Date of the last update: 17.12.2021
Do you struggle to get motivated to make better health choices while working a full-time job? Do you find it hard to balance work with taking care of yourself? Do you need some supportive guidance on where to start?
A full-time job occupies a substantial part of our daily time allotment. Day in, day out, you have to start work at 9:00 a.m. and finish at 5:00 p.m., which leaves you with just a few hours for your business when you get home. If you want to join the ranks of health-conscious people, you should still find time for evening sport, follow a diet and take a range of supplements to complement your nutrient supply. The real trick is, however, to be able to balance your life while working full-time without too much effort and without giving up numerous pleasures. How to do it?
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How to eat?
Diet is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to taking care of one’s health. It’s not easy to always choose the healthy options, cook a pot of food every day and take it to work, while the latest difficulty can be that we no longer know what actually is healthy and what’s not. Additionally, we are continually manipulated by supermarkets, branding and advertising to buy and consume as much as possible. The promise of relief from worry jumps out from every colourful package, but this relief is only temporary.
Eating a healthy diet does not have to be difficult and boring. Just follow a few rules that will get your body on the right track.
- Don’t eat processed food! That includes ready-to-eat meals or packaged products.
- Avoid restaurants, limit your visits to 2 times a week and cook some simple meals instead.
- Eat sweets only in the form of natural and whole fruit.
- Nuts and fruit are the best snack option.
- Don’t go on a diet, instead listen to your intuition and innate ability to regulate hunger and satiety.
- Don’t let yourself be manipulated and take responsibility for your food choices.
For many people, healthy eating is the most challenging part to change, as eating is often emotionally charged. It serves as a reward, consolation or a way to stifle negative emotions. If you suspect this is the case for you, maybe it’s time to reach out to a professional for help?
Your day and night rhythm
Your body needs rest at night. You realise that staring at the TV screen or your smartphone at night disturbs your melatonin production. As a result, you sleep less well, and the next day you have to start your workday with coffee. Did you know that this routine exacerbates your chronic fatigue, and a drop in energy during the day is inevitable?
Eastern medicine, specifically Ayurveda, which originated in India, says a lot about day and night rhythm. Each time of day and night has a quality that makes it easier or more difficult for you to work. For example, from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m., the energy is heavy and slow; if you wake up around this time and cannot open your eyes, it is a sign that this energy is affecting you. On the other hand, before 6:00 a.m., an energy of lightness and purity prevails. The so-called morning birds can confirm that they feel more clarity of mind when they wake up early.
The same rule applies in the evening; thus, it makes a big difference what time you go to bed. Of course, it’s not easy to switch and go to bed at 9:00 at night to get up before 6:00 in the morning, but small changes make significant differences in your mood and productivity. All you need to do is start limiting your screen use after 9:00 p.m. and try to go to bed before 11:00 p.m. The rest will begin to happen on its own!
How to move for your spine?
Spending all day in one position is not natural for people. It is essential to move throughout the day, not just for an hour in the evening. The spine and muscles are a machine of great strength, but any overload will take its toll after a while. If you do not strengthen the muscles along your spine, your posture will begin to change. And if you fail to strengthen your abdominal muscles, your lumbar area will not have enough support. That is why it is so important to care for your spine throughout the day.
How to do that?
- Make sure that your computer screen is not too low. Looking at the screen with your head leaned forward causes an unnatural bend in your neck and leads to pain in your neck muscles or the cervical section of your spine.
- Get up from your desk every now and then and walk a few steps. You can set an alarm clock every hour, and you can also do some squats and jumping jacks to stimulate your muscles and circulation.
- If you work from home, you can spread a mat next to your workstation and do some yoga poses, stretch and feel your body, clear your mind too.
- Strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, as they keep your spine upright and prevent overloading.
Meditation as mental hygiene
We often try meditation and stop it after some time as we do not see any noticeable results. Meditation is like mind hygiene, but it doesn’t have to be half an hour a day spent on a meditation cushion with zen music playing in the background. We don’t all have that opportunity. You can get into a meditative state by doing something that makes you think about nothing in particular. It could be painting, sculpting, running, cooking or a more typical meditation such as guided meditation. Find the most suitable form for you and consciously let your mind relax.
To sum up
Caring for your health while working is difficult but crucial for optimal health. If you are a mother or father, your task is even more difficult. However, think about it, how well are you able to take care of your children if your own needs are not met? The way you look after yourself affects not only your health, thoughts and energy levels – it also affects your family and those around you.