There are countless posts online providing step by step reminders of things you probably already know about making healthy choices. This post may or may not fall into that same abyss of recycled commonsensical tips, but hopefully you learn at least one new tidbit you can pass along to your equally overworked peers.
Take vitamins. Taking supplements and vitamins will not only supercharge your immune system against seasonal viruses and bacteria, but will also give you that second wind of energy when you begin to hit the wall- say Tuesday evening? Wednesday morning? Speak to your physician about general vitamins and supplements that will work well with your unique temple. A great place to visit and browse supplements is your local health food market; there you can usually find wholesome, organic, vegan and allergen free vitamins, essential oils and dietary supplements. Winter months can be dreary, especially if you already lack the vitamin D your body needs because you spend most of your hours under fluorescents. Adding an omega-3 supplement, fish oil is a great option (there are algae based vegan options available as well). Omega-3 fatty acids are brain food that give you the nutrition you need to make healthier dietary choices and to feel sharp and alert. Taking a combination of B-complex vitamins, omega-3s, 5-HTP, theanine and vitamin D is a recipe that has been proven to uplift moods, reduce anxiety and to fight depression. Finding the right balance of vitamins and supplements to complete your diet can make a drastic change in your overall outlook, aid in maintaining a healthy weight, reduce pesky cravings and to make your days more lucid.
Drink more water (with lemon). The sense of urgency around staying hydrated is one of those aforementioned topics that is oversaturated online. Seems pretty elementary that drinking water is good for you, but here is another reiteration:drink more water! It will make you look and feel better plus it will keep you regular! I know, ‘#2’ is somewhat of a taboo, but the more you go, the more often your body is flushing the toxins and unnecessary waste we carry around in our gut. Adding some fresh lemon (organic is ideal, read about it!) adds another element of detox to your goal daily intake of at least two liters of water. The acidic nature of lemon juice is similar to the acid (bile) our stomachs naturally produce, which aids in keeping everything flowing. Lemon juice also assists in efficient nutrient absorption, which means it helps your body to suck out all the good parts of the semi-decent diet you maintain.
Smile. Did you know that smiling triggers your brain to feel happy? Try it on a hard day?
Give your eyes a break. Most days we are glued to some version of a backlit screen to communicate with friends and family and to complete work. This constant strain on your eyes can lead to migraines and really tired eyes. Try to insure your work environment is the best possible for your eyes by reducing glare, enabling natural ambient light (should be about as half as light as a typical office space while using the computer) and by keeping your display up to date. Be sure to adjust your brightness, contrast, text size and color temperature. Blue light is what gives us the most issues because of it’s shorter wavelength. By reducing the color temperature on your screen you can increase warmer, longer wave visible light that are easier on the eyes. Try to blink more often and practice changing focus from your screen to distant or other objects every twenty minutes. Lastly, you may consider computer eyewear or blue light canceling lenses put into your glasses frames. Ask your optometrist at your next check up about your particular prescription and ways you can specifically reduce eye strain.
Stretch. They say you’re only as young as your spine is… when is the last time you tried to touch your toes? Sitting all day is just about the worst thing we can do for our backs, hips and hamstrings. Get up often and walk around. Google or YouTube in office stretches and core workouts to get your vertebrae nice and lubricated.
Make conscious food choices. Think before you binge! It is really difficult to stick to diet routines on a tight schedule and who really has the patience for meal prepping every week? Try to keep your menu fresh and look up new recipes for on the go healthy choices. Think about small changes you can make throughout your day that add up to big differences in your health. Skip the whipped cream and the mindless break room snacks you may not even realize you have eaten. These are empty, unenjoyed calories. Try to have a deeper, more ritualistic relationship with your food. Enjoy it, chew slow and be conscious of how things make you feel. This is in no way to say stop eating everything yummy and go full paleo, vegan, cardboard snacks instead of treating yourself. This is simply a reminder to be more present where your diet is involved and to pay attention to how it changes your day.
Stay safe out there!