It isn’t always easy to maintain your wellness goals while juggling a career. Things like meeting deadlines, keeping clients happy and taking on new projects often take precedence over making sure you’re getting enough sleep or exercise.
However, failing to overcome the effects of a sedentary lifestyle can have a lasting impact on your health. But if you’re sitting at a desk all day and doing work on your computer, how can you make simple changes to improve your well-being?
Below, Sokya has some tips that can be sprinkled in throughout the workday for professionals who want to improve their mental and physical wellness.
One of the foremost things you can do for your general health and wellness is to nourish your body with a balanced diet. Of course, this is typically easier said than done, but here are a few suggestions that can help you eat healthier whether you’re at the office or on the go.
- Don’t take lunch at your desk or in front of your computer. Doing so can be distracting and make you less mindful of what you’re eating.
- Pack healthy snacks and try to avoid junk food while you’re working.
- Try to make sure your meals are balanced with protein, complex carbs and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energized during the workday.
We all know that staying active is essential for our physical health, but how do you stay fit with a sedentary job? Fortunately, there are some ways you can get moving and sneak in some exercise while you’re on the clock.
- Get up and walk around the office. Most experts recommend doing this for at least 5 minutes every hour.
- Look into standing desks. These allow you to keep working comfortably while on your feet. Most brands are adjustable, so you can switch back and forth as needed.
- Keep a water bottle near your desk that you have to get up to refill. Not only does this help you stay hydrated and drink more water throughout the day, but it also encourages walking.
Optimize Your Workspace
An unorganized, untidy or unoptimized workplace can cause unnecessary stress and frustration. Making a few small changes tailored to your own unique needs and preferences can help improve your mood and focus.
- Adjust your chair and desk to make sure they’re both comfortable and ergonomic. You can also look into mouse pads and other devices that reduce strain on your wrists.
- Keep things neat and organized. This can improve your time management and make sure you’re able to locate important items when needed.
- Eliminate distractions in your workspace, such as phones, TVs and other gadgets. If you need these or other devices to do your job, keep them in a dedicated place.
Add a Natural Touch
Nature is good for the mind, body and soul, but most offices aren’t exactly a wealth of green space. However, adding a little bit of a natural touch to your workspace can brighten things up and boost your mood and productivity.
- Add a houseplant to your desk. There are many options that thrive in low light and require infrequent watering, such as lucky bamboo, pothos and snake plants.
- Gravitate toward natural lighting. If your office has a window, keep it clear to let the sun in. You can also opt for bulbs that replicate the spectrum of natural light.
- You could also consider adding a small betta tank or water feature to your desk. Studies show that these ‘blue spaces’ also promote mental well-being.
Take the Time to Relax
Work can be stressful and we often don’t take the time to reset or relax our minds and bodies. But high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, keep us in "fight or flight" mode and contribute to many health problems. Here are a few simple ideas to help you to find relief and mitigate the harmful effects of too much stress.
- Practice deep breathing. Even though it's a natural process essential for life, many people don’t breathe properly due to stress or anxiety. Deep breathing can help increase calm and lower your blood pressure. Try inhaling through your nose for 5 seconds, hold it, and then release slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds.
- Meditation is also a great way to relax, clear your mind and relieve stress. However, you don’t have to be a guru to meditate effectively. Find a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your inner thoughts without judging them as good or bad. You can also try using a mantra or focusing on a particular sound, color or visual.
- Calming music, aromatherapy and going outside for a quick walk can also help you relax at work. Try out different things and see what works best for you.
Use Reminders and Other Wellness Tools
It takes time to turn good intentions into healthy habits, but technology can keep you on track with your wellness goals. Your smartwatch or phone can be set up to provide you with reminders to move, drink water, meditate or stretch throughout your workday.
- Set alarms on your devices to remind you to get moving. Fitness trackers, smartwatches and other gadgets usually have this feature built-in and will count your steps, letting you know how many you have left in the hour.
- You can also set reminders for stretching, drinking water and other wellness activities. Your routine can be personalized to the things that benefit you most.
- You can use apps to track your diet, which is helpful if you’re trying to hit certain fitness goals or want to know how many vitamins or minerals you’re getting each day.
- Some mental health services are available online or through mobile apps. Sokya offers a full range of mental wellness options that can be accessed from anywhere to help you find your balance.
Take Advantage of Mental Wellness Programs
At Sokya, we believe that one of the best things you can do for your general well-being is to proactively manage and maintain your mental health. If that falls by the wayside, it's hard to stay motivated and find the energy you need to get through the day. Fortunately, Sokya has made it easier than ever to create your own unique mental wellness circle, with access to therapists, clinicians, psychiatrists and more who want to see you feel your best.
- You can get in touch with us by calling 866-65-SOKYA or completing our online contact form and a Care Coordinator will be in touch within 48 hours. Then, we’ll work together to connect you with the right services.
- Your employer may also have other mental wellness programs you can take advantage of. Talk to your manager or HR to see what’s offered and how to access it.
- Keep an open mind about the treatment process. There are numerous therapies, medications and modalities out there that can help, but each can be personalized to your unique needs and goals. We’re here to help you navigate the available options.
A sedentary lifestyle can harm your health, but small changes in your everyday routine can make a big difference. If you’re a busy professional with an office or desk job, it’s easier than you think to avoid the physical and mental effects of sitting for too long. The key is to start small and build from there. If you’d like to make additional changes in your life to improve your mental wellness with therapy, support groups, coaching or more, Sokya can help. To learn more, contact or call us today at 866-65-SOKYA.