck, glutes and lower back muscles. Depending on how many repetitive movements you do, like using a mouse or typing on a keyboard, your forearm muscles and the joints in your hands can become fatigued and can potentially lead to inflammation from overuse.
Try some of these:
- Neck stretches (left, right, up and down) hold for 30 seconds each side, slowly return to centre after each side
- Chest stretches using a door/wall to stretch your arm. Hold for 30 seconds x 3 sets each side
- Straight leg hip hinge hold for 30 seconds x 3 sets, slowly return after each set
- Forearm stretches hold for 20-30 seconds x 3 sets each arm
- Torso twisting 30 seconds x 3 sets
This doesn't just mean your lunch break, this also means incorporating a routine walk to the other side of the office to stretch your legs, a quick chat with a colleague or even a few squats on a loo break (don’t laugh, people do it!). It’s important to break up your day from sitting in front of a computer or any specific repetitive movement and do some of the stretches or movements suggested above.
Go that extra mile, get to a massage on your lunch break or do a yoga class nearby on those days that your lunch is already prepared! It’s also a great reward for all the hard work you do both physically and mentally.
Food and drink
Keep hydrated and snack good snacks! It’s really important to be organised with your nutrition, as boredom, stress or feeling restless at work can lead to snacking, and cravings. Try to keep snacks that are high in protein and good fats, as they tend to be lower GI, and provide more sustainable energy and stabilise your blood sugar levels which lead to hunger cravings.
Keeping hydrated with water, will keep you alert, fuller for longer and generally feeling better. Try not to over consume on caffeine as these tend to be short term energy solutions, which lead to worse energy crashes later on. Try opting for herbal tea instead, as they provide better results and keep you hydrated at the same time.
Don’t take your work home
Leave your work day at the office. It’s important you use home time, gym time or friend/family time to recharge your body, mind and focus on you and the people you are with. The stress a day can leave on one person can vary and can spiral out of control into your personal life. Once you clock off for the day, leave it there. It will always be there the next day.
If you find it is really disrupting your personal life and sleep, try writing things down or reaching out for help.
We are all busy individuals with a to-do list that never ends and time is something that just passes us by. Let’s work together on how we can improve our clarity and focus to make the most of what we do.
It is important to have balance and look at the things that are most important and what you value most. Think about your personality, motivators, what makes you grow, what makes you fulfilled, what makes you feel recharged.