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. =]

 

Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide

Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide

This past December I noticed that all of my favorite podcasters were doing a year end review on their shows.  A year end review is when you would take a moment to reflect on what went well and what didn’t over the past year. The pod casters would go over what they accomplished and where they failed so they could learn from it.

At first I really wasn’t into the episode because I didn’t feel like it was something I could benefit or learn from. But, by the end of that first episode I realized just how wrong I was.  The whole concept of what they were doing was such a GREAT tool for improvement. Taking a minute to stop and reflect on the past year to get a better “birds eye view” of what ACTUALLY happened, rather than evaluating it while your in the middle of it.

I am not kidding when I say this, every single December I eat too much, I party a lot, and then January comes and I’m NOT happy and at that point I’m already starting to think about the year to come. Not once have I ever taken a minute to stop and evaluate the year that just happened.  It sounds bizarre, but I truly never take time for reflection. I am always too focused on how to fix everything I just screwed up in December and am looking forward to next years goals.   

Also, a year is a long ass time and I can confidently say I forget most of it.  I can barely remember my social security number and that never changes, let alone my weekly and monthly accomplishments over a year.  When an obstacle comes up I will figure out how to overcome it or just trudge my way through it. Whether  I fail or succeed, in the end it is over and I move on. I don’t really dwell on things too much, that’s how I have learned to survive.  I never take the time to stop and reflect on what just happened, unless there was a major blow up or something really bad happened.

But seriously, how often do we all do this?  How often do we not take the time to stop and reflect on what just happened in our life and just keep soldiering on? Sometimes that is completely necessary, even vital, but I think once in a while it’s good to force yourself to stop and think about what REALLY just happened.  Taking the time to pat ourselves on the back or figure out how we can do better is essential

As I mentioned before, a year is a really freaking long time and because I really do so easily forget everything I do, I thought it would make sense for me to try to do this quarterly.  The reason I thought of this was because in February/March I started noticing how “off course” I was in some of my goals and how “on course” I was in other areas of my life, and I started to change my ways a bit.  That’s when I started thinking that we should all being doing this quarterly review, so give ourselves credit where credit is due towards accomplishing our goals and then getting ourselves back on track in the area’s we were lacking.

Today, I am going to go through what I did for my quarterly review and will share the steps with you so that you could do the same.

Continue reading “Your Q1 Review – A step by step guide”

Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER

Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER

Recently, I finished listening to Brendon Burchard’s book High Performing Habits.  It’s actually my second time listening to it because it is THAT good.  I tend to listen my favorite books on tape multiple times and every time I walk away learning something new that I missed the first time around.

This time it was the saying, “Courage is contagious”. As soon as he said that phrase it really hit home, and I instantly wrote it in my phone so I wouldn’t forget.  Courage is contagious. It’s a saying that has been used for a long time and after Googling it last night I saw that there are MANY books with that phrase or something similar somewhere in their title.  I know I had heard it before, but for some reason when he said it that day it really resonated with me. It made me stop and think about the times in my own life where I’ve been courageous and impacted others, on top of the times I’ve watched someone be courageous and was inspired by THEIR courage.

While I was Googling the phrase “Courage is contagious”, I stumbled across Brene Brown’s extended version of that where she says, “Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”

Since last week was International Women’s Day, I can’t help but think about all of the amazing, powerful brave women that I look up to.  Women who have moved mountains, whether everyone can see those mountains or not.  I have been lucky enough to watch women change lives and inspire others to do the same.  

When I think of courage, I think of them.   Continue reading “Courage is Contagious: GIRL POWER”

Consistency is Key 🔑

Consistency is Key 🔑

Happy Friday!

I am still riding on that “Top 20 Millennial Business Blogs to Read in 2019” high.  It’s truly surreal.  If you didn’t see my posts earlier this week, I found out that I was picked as one of the Top 20 Millennial Business Blogs to Read in 2019 by Feedspot.  Just typing that out gave me butterflies.

When starting this blog my intention was to differentiate myself in the workforce, and, since I am a millennial and all about self-improvement, I decided to focus my writing on that.  As I started writing more often I realized how much I really enjoyed it.  I never thought of myself as a “writer” growing up.  I was always in the higher level classes for Math and Science, but never English or Reading.  My husband, who edits all my blogs before I post them, can attest to this.  The amount of times he has had to explain to me where you place a comma or that I am making up words is straight up humiliating.  

Therefore, yesterday when I saw that I made the Top 20 list, I was truly blown away.  I DID NOT see this coming. Mostly because when I would Google “Emily Rose Blog” I legitimately wouldn’t find it in a 45 page google search… How do you “get noticed” when you can’t even find yourself on the internet?!

I didn’t know if I would actually make ANY list of top bloggers, ever, let alone the TOP 20 in 2019!!!  Continue reading “Consistency is Key 🔑”

My “swerves”

My “swerves”

Good Morning!

In lieu of Michelle Obama’s amazing new book, Becoming, I wanted to share with you my “swerves”.

For staters, if you haven’t read or listened to Michelle’s book yet, stop what you are doing right this instant and go buy it.  When you are done come back…

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To those of you who actually listened to me and bought the book, you’re welcome!  To those of you who read it, you get it.  To those of you who didn’t you still have time, it’s 1,000% worth it.

With my long drives to work, I listened to the book on audible.  I laughed, I cried (a lot), I was inspired, I was educated, I was hurt and upset.  I was all of the things and had all of the feels.  I am clearly not Michelle Obama if I can one day say I became a fraction of what she is I will be so proud, but while listening to her story, there were times I felt like she was telling my story.  She was so raw and real and open that you could relate to so much of what she was saying.

One story she shared was how she was a “box checker”, always doing what she thought she was supposed to do to get to that next level.  Get good grades, get into Princeton, go to Harvard law, practice law at a great firm in Chicago.  She did it all.  Then, when she met Barack he was different, he was swervey”.  He didn’t do things according to plan and in order, he was a risk taker.  He “swerved”, he zigged and zagged.  This idea of “swerving” was talked about a lot in her book and she went into a lot of detail of her own swerves and how they impacted her life.

Ironically, not long after I finished listening to that book, and finished crying because Michelle and I would no longer be BFFs every day even though she doesn’t know I exist, I was faced with a swerve. Continue reading “My “swerves””

Wait, We’re In Q4?!

Wait, We’re In Q4?!

Last week while calling candidates and clients, I started asking them questions about the end of the year: “…Moving into Q4, let’s talk about where you see yourself in 2019” or “ What are your growth plans and your hiring initiatives for 2019?…”  

It’s an easy conversation starter around this time of the year, but as I asked this question, it still wasn’t hitting me that it ACTUALLY WAS Q4.  Continue reading “Wait, We’re In Q4?!”