Corporate life. Early starts, late finishes, suits, ties, heals, short lunches, long meetings. Sit in a chair, at a desk, in your office (if you’re lucky enough to have an office). Air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, instant coffee, vending machines. Sore shoulders, bad backs, clenched jaws, no sleep, over worked, under paid, stress and anxiety. A lot of employees working in the corporate world are uncomfortable.
Just because you are part of the corporate grind, does not mean you should be exhausted, overweight, unhappy or unhealthy. For those of you working it, you need to know that they you have the right to a better quality of work-life.
How can you improve your corporate lifestyle? For starters, you need to want to make a change. Here are eleven small steps that can lead to big change in your corporate work day.
1. Get up from your computer every 20 minutes and stretch
Touch your toes, reach your hands behind your back, whatever it takes. Just make sure you get a bit of movement happening. Being sedentary for hours on end is REALLY unhealthy.
2. Bring healthy snacks to work that keep you going
A handful of almonds, hummus with celery and carrots or a banana are great snacks to keep your energy levels up. Having healthy snacks on hand also keeps you away from the vending machine or desserts in the canteen.
3. Ergonomics is your friend in the corporate world
Make sure your computer is at eye level to avoid hunching forward in your chair. Your feet should reach the floor and your arms should be at a 90 degree angle at your keyboard. Read more about the benefits here.
4. Bring a water bottle to work and drink, all day long
We can often forget how dehydrated we get when we’re in artificial air-conditioning for hours. By having a water bottle handy at your desk, you don’t have to worry about getting up ten times to get a glass of water.
5. Get fresh air
Step outside every now and again to keep you connected to the outside world. Breathing fresh air gives your brain a little kick in the pants to keep you going.
6. Don’t take things personally
If your co-worker is having a bad day that’s their problem, not yours. Feel compassion that something must be going on with them. Maybe even ask, ‘Are you ok?’.
7. Find a work buddy and have people who support you at work
We’re social creatures and often feel a whole lot better when we’re able to get things off of our chest. But, check out number eight to understand what kind of chatting you want to be doing to ease the tough times.
8. Don’t gossip at the water cooler
Speaking ill of other people only adds negativity to your life, not theirs. Gossip creates a toxic work environment and creates unpleasantries for everyone involved. If you need to off load, wait until you get home.
9. Embrace failure as feedback
This comes up a lot, but I can’t stress how important it is to be okay with failure. Without it, we’ll never learn.
10. Meditate. It’s no longer just for hippies
There is hard scientific evidence that proves the incredible effects that meditation has on the brain. You can meditate at your desk. Start with a minute if it’s completely foreign to you. All you need to do is sit with yourself. It’s not about having no thought, it’s just about allowing yourself to connect with the present moment, and by doing that all you have to do is breathe. Yes, breathe! How simple is that? In through your nose and out through your nose allows you to tap in to what yogis have been doing for thousands of years. The more you sit and the more you breathe, the better you’ll get at it. Just remember that your thoughts are like clouds, allow them to roll in and fade away, don’t feed in to them and create a storm of thoughts. Just watch them fly by. Check this article out about Corporate Mindfulness.
11. COFFEE. Stay away from too many cups at the wrong time!
The best time to drink coffee is between 9:30am and 11:30am or 1:30pm and 5pm when your cortisol levels are lowest. When you drink it too early you crash and burn by the afternoon, and no body enjoys that. Read more at Forbes.com.
So, put a smile on your dial the next time you head to your corporate job by implementing these 11 easy tasks. And if that doesn’t work, find a new job. You only live once.
Featured photo credit: Alan Cleaver via flickr.com