How to keep healthy this winter
‘Tis the season for colds and flu, and with that double threat on the horizon, it’s time to take care of your health and wellbeing in the workplace! Who’s got time to be unwell? Nobody. So follow our top tips for staying healthy this winter as the temperature drops…
Clean that desk!
Did you know that the average desk has hundreds of times more bacteria than a toilet seat? No? It gets worse. The area where you put your hand to type has around 10 million bacteria, so it’s quite the breeding ground for bugs.
We know that thanks to one Dr. Charles P. Gerba, PhD (aka ‘Doctor Germ’). He knows a few things about how diseases spread, having presented numerous US-based studies on the topic. So, to bring your desk up to standard, use anti-bacterial wipes to sanitise your work surfaces at the end of each day.
Wash your hands
It’s not just work surfaces that need to be wiped down. Your hands pick up loads of bacteria from touching kitchen surfaces and doorknobs – so regularly wash them with soap for at least 20-30 seconds.
Stay hydrated and eat well
Drinking at least 6 glasses of water per day is essential for overall health, especially when it comes to your brain and body functioning well. Keeping hydrated maintains our focus and productivity in the workplace, and can also reduce stress levels.
Getting your 5 a day can’t hurt either, and with colder weather on the horizon it’s a good time to top up on the proteins and/or carbs of your choice.
Beware of the temptation to comfort eat, especially with treats being passed around the office – high intake of sugar can cause hyperactivity and irritability. The upset in energy levels can lead to poor concentration levels and lack of productivity.
Go easy on the caffeine too. Decaf or green tea make good substitutes instead.
Get those endorphins
Working out releases endorphins, which is a real mood booster! It’s important to get at least 3 gym sessions every week; it’s a great stress-reliever.
Plus, it gets the heart pumping with oxygen. Your brain and muscles feel more alert, which makes you more productive! Always stock up on protein after exercise to help muscle recovery. Your muscles won’t care if it’s a shake, bar or a cheeky Nando’s.
A quality 7 hours a night is what’s needed to recharge your batteries when the going gets tough, especially with busier work days in the winter in the run up to the holiday season.
Set aside some time to wind down before bedtime, such as listening to relaxing music, or reading a book. Try to avoid screens, as the blue light from your tablet or phone is associated with disrupted sleep.
Mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness has become a big deal for overall wellbeing. It has the ability to change our perception of everyday situations, relieving stress, anxiety and many conditions that can make us ill at work.
Try to spend between 10-30 minutes each day relaxing in a quiet space with your eyes closed, and focus simply on your breathing. The more consistent you are with this practice, the more relaxed you might feel; useful for dealing with what life and the working day can throw at you.