Let’s face it, this time of year life throws everything but the kitchen sink at us. You know the feeling: distractions galore. Everywhere you look is an opportunity to undo all the healthy habits you’ve formed throughout the year: Christmas cookies, unexpected work drinks, leftover cheese plates, anyone wants to take home this fruit cake?
More than usual, it’s important to stay on track when you can. The alternative means completely falling off the wagon and sinking into a deep dark cavern of Christmas gluttony that no amount of New Year’s resolutions can fix.
Here’s our tip: use your time each day at work to create and stick to healthy habits so you can allow yourself some leeway on the weekends and holidays. Try to be as healthy as possible while at work and during the week. A commitment to clean living Monday-Thursday is a great way to create balance in our unpredictable Silly Season lives.
Here are a few healthy habits to incorporate into your work day:
- Make Healthy Food Easy: You know your schedule better than anyone, so make healthy foods a part of your task list. Get up early or prepare food on Sunday night so you have something nutritious that you enjoy. Learn about healthier restaurants and cafes in your area and become a regular. Stock your office fridge with easy and healthy things to eat like nuts, pre-cut veggies, and fruit.
- Stop Multitasking: In France, it’s considered rude to eat at your desk or grab food to eat on the street. People eat their meals together, even during the workday. If you can’t eat lunch with your colleagues everyday, at least leave your desk and focus on eating your lunch and nothing else. Multitasking often means not paying attention to what we’re eating or how much.
- Drink Water: This may seem like a no-brainer but nearly 80% of Australians are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration impairs mental function and causes you to be lethargic in addition to being related to a whole bunch of other medical conditions. Make drinking water part of your work day by purchasing a reusable water bottle and keeping it filled throughout the day. Alternatively, place a water pitcher on your desk and aim to drink at least two litres a day.
- Take Breaks: Physically stepping away from your desk can help you clean the slate in your brain, come up with new ideas, and better solutions to problems. Get some fresh air, take a walk around the block, or even do some stretching before you get back to work.
- Learn to Say “No”: How many of your obligations are mandatory and how many are self-imposed? If you’re hungover, tired, and/or stressed out all the time, take a long hard look at your calendar and think about what appointments or events you have to go to and which ones you’re saying “yes” to without wanting or needing to go. If it’s your co-worker’s 2nd birthday party of the month, a networking event you know everyone just goes to for the free drinks, or the end of the year party for a group of people you haven’t seen since last Christmas, maybe you should just stay home. Don’t overextend yourself during the most over-extended time of year. Watch this video if you have any questions about saying “no,” “Hell Yeah!”
- Keep Exercising: With all the other hoopla going on in December, you might be inclined to neglect your fitness regime. But, don’t forget exercise is the antidote to stress. You’ll need all that dopamine if you want to survive another Christmas lunch at the in-laws so go for a long run or swim before you start the festivities.
- Use Your Time Off to Unplug: Most offices in Australia are closed from Christmas to New Years if not longer. Use this time to stop working, worrying about work, thinking about work, or emailing about work. For the most part, no one will reply anyway so put your phone away and take time to truly unwind.
This advice doesn’t just apply to Christmas time. If you incorporate these tips into your life ALL the TIME, you’ll be happier, healthier, and more prepared for life’s ups and downs whether they are related to Santa, Pavlova, and relatives or not. Give yourself the gift of healthy habits this Christmas and it will be smooth sailing from here on out.