Easy Ways to Look After Yourself at a Stressful Job
Whether you work on a stressful office floor straining your eyes for eight hours a day or spend the majority of your time lifting and moving heavy objects, there’s no excuse to not look after your health. Repetitive strains, tired eyes, and aching muscles are all early signs of nasty effects that might bite back in the future and develop into even worse conditions such as arthritis and damaged retinas.
Luckily, there are many ways to look after our health no matter what kind of job you are doing. Be it working at a construction site or sitting in your chair the whole day, here are some easy ways to look after yourself at your stressful job.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle (meaning that you spend most of the day seated or inactive) then it’s important that you get up and stretch your legs once in awhile. It has become increasingly popular for people to live sedentary lifestyles due to their working conditions. It is an unavoidable part of our modern lifestyles and is one of the leading causes of the obesity epidemic. There are even links to a sedentary lifestyle increasing your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Luckily, there are many ways for us to get a bit more exercise into our days to help counteract this.
1. Walk More Often
Walking has been proven to have many health benefits. By just walking for an hour each day, it can greatly improve our overall health and keep our hearts healthy. The more you walk, the more pronounced the benefits will be. But how can you walk a bit more?
It’s important that you try and incorporate walking into your life. For example, get off public transport a stop early, or take a detour and go the long way around a block to reach your workplace. Those couple of extra minutes will make a world of difference in the long run. If you go shopping after work each night, then try to avoid public transport unless your goods are too heavy to carry. If possible, make regular trips to the grocery store instead of taking the car and going once or twice a week to do large shopping trips.
Another tip is to take the stairs more often. If you have escalators or elevators on your route to work, then try to make taking the stairs a habit. Although you might get tired, it’s actually a good sign if you feel slightly out of breath because it means you are training your heart to get used to physical activity. This helps your heart work better as you train it, meaning that you won’t be so out of breath in the future and that blood gets around your system more easily. Climbing stairs is even considered a physically intense activity which burns a lot of calories.
2. Stand Up and Stretch
It’s a good idea to get up and move a bit whenever you get a chance. For example, if you’re working in the office and you’ve just finished a batch of assignments, get up and have a stretch and make yourself a drink. Walk over to the kitchen to get your legs warmed up, and as you wait for the water to boil stretch your arms and legs a bit. You don’t have to go into full workout mode and start using furniture to prop your legs up and so on, just some simple stretches and moving your legs around will do just fine.
Try to get into the habit of standing up after an hour of work to get yourself a drink. Not only will it remind you to keep on moving and stay active, you’ll also be inclined to make yourself a drink. Filling your body with fluids is ideal if you live a sedentary lifestyle because it has been discovered that people who sit down for long periods of time are more prone to dehydration. Water cleanses the body, so get more fluids in!
You could also change your desk at work. If you or your company can afford it, a standing desk is the ultimate companion for someone looking to change their sedentary ways. Standing while working may seem difficult at first, but getting a floor mat to stand on will increase your comfort, and having a high chair nearby or the option to lower the table whenever needed is also great for when you want to take a seat.
3. Computer-Related Strain
If you live a sedentary lifestyle then you are probably using a computer. The beaming lights from a well-lit computer screen can be very stressful after a while, causing eye strain that could damage your retinas if you are exposed to it for long periods of time. By combining previous tips about getting up more often and walking around, you get to rest your eyes as well as stretch your legs.
There are some programs, such as F.lux, that will automatically dim your computer screen after a certain period of time. It is based on the time of day, so when the evening comes it will automatically dim the screen and tint it to prevent the blue glow affecting your eyes. It is an amazing piece of software that is free and will help you sleep better and focus better while you work into the late hours of the night.
In addition, you might also feel hand or wrist strain when typing for long periods of time. This could indicate repetitive strain injury and it’s a good idea to take more regular breaks to give your hands a rest. Make sure that you are sitting straight and that your arms are at a comfortable height to your keyboard. If you feel like your keyboard is uncomfortable to type on, then it’s worth investing in a wrist rest, ergonomic keyboard or a new chair that allows you to adjust the the position to a more comfortable one.
People that live active lifestyles and work at active styles might be more healthy overall, but that doesn’t mean they are less prone to accidents and other problems. In fact, there are arguably more risks for someone working at an active job, such as a construction site, than someone who works in the safety of an office. To give you some idea of what those problems could be and how to avoid them, here are some pointers.
1. Safety Equipment
If you are working a dangerous job or a physically demanding one, then you need to ensure you are protected. For example, if you work at a construction site then make sure you have been given the right equipment such as hard hats, high-visibility clothing, steel cap boots and gloves. These are essential pieces of gear that will protect you from any sudden dangers, such as heavy objects falling, splinters in planks of wood or even loose screws and bolts laying around.
It is even more dangerous if you are working in a job that exposes you to harmful chemicals and substances. For instance, if you are demolishing an old building that used asbestos in the past, then you need to have proper equipment that prevents you from breathing in the harmful chemicals or else it could cause mesothelioma in the future. If you feel like the working conditions don’t meet proper standards or you think you might have been affected by a disease as a result of poor safety conditions, you should find an attorney immediately to protect the lives of you and your co-workers.
2. Don’t Push Yourself
When it comes to stressful jobs that are physically demanding, many people refuse to take breaks and push themselves as hard as possible to get the job done faster or to meet certain criteria. This is no good because you could end up harming yourself, damaging your joints or muscles, and end up injured as a result. The best way to tell if you are pushing yourself is to ask yourself how you feel after work. If you constantly feel like your body is damaged beyond repair and your sore joints take a long time to heal, then perhaps it’s time for a job change.
There are some ways to reduce stress and pain, such as having some heat patches applied to you before and after work, or by taking a hot bath to ease the pain on your muscles after work. However, it’s not recommended to use too many methods to reduce these pains unless you value your job over your health. This is usually why construction projects have long downtime between finished jobs because the workers need time to rest and relax and let their bodies heal.
3. Maintain a Proper Diet
One of the best ways to give yourself energy for an active job is to get the right nutrients. One of the most important aspects of taking care of yourself is a proper diet. Plenty of protein, fruit and vegetables is the foundation of a healthy body. You want to watch what you eat and make sure you are getting your recommended vitamins and nutrients to help your body repair itself after stressful activities. Make sure you eat a good meal before you start your job so that you have plenty of energy to last you the day, and prepare a healthy energy-filled snack for lunch.