Let’s pause a moment to consider how much we work every day and how it affects our mood. Even without psychologists warning of an alarming rate of mental disorders, we can see all for ourselves how hectic lifestyles affect our health (mental and physical).
For people stuck with office work, burnouts aside, it is often forgotten how important the actual environment is. Some simple hacks – like office plants and clever space design – can make everyday work much more pleasant, and these are not even expensive or difficult.
However, to truly achieve a healthier lifestyle, there are also other factors to consider. Let’s take a look at some ideas.
Consider Your Office Space
On top of the simple hacks mentioned above, you can also add some healthy habits to your daily routine so as to make your office space more pleasant. For example, open the windows and let more natural light in.
If possible, consider obtaining a standing desk to prevent leg cramps and back pain.
Further out, you can paint the office walls in light colors and bring plants. Consider the varieties that can tolerate the environment, though. Jade plants and bamboos are prime examples of office plants, but there are also other alternatives.
Next on, consider the snacks. This is, perhaps, the trickiest of all issues as we often don’t pay attention to them – snacks are a routine of sorts. However, make an effort to change your unhealthy habits in this regard. The simples of hacks is to put a bowl of fruit on the desk. Over time, you’ll get used to eating fruit instead of unhealthy snacks and you’ll be happier (and healthier) for that.
Finally, don’t skip lunch breaks. Never ever eat lunch at and make sure you’re practicing a balanced diet. Basically, this means you should consume whole grains, fruit, vegetables, low fat dairy products, and lean meat unless you’re vegetarian. Phase out food rich in sugar and salt – there’s fruit for your sugar cravings!
Walk as Much as Possible
The first obvious problem is that we all sit too much. The usual back pain is the usual sign of overdoing it but other signs aren’t to be overlooked either.
Even though sitting may be unavoidable, you should still make an effort to break the long spells at a time. Take short breaks to stretch your muscles or walk a bit.
When it comes to movement, you can also take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk to work instead of driving (or you can ride a bicycle, weather permitting).
If driving can’t be avoided, consider going electric and taking advantage of the EV federal incentives.
Set Healthy Goals
Set OKRs and achieve so that you can track your progress. Make sure they’re realistic and allow for a sustainable schedule to achieve them.
Different people set different goals, but some ideas include walking more, eating healthier meals and snacks, working out, etc. Additionally, this will help empower your team.
Make Each Break Count
One common mistake many people make is skipping breaks when there’s still work to do. This is neither a good nor efficient decision because you won’t be nearly as productive as you can be if you’re skipping breaks.
Also, make sure to take meaningful breaks. Make every break count! Simply taking a break from work and doing nothing significant is not likely to help you relax. Rather, it will create just the opposite effect, making you think you’re just wasting your time.
This may be difficult at first, especially for people who are used to working too much and skipping breaks but you can start by drafting a daily schedule detailing your plans for each break. These don’t have (or should) include complex activities. You can take a walk or read a couple of pages of the book you’re immersed in, etc.
Finally, if you’re feeling that you’re stagnating due to the never-changing environment, try taking your laptop and resuming the work from a café or a park. Any change in a stagnant routine is – a good change, so give it a try and experiment a bit until you find the circumstances that befit your personality best.
Good to Remember
As you can see, there are many ways to start changing your routine, little by little, without bearing the brunt of an immediate change. Remember that even when you’re aiming for changes for the better, violent disruptions in your routine will only amount to annoying you – because there will be too many changes to take on all at once.
Rather, start with the small things that make you happy (like bringing a plant you like to the office) and get used to regular breaks and healthy meals and snacks gradually. Walk a bit more every day and look for places where you can work in peace without disturbing the workflow.
Set OKRs and detail your breaks, at least in the beginning, so that you can keep track of gradual changes. In this way, you will get to adapt to a better lifestyle in a stress-free manner and enjoy every little step you take. Enjoy the ride!