Feeling like your work schedule is taking a toll on other areas of your life? Here are 13 tips from ABC News about how to make the most of your job while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
6 a.m.: Good morning!
How you wake up often sets the course for your rest of the day. Set your alarm for 15 minutes before you need to get up so you can wake up gradually. Try going to bed with the blinds tilted halfway open so that the sun coming through the window can help to generate adrenalin to counteract melatonin.
The Sleep Cycle alarm clock also can work. It’s an app that monitors your sleeping habits and wakes you when you are the least asleep, which can help you feel positive for the rest of the day.
7 a.m.: Breakfast
Having a small meal before heading off to work can be a great way to boost your metabolism. Protein and calcium are the key components to any meal to start the day.
8 a.m.: Heading to the office
The commute to work can be one of the most stressful times of the day. Keeping the commute hassle-free is a good plan, but distance is sometimes non-negotiable. If you’re looking for a new residence, try to find someplace near work so you do not need to spend too much time and energy simply getting to work. But if you live farther away, leave in plenty of time to make sure you are not frustrated by delays and other frenzied drivers.
9 a.m.: Organization
Once you get to the office, do not go into tunnel vision immediately. Take a few minutes to organize your thoughts and materials before you even sit down at your desk. Standing up can increase productivity, and because you are farther from your laptop, papers or other materials, you can see more clearly which ones you will need for the day and which ones can be discarded. When you are ready, then sit down and begin to work on your plan of attack for the day.
10 a.m.: Coffee break?
Try not to have too much coffee early in the morning. One cup at about 10 a.m. can give you a nice pick-me-up for the rest of the morning because caffeine takes about 45 minutes to take effect. But too much caffeine, or having it too early in the day, can lead to stress. Some apps can help you monitor your caffeine intake to plan your day in the best way.
11 a.m.: No snack, please
Having a case of the munchies in the morning is a common phenomenon, but getting a snack probably won’t help your energy level. Eating just a couple of hours after breakfast can obstruct weight loss without the benefit of keeping you energized. Try to schedule between three and five hours between meals to avoid what some call “mindless eating.”
12 p.m.: Lunch
Your midday meal will be most effective if you can work a short exercise regimen into your schedule after you finish eating. Something as simple as a 20-minute walk can boost your energy to finish your workday. Also, try to eat away from your desk to avoid ingesting dangerous bacteria that harbor in the workplace. Feeling down with a bug is about the worst thing for workplace productivity and your health.
2 p.m.: Try a nap
Napping can help to get you through the rest of the day, and you don’t need much time at all to take a brief siesta. Even five to 10 minutes with your eyes closed can work wonders to get you through the rest of your tasks.
3 p.m.: Eye care
Your eyes can have a big impact on how you feel, especially later in the day. Keep your eyes fresh by following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
4 p.m.: Stretch it out a bit
You’re getting there! Toward the end of your workday, try a couple of simple exercises right from your desk chair. This can help your mind and body to relax and regroup as the final hour or so of your work begins.
5 p.m.: Take it easy on your way out
The best way to end the day is on a relaxed note. Watch a quirky YouTube video or have a conversation with a co-worker before heading out the door, and don’t try to rush. Take your time when you leave, because that can prepare you for the next day.
6 p.m.: Relax!
Crank up the radio or take some time to think on your way home. Seek some resolution from the day to bring it full-circle. It’s easier to tackle tomorrow’s tasks once you come to terms with today.
9 p.m.: Bedtime
Try to get close to eight hours of sleep, but even bedtime requires some preparation. Don’t stare at a bright screen right before you go to bed. Try to take a warm bath about half an hour before you go to bed, and keep a glass of water near you so you can lower your body temperature if you wake up and are feeling too warm to be comfortable.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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