6 Workplace-Friendly Habits for a Healthy 2020
Some things are a set tradition on New Year’s Eve, such as singing Auld Lang Syne, watching the fireworks — and making resolutions. When the clock strikes midnight and everyone is cheering, it is just so easy to think, this year I’ll do better. Because New Year, New Me, right?
Nearly a quarter of the new year is over and it’s time to reflect. How is it going? Are you (still) on the right path?
The three most common resolutions are to quit smoking, exercise more and generally implement a healthier lifestyle. However, 80% of all highly motivated self-improvers give up as early as in the second week of February. As a matter of fact, only 9.2% of all people aiming to lose weight and be healthier in 2017 actually achieved this.
We believe that you deserve to feel fit, healthy and at ease in your body. That’s why we decided that on top of providing you with wholesome lunch choices every day, we would also collect some ideas for things to do to easily adapt a lifestyle that is good for you. These ideas (and many more) will be featured in our “Healthy Habits” series on social media every Monday. The best thing about them is that you can easily implement them into a busy work day.
1. Less sitting, more walking!
Sitting is the new smoking, or so they say - because sitting for long periods of time puts a strain on your heart, which has to pump 50% harder in order to circulate blood through the entire body. Pancreas, kidneys and colon are also happy about a less sedentary routine. Add to this the strain you put on your eyes and neck, which often causes headaches. Plus the muscle strength around your core is reduced - hello flabby waistline!
But what can you do? Stand up while working? That’s a good start, but experts say it’s not enough. Walking is much more efficient when it comes to balancing the negative effects of sitting. That’s why there is a trend called the 2-Minute-Walking-Habit, which is all about spending two minutes walking for every hours you spend sitting. So go and visit your colleagues at the other end of the building, take your mug back to the kitchen or walk around the block!
Maybe your colleagues and you can team up?
2. Avoid the elevator
We won’t explain to you, why - see above. Climb the stairs whenever you have the chance and your waistline, condition and thighs will be grateful.
3. Make sure you drink enough
The times of “Mad Men” are over and ginger water is the new Scotch. Get yourself a pretty and handy bottle or jug that will make it easy to keep fresh lemonade or infused water at hand. Your colleagues will be impressed, because it looks stylish, too. But it’s still easy to forget to actually drink it. Prevent that by making the process of finishing and refilling your glass a part of your 2-minute walk.
4. Take that, stress!
87 % of all Germans feel stressed. So pretty much everybody here. That’s quite worrying, considering all the possible consequences this can have. Besides psychological problems such as burn out, anxiety disorders or tinnitus, stress can cause a variety of physical symptoms as well. Headaches and insomnia are probably the two most common ones, but cardiovascular diseases, gastric problems and an increased susceptibility to infection can also be caused by stress.
Do yourself a favor and take a minute every morning to think about what today will bring for you. What challenges are you facing? What are your goals? What are you grateful for? Structure your day, and you will find yourself starting it feeling more balanced and in charge.
In the evening, reflect for a moment on whether you achieved your goals. What would you like to do better tomorrow? What was great about today? What are you proud of? Take some notes if it helps you. This is a great way of proving to yourself that all your anxiety is unnecessary - you are managing just fine. Maybe not always the way you would like to, but don’t be too hard on yourself!
5. Create your own mini break
Have a break - have a [insert name of famous waffle-filled chocolate bar].
Actually the thought is not that far-fetched. While the smokers are standing outside, freezing and shifting from one foot to the other, you can take a break, too! Schedule five minutes every morning and afternoon that you spend sipping a coffee or tea, eating an apple or simply looking out of the window.
The idea behind this is to unlock your eyes from your screen and think about something outside work that brings you joy. What are you going to cook tonight? What are your plans for the weekend? Have a chat with your colleagues about that fabulous dress at the store next door, analyze yesterday’s football match or exchange recipe ideas - it doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t think about that pile of paperwork on your desk. And if that pile grows within those five minutes? Nevermind. You’ll tackle it when you’re ready. In five minutes’ time.
6. Don’t eat when you feel stressed
Non-smokers are especially likely to compensate stress by digging into that box of chocolates. Unfortunately this is highly counterproductive, as the stress already puts enough strain on your body. Better do it some good by choosing a smoothie, some raisins or a cup of nuts.
However, the best thing you can do is to avoid eating when you feel stressed in the first place, because this is when you barely realize what you are actually having and you inevitable end up eating more. This goes for main meals as well: Try not to rush from the meeting room to the lunch table and take a deep breath in between - otherwise you’ll end up digging in uncontrollably. Better to enjoy!
Maybe you’re reading this now and thinking, Gosh, that’s a whole lotta habits to implement at once. True. Hence we recommend tackling a new resolution every two months. That’s because it takes a maximum of 66 days for a new task to become a habit. By then it will feel like second nature to you, just like brushing your teeth in the morning. (You do that, right?) No worries, you can do it. Step by step, 2020 will be your healthiest year yet. Because you’re better than the statistic!
Your Smunch Team