My Top 3 Healthy Work Habits

My Top 3 Healthy Work Habits

Health and Wellness is extremely important to me. It has been and always will be a top priority for me in my life.

At home I have (almost) perfected my healthy habits and created a healthy environment to live in. I clean my house weekly, workout daily, have a Britta pitcher always filled with water, buy lots of fruits and vegetables, keep my pre-packaged food to a minimum and do not buy things I don’t want myself to eat, not even for a “treat”.

Your environment and habits play a huge part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Believe it or not, it’s easy to make those changes at home. The question here today is how do we keep that up at work?  The place that many of us spend more time than our actual homes. A place that you don’t own or have total control over.

When I first started working, I was at an accounting firm and people bought lunch often. There were candy bowls everywhere for a midday “pick-me-up” and everyone worked long hours.

I am sure to many of you this sounds very familiar.

At first I thought nothing of it and fell right in line, following the habits and ways of others. I bought lunch at least once a week, would go for random sugary coffee breaks, took an M&M break every day at 3 pm, and sat on my a** all damn day.

I was still following my home life healthy habits of waking up at 5 am every morning to make sure I got my workout in before lunch and was eating (mostly) healthy foods. And yet, after a couple months on the job I started to notice that I was actually gaining weight, was always tired, and couldn’t keep a clear mind all day. At first I thought this is just what working in the real world felt like, but after reading different articles about health and habits I realized I was wrong.

At that point I started making small changes like no longer eating the 3 pm candy and no more fun sugary coffee breaks. On top of that, I began researching the topic of healthy habits at work and eventually started implementing what I was learning to my daily work habits.  I found that those changes had a huge impact on my energy levels and my production at work.

 

Today, I have 3 core healthy habits that I always follow to ensure I stay on track with my health goals and increase my productivity and energy levels at work.

 

 

  1. Track your water intake

bottle-drink-glass-113734.jpgThis is so important for many different reasons. For starters, being fully hydrated makes you more awake and alert than coffee actually does. We are all roughly 60% made up of water and we need sufficient water intake to ensure our body performs at its best.  A lack of water leads to fatigue, a foggy mind, and hunger.  Yes, I said hunger. Believe it or not most of the time when we think we are hungry we are actually just thirsty. Drinking enough water will actually make you less hungry and help you realize when your body actually does NEED food. As a test drink a bottle or glass of water and see how hungry you are after.

How to do this?

  • We should be drinking at LEAST half our weight in ounces of water each day.  If you weigh 120 pounds then you should be drinking at least 60 ounces of water.  Make sure you always have a water bottle on you (preferably a reusable one so we can save our planet!) and refill it as many times as needed.

 

  • You can even make a mental note of how much you should be drinking throughout the day.  
    • For example, I always try to drink a full water bottle before I get to work, a full bottle after my coffee is gone, two more full bottles before 5 pm, and then 1 or 2 at night.  Having that mental map of when and how much I should be drinking keeps me on track and helps me get back on track when I am behind. I would be lying to you if I said that I do this perfectly every day because I absolutely do NOT. But, it does put me in a way better place than if I didn’t try at all.

 

  1. Pack and prep ALL of your snacks and meals

When I leave the house for work in the morning I’m typically out the door at 6:30 am and most nights I won’t return until 8 or 9. In that time frame, I eat my breakfast, two lunches, and dinner. I never skip a meal, so when I leave at 6:30 am I have all of my food in tow.

Prepping and packing those meals ahead of time ensures that I am eating healthy foods, that I am eating the correct portion size of foods, and that I don’t snack on anything else in the office.

When you eat out at lunch or grab those little snacks / treats in the break room you can close-up-colors-container-1640767.jpgeasily lose track of how many calories you are actually consuming in a day and are likely eating things your body really doesn’t NEED. Even though we all know we don’t NEED M&M’s, if you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated and have your healthy snacks already packed you are less likely to go for that mid-afternoon treat.

Another thing to consider is that most days we are just sitting at our desks all day long. You really aren’t burning through THAT many calories so you don’t NEED that many calories or snacks to get you through the day. If you have a desk job it’s not like your lifting anything or moving much at all. What your body NEEDS is nutrient dense foods to keep your body and mind moving and grooving all day long without any roadblocks or detours.

The How:

If you need help on how to meal prep or what to meal prep check out my previous blogs “Meal Prepping 101” and “Meal Prepping 102: What’s inside?” for ideas.

 

  1. Move more and take mindful breaks

adult-autumn-casual-663437.jpgI can’t stress the importance of moving more enough.  Think about the daily pattern of a typical 9-5 job. You are sitting on the drive to work, siting once you get to work for 8 hours or so, sit on the drive home, sit for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sit on the couch at night.  Maybe you have an hour or 30 minutes of movement for some kind of exercise.

Our bodies are designed to move.  And yet, it’s so easy to forget the importance of that. We get lost in our work and caught up in the idea that we “don’t have enough time” to take a break. I am here to tell you that is all simply not true. It will actually do the opposite. Taking a break to move will increase your productivity later. Trust me, give it a shot, you might be surprised.

There are studies that demonstrate the average brain loses concentration in 52 minutes and taking a break increases your productivity by 30%.  Research says that we should take a 1-7 minute break every 25, 52 or 90 minutes.    Yes, it may take a few minutes to pick everything back up, but you will come back recharged and ready, producing better results than you did before.

Now how will you put this into play?

  • What you can do is set an alarm on your phone for an hour and then take a quick break where you are physically moving. It really doesn’t matter where or for how long, just that you are actually doing it.

 

  • Walks during your lunch breaks is another great opportunity to move your body.
    • This is something I put into practice two years ago and I’ve become totally addicted. Every day at lunch when the weather permits, I will walk for 30 minutes to an hour outside. I’m to the point where I will make sure I get to work earlier and use my time more wisely so I can get this break in.

 

Those breaks do so much for me mentally and physically. It gets my body moving, puts me out in nature, and really forces me to shut off my brain and emotionally detach myself from my work for a minute.

I am the type that can get very emotionally attached to work and am always battling the fear that I am not doing enough. In some ways this can be a very painful trait and a thought process that is hard to get out of.  When I physically remove myself from a situation, taking time away and then coming back, it clears my mind and makes me less emotionally charged so I can look at a situation more objectively. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing a little nature after hours in an office?

It truly is a gift that I give to myself.

 

Which brings us to a perfect place to end this blog.  Taking care of your physical and mental self, inside and outside of work is one of the best a gifts you can give yourself. But, it takes work.

Prepping your meals and snacks takes time. Constantly reminding yourself to drink water throughout the day takes dedication. Allowing yourself to take a break and move your body seems like a lot of extra work, but I promise you it will all pay off.  You will feel better and you will produce better work.

These are all changes that YOU have to DECIDE to do and then COMMIT to doing it. They seem hard at first and you may be wondering how you can actually put these habits into practice. But remember, everything seems hard at first until it’s not.

These habits have increased my productivity, my overall health and my peace of mind in the workplace.   Apply these three healthy habits to your day and I promise you, you won’t be sorry. =]

 

The Marie Kondo Movement – Sparking Joy

The Marie Kondo Movement – Sparking Joy

Good Morning!

I am not sure why, but how fast a picture, video or movement can go viral and spread like wildfire, STILL amazes me.

About two weeks ago my mom started telling me about this cute little woman, Marie Kondo, and her organizing and decluttering lessons.  My mom often gets into these kicks of learning something new and then completely masters it overnight, like she will literally stay up all night doing it… and then talks about it, a lot. I do the exact same thing and typically follow everything she does in life, because she is the actual GOAT.  

Marie Kondo was no different than so many other of my mom’s new obsessions. Since she talked about it so much, I had to do some digging on my own.  Who is this little woman and what is she all about?  Oddly enough I came to find that she is the author of a book that had been on my Audible wish list for over a year, “The Magic Art of Tidying Up”.  She also has a Netflix show featuring different families she has helped with her lifestyle advice and methods. Continue reading “The Marie Kondo Movement – Sparking Joy”

Meal Prep 102: What’s inside

Meal Prep 102: What’s inside

Hey guys! I decided to write this blog per my sister’s request. After reading my last post, she really liked it, but wanted to know more. You see, my sister and I are always swapping recipes and meals to try in the upcoming weeks. My sister and brother are some of the best cooks I have encountered, next to my mom, (even though they don’t realize it). If either of them suggests a recipe, you can bet I’m trying it the next week!

In my last blog, I mentioned that when starting to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s 80% your diet and 20% exercise. I want to state this again here because it’s so important for us all to really wrap our heads around this idea: Continue reading “Meal Prep 102: What’s inside”

Meal Prepping 101

Meal Prepping 101

Meal prepping is hard. Well that’s a lie, it’s not really hard, it’s just time-consuming. VERY time-consuming … Around this time of year a lot of people are putting their New Year’s resolutions to work, starting to eat healthier, and maybe attempting this whole meal prep idea. To those of you who are new to meal prepping: it’s preparing a good chunk of your foods ahead of time so that you have healthy snacks ready to grab and go when you’re on the run. Or if you’re like me, saving yourself from coming in the door at the end of the day, famished, and ready to eat everything in sight. Meal prepping helps me go for the healthy prepared salad or fruit, rather than the chips and salsa. Those small adjustments can make a big impact on your health journey!

Meal prepping helps me a lot, BUT I want to be honest about how I feel about it, because it’s a true LOVE-HATE relationship.    Continue reading “Meal Prepping 101”

The Holiday Hangover…

The Holiday Hangover…

I want to get real with everyone about this holiday hangover that we are all experiencing, but no one is talking about…The hangover that I conveniently forget about each year as I am dancing around like a fairy, talking about how much I love the holidays. Some of you may be thinking, “what the fudge is she talking about this time?!”… let me explain. Continue reading “The Holiday Hangover…”

My Holiday Non-negotiables

My Holiday Non-negotiables

We’re currently smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season: many of us have holiday parties, cookie swaps, Secret Santa events, holiday happy hours and other  events to help celebrate the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. And it really is the most wonderful time!… There’s a buzz of excitement in the air and everyone seems to have more pep in their step. Not to mention all the deliciousness that comes along with this time of the year. Peppermint Mocha everything, Christmas cookies, warm baked brie, homemade Chex Mix, rice pudding, antipasto, and lots and lots of wine… That pretty much sums up our Christmas and the foods that always seem to make their way to my plate during a holiday party, having NO idea how they got there… Continue reading “My Holiday Non-negotiables”

My Year of No…

My Year of No…

Most people start their “New Year’s resolutions” in January. I normally do too, but this year was different. This year my resolution started in October and has been, and will continue to be, my year of “No”.

If you have been following my previous posts or have talked to me for about 12 seconds in the past 12 months, you would know that I just got married this past August. I’m sure you agree that planning a wedding is incredibly time-consuming. So, the closer I got to the wedding day, I had top force myself to really focus on just the wedding and put any side projects or goals on hold. Therefore, I STOPPED EVERYTHING. Continue reading “My Year of No…”