How to Thrive- Not Just Survive- at Work

Here is an article I wrote for a monthy work newsletter. Let me know what you think!
Whether you work during the day or at night, at a desk, or on bank property, clear thinking and sustained energy are two must haves for a job well done. It’s easy at times to start out strong but it’s that 3:00 PM after lunch lull or the 10th stop in your route at night that finds you reaching for the nearest form of energy you can find: caffeine and sugar! While these are sure to give you a temporary boost, there are other and far better ways to help you thrive- and not just survive- your work day. Or night!
Essential to kicking off an energy-filled day is a hearty and nutritious breakfast. We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s true! Eating a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and some healthy fat is a great way to ensure that your mind and body will be up for the task that your job demands. This can be something as simple as whole wheat toast with peanut butter or high-fiber cereal with milk and fruit. Carbohydrates provide our brain with the glucose it needs to function, proteins are building blocks that keep us sharp and give us energy, and fat is satisfying so our morning meal stays with us. But what if you’re not awake to eat breakfast? No problem! Anytime you are headed out for a long period of work, start off on the right foot by eating a meal that contains those three nutrients- carbohydrates, protein, and fat- and you’ll be setting yourself up for success!
In addition to fueling ourselves with healthy food, our bodies need to MOVE! Whether you’re standing in one place for an extended amount of time or sitting at a desk for most of the day, stiff and tight muscles are often the end result. One easy way avoid this is to make sure you take breaks to walk around and stretch. In the office, instead of picking up the phone, walk to the person’s desk you’re trying to reach. If you have a personal call to take, stand up to talk or maybe take a few steps as you talk to get some blood flowing to your legs. There are even many stretches that can be done while sitting in a chair. thestretchinghandbook.com offers several examples of these along with a picture for the visual learner :> So what if your job requires more standing than sitting? You can still stretch! Taking a few minutes to roll your head in different directions or bending at the waist to stretch your spine can loosen you up and give you a much needed energy boost.
Lunch time! Half way through your day is a great time to take both a mental and physical break. If you can, get of out the office and take a walk! Weather often dictates whether this is possible outside but another easy option is to head to your favorite store and walk the aisles! Maybe knock some grocery shopping out or just browse around. Walking can help clear your mind and give your eyes something to look at besides a computer screen. Obviously, this is also the time to re-fuel with nutritious foods that will help you power through the rest of the day. Healthy lunch options include a big green salad with almost anything you want to add! Grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs, nuts, beans, vegetables, and dried or fresh fruit take lowly lettuce from boring salad to a complete and filling meal! If you want something heartier, try a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread or some soup with whole grain crackers. Leftovers from the night before make a quick and easy to pack lunch as well. If you’re out in the field for a long nights work, try and pack some quick easy snacks to eat along the way. An apple, banana, protein bar, or nuts are excellent choices.
Eating right and taking time to stretch are easy ways to boost your energy while at work. But what else can you do? Deep breathing and looking away from your computer screen to give you eyes a rest are two more simple ways to re-charge. Don’t feel like you have to make several changes to your routine all at once though. Try eating breakfast to begin with! With just a little effort, you can end your work shift- day or night- with energy to spare!

No comments: