Balance a Busy Work Schedule with a Healthy Lifestyle
Since moving to Washington, D.C. just over two years ago, I have been in denial about my worst habits. You can probably relate; it is a poor diet, lack of exercise, and an overall unhealthy lifestyle.
Why use a careers blog, however, to talk about health?
Taking care of yourself is beneficial to your productivity in the workplace. A poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, and excessive drinking can result in fatigue, reduced thought clarity, and higher stress levels. With a busy work schedule, it is easy to let your health slip, causing a vicious cycle.
Here are three ways you can balance a busy work schedule and a healthy lifestyle.
Breakfast and dinner are less likely to be unhealthy because you have the distinct advantage of eating them at home. Often people make the mistake of either skipping these important meals or eating out due to lack of time or energy.
Lunch is even trickier because it is the one meal you’re almost guaranteed to eat at work. Often, this leaves you subject to the food served locally. It is rarely healthy for your body or your wallet. By preparing meals beforehand, you can control your meals and make healthy choices.
If like me, you are too tired or lack time on weekdays, find an hour during the weekend to plan and execute your meals for the next five days. If at lunch you still want to join your colleagues, buy a soda with them but eat lunch at your desk in advance.
A good night’s sleep has many advantages. First, you will be far more energetic and productive at work if you are sufficiently rested. Beyond the obvious, by going to bed in good time, you will find it much easier to wake up earlier and allow yourself more time to eat breakfast, go to the gym, or arrive to work earlier and get a jump start on the day.
If like me, you enjoy watching television and surfing your phone before bed, you should consider reading instead. You are not going to be roped into one YouTube clip after another or be sucked into a Facebook debate. By reading instead, you will relax your mind and find it much easier to fall asleep at the intended hour.
The workplace is an obstacle course of temptation. Whether it’s food left over from an event, a colleague who bakes, a happy hour, or a special occasion, there is always something! This is where your previous meal preparation will come in most helpful. If you have food scheduled or something to appease your appetite like a healthy snack, you are less likely to indulge.
The other key here is communication. Make sure your colleagues are aware of your intention to live a healthier lifestyle; they can hold you accountable rather than be part of the problem.