Wow was I being a hypocrite at the office!
Outside of the office I was checking off all the important components to health- moving my body regularly, having a consistent relaxation practice, eating nutrient rich whole foods, etc etc BUT I was shocked when I started tapping into my training watch at work and noticing how unhealthy I was being at the office!
It is stilly that it took me looking at my watch to see what was right in front of me but that it was it took.
My watch uses Heart Rate Variability to measure my stress during the day and I was not managing that stress well while at work.
So I stopped to think, what am I doing or what can I add to my day at the office to help shift the dial towards health?
10 ideas to bring health to your work life starting today.
- Eat a protein rich breakfast– This helps balance blood sugar and keep energy balanced so you can crush it at work with out worrying about a bonk before lunch. Some of my favorites are kale and eggs, or full fat yogurt with nuts/seeds/berries, or stewed apples with flax seeds, cinnamon, and mct oil, or ground lamb with onions, garlic, and broccoli.
- Get outside during the day and get some sunshine on your face– Taking just a few minutes to step outside, breath some fresh air, and get some sunshine on your face can help your mood, your vitamin D levels, your brain get more blood flow (yup, just standing up sends more blood and oxygen/nutrients to your brain), your stress levels melt, your hormones balance (melatonin and cortisol need to be synched up with light/dark), and more.
- Bring your lunch, or at least plan for lunch– Getting hungry at work with no plan stinks! That is when you bonk and reach for anything to make it through. By being organized and having a plan you can guarantee a nutrient dense meal to help support digestion, your immune function, your microbiome, your focus, your hormones and your work spark to get things done. My favorites are leftovers from dinner, soup, or a gigantic salad loaded with seeds/nuts, nutritional yeast, avocado, veggies, s/p and o/v.
- Get a plant to freshen up the room– Living plants in the room can clean up the air and make the environment feel better. These specific plants are known to clean the air- Spider Plant, Ficus, Boston Fern, Bamboo Palm, and Aloe Vera.
- Use smells– Essential oils can be used to uplift mood, ease tension and shift gears. Of course be mindful of co-workers but using essential oils in a diffuser or just a little spray here and there can bring all sorts of workplace magic. Some of my favorites are Palo Santo for cleansing the air, lemongrass to ease anxiety, and rosemary for mental focus.
- Drink tea (and water, of course)- Sipping on herbal tea during the day brings wild health benefits as teas are loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, and health boosters. My favorite to sip on is a mix of peppermint, nettles, oatstraw, rosehips, and alfalfa for an awesome nourishing tonic. An easy one to bring a relaxed chill vibe (but not sleepy) is sipping on lemon balm tea.
- Stop to breath– Even just 3 minutes of mindful breathing can help restore your HPA axis (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis) which is key for all hormone balance, digestive health, immune function, and mental function. My favorite way? Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath, count silently to the count of 4 on inhales and 4 on each exhale. Do this for 10 breaths, you can count them on your fingers and no one will ever know but your body/mind will thank you.
- Stretch – Take 5- 10 minutes to stretch your legs, neck, hips, and my favorite is a bliss backbend where you look up and reach your elbows towards one another on your back while lifting your heart, ahhhhh. And you don’t even need to leave your desk.
- Take a walk– If you can get out for a 20 minute walk during the day then by all means set a timer and get moving. I also enjoy lifting a heavy rock from the ground to over my head a few times during the day. It sounds silly but it is awesome for increasing strength, bone density and increasing mitochondria (the energy makers in your cells).
- Sit on a ball or create a standing desk– Make your desk space an area that supports your body health and mobility. I love sitting on my ball to keep my core activated and at home I have a standing desk which feels great on my hips and helps me stay focused.
Pick one each week and give it a try. Which ones do you already do at the office?
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Janel Ferrin Anderson is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, a Certified Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, A certified BioIndividual Nutrition Consultant, a certified Yoga Therapist, and has her doctorate in Natural Medicine. Janel obsesses over why things work the way they do and supports people to discover what is true for their unique body. She has a Holistic and Functional Nutrition Office in Truckee/Tahoe but also works online with individuals and groups. Interested in using food and lifestyle to improve how you function? Check out Mountain Rebalance today! Learn more about Janel here and hear what people are saying about working with Janel here
Very important to consider what buffers we create for ourselves at work. I really enjoy a 10 minute meditation around 2pm. I feel so much better when I adhere to that practice.