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Dr. Alayna Pagnani-Gendron is a chiropractor, wife and mom in Houston, Texas. She owns and operates her own practice, HealthPro Chiropractic & Acupuncture, where she delivers chiropractic care to the entire family. Her specialties include pregnancy, pediatrics and acupuncture. Her passions are helping families, including her own, to live healthy and happy naturally.
Working in an office can make it hard to keep a healthy routine, and it can be especially challenging for moms who juggle work and home life. It seems like there is no time for yourself. It can be especially difficult to make time to exercise or eat right. Here are a few tips to keep your work life as healthy as it can be.
1. While at work, work and then leave work at work.
This seems obvious. But how many of us schedule birthday parties, car pool, and dance class while we are work? We also check Facebook, emails, and return calls. As moms, we are juggling 500 things at one time. Set aside time to return calls and emails, but while at the office commit to getting your work done so you don’t fall behind and need to bring it home with you. Organizing and prioritizing your day helps to keep you more focused and balanced.
2. Sit on an exercise ball or get a standing desk.
Sitting is the new smoking. As humans, we are not designed to sit for most of the day. Our bodies are meant to be upright and active. Sitting for long periods of time leads to back pain, headaches, tight muscles, and increased incidence of injury. What mom has time for that? A good alternative is sitting on an exercise ball. This helps to strengthen your core, which will help to prevent back injuries. Another great, highly recommended alternative is to opt for a sit-stand desk. This allows you to spend more time standing in an upright position for most of the day while working. By standing you will help to prevent tightness in your lower back and hips. Plus, you will burn more calories, and who doesn’t want that?
3. Make your work station ergonomic.
Many corporate offices offer ergonomic checks. They will set your computer and desk chair at the appropriate height for you. This allows you to sit with better posture, which will decrease computer neck strain, carpal tunnel, and other work related injuries.
4. Every 30 minutes get up and take a break.
Your body and your mind need a break from the computer screen. Every thirty minutes move away from your desk and take a one-minute break from the screen. Getting water, running to the bathroom, or visiting a coworker will help you to reset and refocus.
5. Bring your lunch.
It is easy to get caught up in the sweet treats at your office. It is also easy to grab fast food during your short lunch hour. Packing a well-balanced, healthy lunch will help you to stay focused throughout the day. No need to worry about that full, sleepy feeling after eating the salad or soup you packed. It is helpful to meal prep over the weekend so you can just grab and go during your busy morning.
6. Drink water, and only water.
Water will keep you hydrated and satisfied. Try to avoid energy drinks, sodas, and coffees that are high in sugar. These can cause you to crash later in the day and feel bloated and tired. Who wants to attend that meeting with the CEO with a bloated belly and sleepy eyes? Try adding lemon to your water for flavor. Another good alternative if you crave carbonation is seltzer water.
Take a minute here and there to close your eyes and meditate. This will help you to regroup. Deep breathing has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety. Breath in for a count of 10 and breath out for another count of 10. Try it, you will feel amazing after!
8. Diffuse essential oils.
Essential oils are the new craze and I just love it! They can help you to breath better, focus more, and decrease stress. Try getting a small diffuser and add some lavender oil to it on high stress days. Need energy to meet that deadline? Diffuse some lemon or orange oil.
9. Move More.
On those every-30-minute breaks you should be taking, do some neck, hip, and wrist stretches. Stretching will help to get your blood flowing, which will give you more energy. It will also help to prevent tightness and pain by the end of the day.
It can be very challenging to be a working mom, but just a few simple moves throughout the day can help you to be more productive and less stressed.