It goes without saying but should be said anyway, taking care of your health in all aspects of its breadth is essential for your continued health, especially while you are at work. There is a circular connection here that requires attention since you spend so much time in your workplace. It does not have to be daunting as there are myriad ways you can ensure your health is a priority at work, at home, and everywhere in between. Continue reading for information and ideas on how you can provide the best care for yourself and be well while working.
Be Healthy at Work
Being healthy in your place of work can be a challenge for many people. If you find yourself stressed by the workload, toxicity of co-workers, or life in general that creeps into your workday, it is time to do something about it.
- Mental Health
Be aware that workplace mental health should be a priority for you and everyone around you. You are at work for the better part of every day (when you are not asleep), and your feelings and experiences are not left at the door when you enter. They come with you – the good and the bad walk with you throughout your day.
With that reality in mind, you should be able to speak with someone during working hours. This must be an individual that is impartial, trusted, and who will hear you without fear of retribution from management. When you are ready to begin on a path towards achieving mental health and making work a part of that journey, see your Human Resources department to inquire about available services.
- Physical Health
Another factor in your workday health is where you work and what you do at work. If you are a sedentary office worker, know that you need to move your body at frequent intervals. If you are a manual laborer, you are already physically active but need to move your body safely to prevent injuries.
Set your smartphone or watch alarm at convenient times during your workday to remind you to get up and move or step back from your job and stretch. Instead of using the elevator, take the stairs. Opt for a standing desk at least half the time to break up the strain on your back from sitting all day long. As you arrive at work, park as far as you can from the front entrance to get a few extra steps in at the beginning and end of the day.
If you are lucky to get a long lunch break at work, schedule an exercise session before or after you eat. Before is preferable so you are not exercising on a full stomach. Take a walk with co-workers, or go solo with a favorite podcast or language lesson playing through your earbuds. If there is a gym on-site, get in a few reps before you need to return to your desk.
- Healthy Eating
If you have co-workers, you likely have lots of food floating throughout the office. The break room is probably a place to share delicious baked goods from home. Perhaps you and your co-workers go out for lunch or order in frequently. And, if you all celebrate birthdays and other special occasions at work, there will surely be the requisite cake and sugary drinks.
Attempt to curb some of these behaviors to improve your health and make better eating choices while at work. Bring a reusable water bottle and make it a point to drink from it regularly throughout the day. Set a smartphone alarm once again if you need to remind yourself.
Instead of going out for lunch every day, cut it down to two days per week, and select healthier establishments. Bring a healthy lunch to work with you and pack it the night before so there are no excuses or reasons to lose ground on your efforts. Begin making grocery lists for lunch items so you will always have fresh, good for you, and delicious food on hand.
Here is a video with healthy meal planning ideas.
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No matter where you work or the time you begin your workday, you are still in charge of your health. Take proactive steps to maintain clarity and focus on what you need to stay mentally and physically healthy. Preventative measures are beneficial, but if you find yourself becoming reactive, seek help as soon as possible. Health comes in many forms that look different for everyone. Find your best self through efforts at work and at home.