Hacks For Workplace Wellness
How to survive working from home, given the now-not-so-new normal imposed by COVID-19?
Yes, I know you are thinking vaccines are around the corner. However, working conditions aren’t going back to normal on New Year’s Day. Even, when you do go back to the office, the few tips I am about to reiterate still hold good to ensure that you can manage your Wellness goals consistently based on simple, yet, widespread concerns of people across industry and work roles.
I am going to classify them under the following heads (Food, Pain & Stress) with simple hacks that will help you start and maintain managing them:
- Don’t simply focus on the number of calories but also on the quality of calories (good calories VS empty calories). All calories aren’t equal. Empty calories (junk food/sugar) add more weight/health problems than merit.
- When you eat is as important as what you eat. Some foods take longer to digest; some can cause a sugar spike affecting energy levels; eating heavy at night can affect sleep. If you want to indulge occasionally, try and do it earlier in the day and then do any activity to burn those calories, at least some of them. You’ll save heartburn -literally and figuratively!
- Spot and make a note of your hunger pattern. Prepare healthier food choices timely so that you have eating options ready when hunger strikes.
- Plan your meals around your activity levels. Weight management is about balancing calories consumed and burnt.
- Inculcate the habit of eating fruits and veggies. It’s not just essential for children. Aim to get your daily servings. This also helps curb hunger pangs and sweet cravings.
- Change your choice of cooking oils, cereals, and flours periodically. There are many in the market with different health benefits. Just as it is good to shake up things with exercise, so it is with food and cooking mediums. For those with health conditions, please follow the doctor’s advice and don’t make uninformed choices swayed by advertising.
- If you are one of those, who don’t drink enough water, keep your own water bottle handy next to you always and keep tabs on your daily intake. Tea/coffee are not replacements, but additions. Watch your intake.
- Sugar is addictive. Read this again. Consume it in moderation, including sweet beverages. Avoid drinking these while eating food.
- Poor posture is the root cause of many acute and/or chronic aches and pains. Keep working on correcting it.
- Set up a dedicated workspace. Don’t lounge and work anywhere.
- Set it up ergonomically. Proper height of the table, chair, and positioning of the laptop/device will help prevent neck, shoulder, back, wrist, and knee pains. These should be adjusted as per your height and eye level (for screens).
- Check the forward neck tilt, which increases with long hours at the desk. Correct it as often as you can.
- Adjust screen brightness and font size to allow comfortable reading for longer hours and reduce strain in eyes, neck, and head.
- Take periodic breaks. Walk around and do exercises and stretches to avoid muscular stress and pains. There are many you can do using the work chair and table.
- Observe and make a note of your stress triggers. Decoding our action-response patterns is a starting point for helping ourselves mentally and emotionally.
- Practice deep breathing exercises, especially when working long hours.
- Adopt a calming routine/practice. Do it before starting work and after finishing. You can also do it while taking a break from work. It helps re-centre and realign.
- De-clutter your workspace. Clutter causes stress.
- Simple stretches that release muscular stress also help with mental stress. Stress causes muscles to tense up.
- Tap into your Corporate Wellness Plan for stress management modules. If there isn’t any, pitch it to management. Everybody needs recourse for stress management.
About Vani Pahwa
Vani B. Pahwa is Health & Wellness Evangelist, and Founder, Body In Motion, who specializes in Functional-Fitness, and Cancer Exercise & Rehabilitation. With almost 2 decades of experience, and certifications from leading internationally-accredited and globally-recognized fitness institutions, Vani is the leading Wellness Expert for Multinational Corporations and is a recognized Speaker and Coach. An Indian Classical Dancer, Vani encompasses her learnings from dance to everyday movement making “exercise and training for life, not just events.” To know more about Vani and her premium wellness services, visit https://www.bodyinmotion.in