Starting your first full-time gig can be daunting. With longer hours, consistent stress and daily deadlines on the cards, it can be easy to prioritise work over your own health and wellbeing.
Eloise, for example, started working full-time whilst she was still at university. At the beginning, the marketing assistant at Bayer consumer health struggled to include self-care in her daily routine. “I struggled to fit in a lot of the basics like exercise, preparing healthy meals and even catching up with friends during the week,”she notes.
“Mostly I was just tired from absorbing so much information and learning so many new names, acronyms, processes and ways of thinking.”
I can also relate to that feeling of imbalance. When I first started full-time work, I ate horribly, didn’t exercise and forgot to set aside any ‘me’ time.
Well, to that I say – not anymore, sweetie.
You shouldn’t have to excel at work to the detriment of your mental or physical health – both can peacefully coexist if you make a conscious effort to do so. If you’re healthier and happier outside of work, you’ll be more productive within the workplace anyway, so now’s the time to start putting good habits into place.
From a nutritional standpoint, Lucinda Hancock, CEO of Nutrition Australia, agrees. “Whether it’s at home or at work, the foods and drinks your employees consume is affecting their performance on a day to day basis – their energy levels, mood and concentration – not to mention their long-term health.”
In terms of healthy snack options for the workplace, Lucinda offers her expertise:
“Mix it up and have a couple of food groups at a time for more enjoyment and a wider variety of nutrients. For example, yoghurt with fruit, cheese and grainy crackers, avocado / tomato / boiled egg on wholegrain toast, crackers, crumpets, English muffins, a handful of mixed unsalted nuts, savoury muffin, fruit scone, muesli bar, dried fried and nuts, fruit in natural juice, vegetable sticks and hummus dip, small slice of vegetable frittata.”
That’s a lotta healthy options. It goes without saying, but nutritional foods can improve vital workplace skills such as concentration and memory, problem solving and the ability to cope with stress
According to Michael Cunico, lifestyle coach and personal trainer at Fitness First, exercise is also a significant aspect in helping to ease the transition into full-time work. He explained:
“It is important, not only to stay physically active which will contribute to your productivity and reduce your chances of becoming ill but also to ensure your body continues to be able to perform.”
In terms of small ways we can implement exercise into our daily routine in order to beat those cubicle blues, Michael offers 3 tips:
- Have meetings that involve movement – walking outside while discussing important bizness is a great excuse to stretch those legs and get some sun.
- Use a handsfree/wireless phone in the office. “This will allow you to move, increasing your non-exercise-related energy expenditure. You may even want to perform some standing stretches, sure, you will get some strange looks, but you’ll have the last laugh in 50 years when you are still moving like a ninja.” Ninja fitspo.
- Trial an email-free day. “If you need to send an email to anyone in your office, go over and talk to them face to face. Not only will you avoid the horrible position of being stuck over your desk, but you will most likely build better relationships as well.”
As for Eloise? “It all comes down to time and settling in. You find your rhythm and finally learn the ropes at work”.
I agree – if you’re patient and set smart practices into place early on, you’ll find your rhythm. Now go out and thrive like the future Steve Jobs you are. Godspeed, aspiring CEO. I see success in our futures.Image: Instagram / @willsmith