The average American spends 35 hours per week at work! Spending a quarter of your week on the job means that another quarter is spent sleeping, commuting from place to place, doing other chores and participating in family activities.
This means that you shouldn’t let your health fall to the wayside at work so that you can maintain your other priorities off the clock! Be mindful of your lifestyle during your hours of working to manage your mental and physical health to get the most out of your life.
Focus on changes for physical health:
Staying active at work may seem like a stretch, but it really is important. Plus, there are plenty of ways to be active that don’t include a full workout on your lunch break if that isn’t your style. We all know that lifestyle changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a 15-minute walk once a day, or even replacing your go-to sugary drink at lunch with water, can all help boost your overall health.
When you have to take a break at work (which you always should!) make it an active break; don’t just sit at your desk and scroll through social media. Make your breaks at work intentional by getting away from your desk to eat lunch, reading a book, or going for a walk. Shorter, more frequent breaks from your work can help keep you motivated and energized, so make a point to begin taking advantage of that free time.
A small, but easy, modification to make during your workday is investing in blue light lenses. If you work on a computer, these glasses can help prevent headaches and dry, itchy eyes you may feel throughout the day as a result of extended screen time.
If you are looking to make a more ambitious change, then organize a charity walk or run with your coworkers. Look for local events to benefit diseases, like cancer or Alzheimers, and recruit coworkers to participate. Make this relevant and exciting for your company by participating in an event that hits close to home – maybe you have a coworker that is battling cancer right now, honor them by joining in an event and raising money or awareness! This will help boost both your physical and mental health by doing something active and helping someone else.
Manage your mental health:
Managing your mental health at work can be even harder than making changes to benefit your physical health. Focusing on your mental health while at work usually takes more intentional change, some selfishness, and time away from your job.
For starters, it’s important to take time off from work. You can plan a week-long vacation or take off next Friday for a mental health day or a “staycation”, but try to use all of the time off you receive in a year and never let it go to waste. Breaks from work are necessary, even if your work is your passion, to avoid becoming burnt out. Time off from work is essential to staying sane and being the best employee you can be.
To help stay in a positive mental state, try to reduce your stress at your desk. This can be hard with deadlines, overbearing bosses, or demanding clients, however, there are ways to do it. Some changes you can make to actively reduce work-related stress are to schedule your day as much as possible, take breaks to meditate, and identify and eliminate self-induced stress. Self-induced stress can be the hardest thing to identify and stop, however, being a better planner, more organized, and beginning positive self-talk are small changes you can make in your everyday life to reduce that stress.
Finally, it’s important to keep good company at work for your mental health. Stay focused on the work you have at hand by building positive, friendly relationships at work and avoiding office gossip. Chatting too much can be distracting and throw you off of your schedule, plus, workplace gossip can induce negative feelings about yourself and others. Having good friends at work can help you feel more excited about your workday and can help decompress work-related stress.
Author Bio – Christy Hicks is a content creator with a passion for health. When she’s not writing about health, she is doing research on the newest holistic products and information, or hiking with her rescue pup Rosie!