If you are headed back to the office after Stay Home, Stay Safe orders are eased; get started back on the right foot. Taking care of your own physical, mental and social health is top priority, now more than ever. Set up your office environment for success so healthy habits slip into place with ease.
Here is a list of 22 easy ways to be healthier at work. See which ones make the most sense for you.
1. Prepare and pack meals for the week. You’ll save time, money and control what you eat this way. Read How to Eat Better Meal by Meal –Lunch for delicious ideas.
2. Plan healthy snacks into your day. If it’s hard to take a break, bring a protein drink in an insulated glass as a snack. The Best Foods to Help You Meet Protein Goals has plenty of healthy snack ideas if you need some inspiration.
3. Stand to answer emails or to stretch every hour. Long periods of inactivity cause our body to create new fat cells—let’s not give that a chance to happen. Be sure to Sit Less, Stand and Move More.
4. Get your co-workers started on a health challenge. If you’re super ambitious, start a new one each month—you’ll be a health star by the end of the year. Challenges can be anything that leads you to live a healthier life–think veggie servings per day, number of steps, cups of water, eating 3-100 calorie snacks each day, bringing in lunch, number of squats, keeping a food log, daily goal setting, or meditation sessions. You can see this is only limited by your imagination.
5. Schedule a walking meeting or walk during your breaks or lunchtime. You’ll boost your energy and get those creative juices flowing.
6. Take the stairs whenever possible, even 1 or 2 flights at a time. It all adds up.
7. Stay hydrated with fresh water throughout the day.
8. Chew sugar-free gum. It helps relieve stress and keeps you from grazing.
9. Use mouthwash after each meal/snack. You will hesitate to mess up your fresh breath with unscheduled snacks.
10. Plan for celebrations. Everyone indulging in birthday cake? Have a birthday cake flavored protein bar or your favorite low sugar yogurt on hand for such an occasion.
11. Portion control snacks into 100 calorie packs to keep you from overindulging.
12. Do mini workouts. Just three minutes boosts metabolism and energy. Use exercise bands or do a quick set of leg lifts or squats. You can do these just about anywhere.
13. Do some quick stretches each hour to release strain and emotions.
14. Limit access to sugary drinks and junk food. Avoid vending machines and the cafeteria. It’s easy when you’ve packed your own food.
15. If you can, and the weather cooperates, escape to a quiet outdoor spot to enjoy your lunch.
16. Keep the distractions of your phone to a minimum. Put it away if possible and check it at pre-determined times. You’ll focus better and be more productive.
17. Refresh by zoning out for a few minutes. Just let your mind wander and daydream or listen to a quick guided meditation.
18. Stay positive and grateful. We can get into a work rut, but doing our best to focus on the positive aspects of work will make our work more enjoyable and fulfilling.
19. Set and track both health and work goals. Be sure to have larger overarching goals broken down into daily behaviors that will get you there. Post these where front and center as a reminder of where you’re headed.
20. Keep germs at bay. Avoid touching common surfaces as much as possible. Use paper towels to open doors or to push buttons as much as feasible. And of course wash hands frequently for 20-30 seconds.
21. Look for the best in your co-workers and celebrate your differences. Each person brings a unique skill-set and social presence to the office. Be mindful that everyone is experiencing the stress of the pandemic, in their own way, and a little extra kindness helps tremendously.
22. When you notice a co-worker going above and beyond, recognize it. Send them a quick note or stop by their office and tell them you appreciate their action(s).
Healthy habits are all about balance. Stay focused. Take breaks. Eat right. Move more. You’ve got this!