A lot has changed when it comes to working conditions. Luckily, most of the changes have been for the better. Better working conditions, improved workers’ rights and the option for many to work from home are just some of the benefits we are now able to experience, but some problems have remained unsolved and others have emerged.
Working extra-long hours now seems to be a standard, regardless of the job. In a highly competitive world, it’s hardly surprising that people push themselves to the limits (and beyond on occasions) in order to gain competitive advantage or simply to keep their jobs. That can have extremely negative effects on workers, i.e. both on their physical and mental health. So, how can we look after ourselves when we have to put in that extra effort?
These are necessary if we want to remain productive over a longer period. Needless to say, no human being can work without breaks. It’s actually taking regular breaks that helps us finish our work more quickly. Namely, we lose focus after some time and can’t be as productive and efficient as we’d like, which inevitably leads to oversights and mistakes that can cost us and the company we work for dearly. Even a 15-min break that you use to stretch your legs, walk around the block or to a nearby park can help you regain focus and energy needed for work. We could listen to some music, ring a friend or have a snack, depending on what we want or need to do, but it’ll all help us work better once we return to work.
There is no excuse for neglecting our fitness regime or leading a life without one. We don’t have to run dozens of miles every day or spend hours in the gym, but we have to exercise regularly, because exercising helps us relieve stress that we face at work every day and make our bodies stronger and healthier. We can use our short breaks during work to don our fancy women bottom tights or other clothes that makes exercising easy and have a workout session, preferable outdoors. If exercising during work hours is not an option, we should do it before or after work.
Many people who work long hours just go to work, return home, eat, sleep and repeat this routine almost every day. Such life if deprived of any fun or any activities that make us feel good about ourselves. That’s why we should always find time to see a movie with friends or family, hike in nature or have a nice dinner out with those we love. If we don’t “treat” ourselves with such activities, we’re bound to start hating our lives soon, which will have an extremely negative impact on our mental health and work performance.
Another very important tip when it comes to remaining health despite working a lot is to stay drink enough water. We all know about the benefits of water, but there are still many who simply don’t drink enough of it. In their defence, we have to admit that it’s possible to forget to drink water and ignore the first symptoms of thirst when we’re preoccupied with work, but that’s just wrong and potentially dangerous. If you don’t like the taste of regular water, add some lemon, orange, lime to it to flavour it up without adding too many calories. Sipping water regularly throughout the day is one of the best things we could do for our health.
Go easy on coffee
Many people resort to coffee or soft drinks for a caffeine boost, which can do the trick, but only if we’re not talking about any long-term success. Truth be told, such drinks help us stay alert for some time, but caffeine is a drug that could have many adverse side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems. This doesn’t mean you have to give up enjoying coffee completely, but it should simply mean you have to control your caffeine intake. Find a balance and enjoy occasional boosts, but don’t get addicted.
Don’t work every day
Most of us have worked seven days a week at some point, but that must not become a routine. It’s impossible to sustain that kind of schedule without both your work and health suffering greatly. You may not be in a position to have a whole weekend free, but make sure you keep at least one full day work-free. Your body and your mind need to rest and refresh, so that you can return to work feeling better.
Be careful what you eat
Junk food may seem a perfectly logical option when you have to work long hours, but we assure you that’s not the case. Regardless of how tasty it is, it won’t provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Even if you don’t have enough time to prepare a full meal at home and bring it to work every day, you should plan ahead and prepare several meals at once. For example, a large bowl of salad should last you a few days and by adding a hardboiled egg or canned tune, you’ll get the proteins you need. Eat fruit or fruit salads that you either prepare at home or buy in a local shop and consume them as snacks.
You need enough sleep
No matter how well-balanced your diet is or how much you exercise, if you don’t get enough sleep, all your efforts to remain healthy will be in vain. Adults need around eight hours of sleep each night and we should strive for this goal. Otherwise, all we’ll experience will be fatigue and lack of concentration. We might be able to get by on a few hours of sleep every occasionally, but that must not become a routine. If possible, you could even take a short powernap during a break, so that you can be refreshed before going back to work.
Working long hours is, unfortunately, a problem that many people all over the world have to deal with. However, if we pay attention to what we do, eat and drink, we can remain healthy despite spending more time at work than we should.