Guest Blog: How to be healthy at work
One of the things I often hear from clients is that it’s so hard to healthy at work. Whether it’s sitting for hours on end, skipping lunch, stressful meetings, or relying on caffeine and sugar to get through the day. I’ve created a workspace and workday that incorporates healthy habits, mindfulness and self-care and is simple and realistic for the typical office environment. Here are a few of my favorite strategies for being healthy at work.
A Healthy Workspace
Make your workspace your own! You spend a large part of your day at work so make the space as relaxing and comfortable and you as possible. Hang artwork that you love to look at. Fill your desk with personal pictures and items that mean something to you. Use a calming image (waterfall, ocean, sunset) as your desktop background and once an hour minimize all of your open windows and simply look at the image and breathe.
I recommend a standing desk to my clients and am also getting one for my own workspace. We simply spend too much time sitting at work. A standing desk will aid in better posture and decrease back pain, you’ll be more likely to move and less likely to feel exhausted by 3pm.
I encourage you to fill your workspace with plants. Snake plants are great for the office because they are incredibly easy to care for and filters formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air.
I also like a little woo-woo at work and keep crystals and essential oils on my desk. I keep smoky quartz and black tourmaline around my computer. Both are great for protecting your energy. If you share a workspace, I definitely recommend adding one or both of them to your desk. You can keep them in a desk drawer or behind your computer if you don’t want your coworkers to notice them.
I also keep peppermint, Stress Away and citrus essential oils on my desk. I suffer from migraines and a drop or two of peppermint rubbed into my temples is so soothing. Work isn’t always a stress-free environment so I’ll rub a few drops of Stress Away from Young Living in my palms, close my eyes and take a few deep breaths when I need a zen moment. Citrus is energizing so instead of reaching for an afternoon caffeine jolt, I take a few breaths of orange, grapefruit, or tangerine oil.
Movement at Work
You need to move more – a lot more. Without prompting I can go the entire day without really getting up or leaving my office. Set an hourly calendar reminder to get up, stretch and take a walk. Connect with a coworker and take a walk after lunch.
Kristin has an awesome book coming out in January that will be perfect to help you move more at work: Chair Yoga. Close your office door and spend a few minutes doing yoga at your desk to loosen up tight muscles, reduce your stress and naturally energize you.
Another one of my favorite tips for forcing yourself to move more at work is to drink more water. The more water you drink throughout the day, the more you’ll have to get up and walk down the hall to the restroom.
Eating at Work
If your office is anything like mine, it probably seems like it’s someone’s birthday or last day just about every day. Which means cake, cookies and pastries. Or lunch meetings full of pizza and sandwiches and chips. I recommend that my clients crowd out all of those items by being prepared. Keep a snack drawer filled with raw nuts and seeds, nut butters, clean protein bars (I like Epic and Bulletproof), and dark chocolate. I bring a few apples and avocados at the beginning of the week so I always have something easy to reach for.
And as much as possible, bring your own lunch. But not just a simple (aka boring) salad. Bring dinner leftovers, an amazing salad filled with veggies, protein and healthy fat or lettuce wraps and a thermos of soup. You want to actually look forward to your lunch so you’ll be less likely to eat the catered food at your meeting. Because, let’s be honest, that food is usually gross.
Do you need a little extra support to take these recommendations off the page and into your life. Contact me for a free coaching session and we’ll talk about how you can be healthy at work!
Stephanie is a holistic health coach at Spirited Well-being. She merges spiritual principles with practical wellness strategies to empower women to lose emotional weight and gain healthy habits. Stephanie has completed the Spirit Junkie Master Class Level One and Two training with Gabrielle Bernstein and graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.