I don’t know about you folks, but the workplace is one my most vulnerable places when it comes to health.

12 hour days leave me little time or energy for exercise. Waking up late or finishing late causes me to eat out. Personal or work related stress pushes me to self soothe and boost my mood by seeking sugar and caffeine. The staff break room recently had 2 vending machines installed. And, if I do have some energy in the evening, I often have to choose between Koyabell or meal preparation.
Oh, and let’s not forget staff and client birthday cakes, BBQ’s, and random morning doughnuts.

How can we stay on the health wagon at work? How can we aid our will power that’s already pushed to the max?

Knowing your workplace triggers and environmental context will protect your health.

My triggers:

  • Being offered unhealthy goodies
  • No pre-packed food
  • Lack of sleep and other fatigue
  • Negative co-workers
  • Work stress/emotional drain
  • Personal life stress
  • Break room vending machines
  • Waking up after napping on break
  • Last 2 hours of my shift
  • Working overnight shifts

My environment:

  • Medical/residential environment with high needs clients
  • Emotionally draining
  • No healthy food places accessible by foot
  • Near gas station and fast food joints
  • Staff break room of temptation

What I can do about my triggers and my environment:

  • Drive somewhere to buy decent food and don’t complain about eating out – just accept and enjoy it.
    • After exploring the area, I found sushi, phό, and a sandwich shop (the lesser of evils when it comes to eating out)
  • Make sleep a priority
  • Pack food and drinks (not just water)
  • Binge on fruit, not candy or chips
  • Keep frozen food for grab n go
  • Keep dry snacks and protein powder in my vehicle
  • Spend some breaks not in staff room
  • Take space from negative people
  • Try not to nap, use non-food things to stay awake
    • Like black tea and handheld videogames (whatever works, right?)
  • When faced with a food situation where not eating with coworkers/clients may prevent me from building/maintaining relationships, choose the treats that will have the most water content, and least sugars.

So, this is my little examination. What are your triggers and trigger places? What strategies do you use to deal with tough spots?

Leave a comment below! 🙂

Author Eivi P.

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