Work. Sleep. Repeat. 5x over. It sometimes feels like the work week is an endless pit of “to-do’s” and “do betters.” While we’re sure you’re a total go-getter in the office, we believe that it is equally important to have a healthy body and mind. Here are three changes you can make in your weekly routine to take care of yourself while tackling your schedule head-on:
1. Take Walking Breaks
Sitting at a desk for hours at a time has negative effects on both physical and mental health: it decreases circulation leading to fatigue and a poor emotional state. Although it may seem trivial, many people who have implemented periodic walking breaks throughout the day have seen a noticeable difference in the way they feel. A study published in the “International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity concluded that workers were the happiest and most motivated when they got up for short walks every hour. This doesn’t mean you have to go for a ½ mile walk every hour, instead try getting up when you feel like you are losing focus and take a quick stroll through the building or around the block. Moments of activity, no matter how small, will help wake up your body and give you a chance to reset your mind.
2. Get Moving in the Morning
Work weeks can be chaotic, and it sometimes feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done while still setting aside personal time. Unpredictable obligations and events may come up and force us to bend plans and push other things aside. We all know that an active life is crucial to maintaining a healthy body and mind, however a workout is often the easiest part of the day to skip over in order to fit everything else in. A great way to combat this issue is to get in the habit of waking up earlier and getting a workout in before you start your day. The habit of working out in the morning is known to give you energy to tackle the day with an elevated mood and stronger ability to focus. Imagine how it would feel to walk in to work already feeling like you have accomplished something, and knowing you have one less task to think about once you leave for the day. Want to amplify the self-care? Try taking your activity outdoors: go for a jog outside, walk a local trail or do some strength exercises in the park. Exposure to the sun and fresh air has been known to promote serotonin levels, so why not give yourself an extra boost while you’re at it?
3. Protect Your Personal Time
When you leave the office, establish the rest of your day as time that is absent of any work-related responsibilities. By mentally separating work from personal life, you give yourself the freedom to do things that make you feel physically and mentally fulfilled. You’ll be able to prioritize your own well-being, which in turn makes it easier to make healthy lifestyle choices. Refrain from checking work emails or discussing on-the-clock issues once you’ve left for the day. When you leave the office, imagine yourself putting all the day’s worries and stressors on a shelf that you can resume when you return.