We’re all super-focused on getting ahead in our careers, all while expertly balancing our personal lives. Women especially tend to be plugged into the needs of others: our children, our partners, even our coworkers. But it’s actually more important to make sure we are taking care of ourselves so that the things in your life and the lives of your loved ones can continue to run smoothly. Here are some tips on staying healthy in the workplace – from hygiene to self-care.
Keep a Clean Work Area
Don’t just keep your desk or immediate area orderly. Actually clean it down at least once a week with a disinfecting cleaner. Don’t let empty coffee cups or takeout containers pile up. Keep your workspace as minimal as possible, with everything in its place, and you will also feel less stressed about the work you need to get done.
Take Time For You
I have a yoga-obsessed friend who takes bathroom breaks at her job and does a few yoga poses in there to help her get centered during her workday. Now I’m not necessarily advocating for you do that, but it is important to take at least one break a day where you try to clear your mind, get focused and not let any of your other obligations into your thoughts. This could just be ten minutes: go for a walk around the building or even just shut your office door. You’ll come back to your duties with a much clearer focus.
Eating right at work can be tricky. We are prone to takeout or delivery with who-knows-what nutritional information. I would always recommend packing a lunch, but you can also make it a little easier on yourself by stocking your office with healthy snacks. Try bringing in a bunch of bananas for the week or bags of nuts or dried fruit. I also like to keep a 12-pack of seltzer water at hand to help me make sure I’m remembering to stay hydrated.
Watch Your Coffee Intake
Caffeine is a blessing in this world, and I am all for it, but make sure you are drinking your beverage of choice: coffee, tea, or soda in moderation. If you drink a lot of coffee throughout the day, alternate each cup with a glass of water or you risk dehydration. If you ever have trouble sleeping, I would also recommend trying to cut back on your caffeine intake, and maybe stop drinking caffeine after lunchtime.
Practice Good Boundaries
It can be hard to navigate boundaries with coworkers. You have to remain professional but also be able to work together with everyone's different work styles and personalities. If you have a hard time working with someone, if possible try your best to limit face time with that person. It’s likely you don’t realize how much having a recurring negative experience at work can affect you. If that isn’t possible, try broaching the topic with Human Resources, a manager, or the person themselves to see how you can create a better work experience.
It should go without saying to always wash your hands after using the restroom and before and after eating, but we’ve all seen people in public restrooms leave without washing. Especially during flu season or other times when an illness is going around, take extra care to wash your hands often. Hand sanitizer also works well, which you can keep on your desk for easy use. I would also recommend steering clear of any sick co-workers, if possible.