January 7, 2015 — It seems like just yesterday when I couldn’t care less about my diet, how much I exercised, or how late I stayed out because no matter what, I could still function properly at work (ah, youth!). But recently I’ve become more conscious of how my body and mind respond to how I take care of myself, and I’ve seen how much being healthy affects the quality of my work and my relationships with my colleagues.
When you spend the majority of your waking hours behind a desk, your habits play a crucial role in your well-being and job performance. How can you bring your whole self to work if you feel tired, agitated, or sick? No matter how busy you are, you can and should make a small effort daily to make your health a top priority. Here are four simple and sustainable resolutions to implement in 2015 to boost your energy level and productivity at work:
Fuel with water, not caffeine. Many of us guzzle down cup after cup of coffee every day. One to two cups before noon is fine, but fueling on caffeine all day irritates the stomach, increases stress levels, blocks the absorption of necessary minerals, and heavily impacts sleep quality. Instead, start drinking water from the moment you wake up. Mark a clear reusable bottle at different levels as a visual reminder of how much you should consume at different times of the day to stay consistently hydrated.
Go outside, even for 10-15 minutes. A brisk midday walk is known to boost employee productivity and improve time management. Short active breaks recharge your brain and reenergize you to tackle your work much more effectively than you do when sitting still for hours at a time, which increases the risks of obesity and certain chronic diseases. Invest in moving your body daily and you’ll notice a huge difference in your mood and job performance.
Eat yourself well. When choosing food options, go for fresh whole ingredients like quality meats, nuts, vegetables, and fruits that energize you with nutrients. Avoid refined carbs from bread and pasta that the body processes in the same manner as sugar. Incorporate plenty of high-quality fats! Your brain is over 60% fat, and foods like olive oil, avocados, eggs, and salmon boost your cognitive functions while keeping you satiated so you don’t reach for that candy jar.
Manage your stress by staying organized. Do you keep your tasks jumbled up in your email chains, or even worse, your brain? A high-stress environment impedes digestion and logical thinking as the body prepares to tackle what it perceives as a threat. We aren’t designed for chronic modern-day stresses like work, finances, and commuting, all of which can, over time, chip away at your health, no matter how great your diet and exercise habits are. Every morning, create a physical checklist of your responsibilities. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and recite three things you are grateful for. You’ll be surprised by the mental and physical benefits you gain by doing this every day.
Are you ready tackle the new year as a better employee and the best version of yourself? Visit my blog for healthy living tips and simple, nourishing recipes!
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