How to Stay Healthy in the Workplace
Taking care of ourselves at home is easy. We can keep things as clean as we want them, we can sit down with a book when we need a break, and we can switch things up if we're feeling a little stuck. However, we spend a lot of time in our places of work - it's important we know how to take of ourselves there, too! Mentally AND physically. Not only will these tips help keep you healthy, they'll also naturally encourage productivity.
1) Keep hand sanitizer at your desk. Use it often! Germs can spread pretty easily in an office because unfortunately, it's not always possible to take the day off. Every time that person from accounting who has a cold coughs or sneezes, that bacteria spreads. I keep a large bottle of hand sanitizer with a pump at my desk, and everyone that passes by takes some. It's something small that puts my mind at ease about what I may be coming in contact with throughout the day!
2) Decorate, sanitize, and charge with PhoneSoap! The PhoneSoap 3 phone cleaner is a UVC sanitation device that kills 99.9999% of all the germs and bacteria living on the surface of your cell phone (which is likely dirtier than a public bathroom). Yes, it will even kill those cold and flu viruses floating around. Not only that, but it also houses a USB port so you can charge your phone at the same time and kill two birds with one stone. With 7 different colors to choose from, you can add a pop of color to your desk or a nice neutral that will blend right in!
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking enough water does WONDERS for your body! The Mayo Clinic points out that "even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired." Symptoms of dehydration can also include headaches and muscle cramps, which can interfere with your work day. Drinking enough water is also a key component in making sure you don't get sick, which I touched on in our flu prevention blog. I tend to drink more when my cup or water bottle has a straw, so I like to use tumblers like this.
4. Clean your desk once a week. This isn't just for your physical health, this is for your mental health, too! Keeping your office space clean and sanitary is beneficial for several reasons:
- Increase productivity
- Make great first impressions!
- Avoid unnecessary germs and bacteria
- Organized space = organized mind!
Clutter negatively impacts your ability to focus! I try to make it a goal to organize/de-clutter my desk once a week. At the same time, I pull out the container of Clorox wipes I keep in one of my drawers and wipe everything down!
5. Step outside for fresh air! Besides the obvious benefit of taking a mental break from a long project and a screen break (give those eyes a rest!), stepping outside for fresh air and some vitamin D does more than you think:
- Boosts your immune system
- Calms you down
- Less pollution
- Cleans your lungs
- Gives you energy
- Improves heart health
- Boosts brain health
Wanna know more? Check out this article!
6. Take vacations. I know this sounds like I just threw it in here for fun, but that's not the case! Taking vacations really is good for your health. The professionals at Allina Health did their research - I've included it below!
- Improved physical health: Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
- Improved mental health: Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn't if it were still under pressure.
- Greater well-being: According to a Gallup study, people who "always make time for regular trips" had a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway's Well-Being Index, in comparison to a 51.4 Well-Being score for less frequent travelers. One study found that three days after vacation, subjects' physical complaints, quality of sleep, and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation.
- Increased mental power: Upon returning from vacation, workers are often more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can actually modulate a part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activity and can cause problems with memory. Time off can tune up a well-functioning brain.
- Improved familial relationships: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. A study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
- Decreased burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
- Planning alone boosts happiness: Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip!
You don't just want to go to the Bahamas...you need to go to the Bahamas.
7. Restrict caffeine intake. Stay with me, I know that's tough to hear. I think deep down, though, you know caffeine isn't good for you! I won't go into detail, you can read about it here, but just know that third soda could trigger anxiety, cause insomnia, lead to muscle breakdown and high blood pressure, and make you tired...and that's not even the entire list. Refer to tip #3. ;)
That's it, that's all I've got for you! It's all pretty manageable, so get started today and relieve some of that stress!