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5 Things to Combat Workplace Stress

I think every generation looks back at the one in front of them and says,” They don’t work half as hard we did!” Well, I think regardless of what generation you come from; it’s hard to deny that todays work environment has hit a new high when it comes to stress. When 12-14 hour days are commonplace, most of which is spent sitting in front of a computer or at endless meetings. This can play havoc on the body. Add poor or no nutrition, limited exercise and you have a recipe for disaster.

The human body was not built to sit in one place for long periods of time. We were hunters and gatherers who were supposed to be running through the fields. Now we are chained to a desk. So what do we do? I’m not suggesting you go off the grid and live on a commune picking nuts and berries, but here are a few things that can be done to make life a little easier and your work environment a healthier happier place.

1. Start the day with a plan.
Too much of our day is scattered with things coming at us from every angle. List out 3-5 attainable goals that you can accomplish today. This will not only give you a positive boost because you accomplished a goal but will also help keep you on track and prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed.

2. Pre plan/cook your meals:
We tend to think of eating as something that is involuntary. Unfortunately this thought process gets most people into trouble. Two scenarios usually happen;
1st you are working long hours, don’t eat all day and then have one big meal at the end of the day.
This scenario will end with you exhausted, foggy, more susceptible to getting sick and make you fat!
When you don’t eat consistently your metabolism slows down to a crawl, causing everything you eat to turn into fat. Your body goes into storage mode because it never knows when you are going to feed it again.

2nd You are a grazer, munching on sweets and carbs all day then having 1- 2 giant meals. This scenario usually ends up with you taking in way more calories than you need. Because most of the food consists of sweets or carbs, the typical feeling will be a quick jolt of energy then a crash. Your meals will also be unhealthy along with portions that are far too large.

Solution: Pick a day like Sunday and cook 3-4 meals that you like in quantity and then freeze them. Make sure each meal consists of a protein (chicken, steak, fish, tofu or beans) a complex carb (vegetables) and a straight carb (rice, quinoa) Make sure the first two ingredients are the majority and the straight carbs are the smallest portion. I recommend that when you think portion size, think, no more than your fist, this should be your reference for the quantity of each component. Now here is the hard part…I need you to eat 5 times a day! Now that doesn’t mean 5 full meals, it means 3 meals and two snacks. I suggest a carb and protein (oatmeal and eggs) for breakfast, then snacks 5-10 nuts, yogurt or fruit are good options. One of your pre cooked meals for lunch. Then have a sensible dinner with your lowest amount of carbs at this meal. Don’t for get to drink water! 1-2 liters a day! If you follow this plan, you will have more energy, keep your weight manageable and be happier and healthier at work and home.

3. Exercise
Get your blood pumping! Most women I speak with love cardio and if they do exercise, that is where they focus. There is nothing wrong with cardio but if you can add 1-2 days a week of resistant or weight training to your program you will burn twice as much fat and keep your muscles strong which can help prevent injuries.

4. Get up!
If you are at an office where you have to sit all day, get up. Create a routine that forces you to get up and move. Maybe there are stairs in your office you can make a plan to walk or run them 2 times this week, then 3 the next so on and so on… This is a good way to keep your blood pumping and break up a long day of sitting.

5. Play Nice!
Almost all work environments involve interaction with co-workers and clients. Sometimes these interactions can be cold or even aggressive. If a negative situation arises think of the mirror analogy. The way you approach a situation will dictate the response. If you come at someone aggressively you can almost guarantee that the response you will get will match if not surpass your reaction, i.e. the mirror affect. If you approach a potential hostile situation with calmness and empathy you are more likely to get that in return. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

If you need more help to stay happy and healthy at work check out

Author: Holden Zalma founder Meta2Go on-site massage with 20 years of experience in the health and wellness field where he has helped hundreds of companies and thousands of people get out of pain and live a healthier life.

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