If there’s one major thing we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that you can never take your health and safety for granted.
Even when things seem perfectly normal, they may not be. For that reason, you need to be proactive about taking care of yourself while you’re working.
Some professions are a little harder to be cautious in, like law enforcement and healthcare workers. But with these five tips, you can still prioritize your health when you’re working and do your job thoroughly, too.
1. Start With Your Diet
By now, you know that having a nutritious diet affects your physical and mental health. But knowing it and following a good meal plan are two totally different things.
It only takes a few minutes a day to prioritize your health at work by packing a few snacks and a lunch. When you don’t prepare ahead, it’s easy to grab an unhealthy, fast option or skip a meal entirely.
Not eating is even more dangerous than eating junk, though. Your body needs calories to do the basics, like breathing. You definitely need to eat, especially if your job is active.
The snacks are fuelings to keep your energy up every few hours. A healthy lunch gives you the nutrients you need to get through your day focused and alert.
2. Get Plenty of Rest
This one isn’t always as easy as the others, but it is essential. Getting plenty of rest doesn’t mean you need eight hours of solid sleep every night. But what you do get should be restful, and not spent tossing and turning.
Rest also refers to living a healthy work/life balance. Working all the time will eventually cause job burnout. This is a serious type of work-related stress that can result in physical and mental illnesses.
Some workers are notoriously pushed beyond the limits of what’s considered healthy. Physicians, for instance, are often expected to work 18-hour days or longer.
If you find yourself skipping vacations, missing weekends, and working a lot, it’s not healthy. It doesn’t mean you’re just “doing your job.” And it might be going against your contract, especially if you’re a doctor.
This article gives more information about how to know if your contract is being adhered to or not.
3. Aim For a Positive Mental Outlook
Looking on the bright side doesn’t mean everything comes up roses. It just means you choose to focus on things you can control, and let go of what you can’t.
In a hectic, stressful work environment, this outlook is a must-have. If you’re focused on everything that goes wrong, you’ll be spending all your time frustrated.
When things mess up—which they inevitably will at some point—be a problem solver. Don’t worry about the “why” and pointing fingers. Move on to the cleanup and focus on what you can control.
4. Don’t Skip Your Wellness Checkups
Wellness checkups are meant to be preventative, intended to catch problems early. Unfortunately, a lot of us think that because we’re feeling fine, we don’t need these annual or semi-annual visits.
Our bodies don’t work that way, though. In most cases, there’s not a symptom until there’s a serious problem going on. A cold or virus shows up fast. But diseases like cancer, diabetes, or heart conditions are usually sneaky.
The exams and tests done at wellness checkups are designed to look for anything going on under the surface. Your bloodwork results can tell a lot about your health. Having a naturopathic doctor in Phoenix monitoring your sugar and cholesterol, for instance, can prevent diabetes and heart attacks.
Other wellness checkups include blood pressure screenings, mammograms, pap tests, and colon cancer screenings.
They’re all essential, although none of them are fun. But figuring out there’s a problem early enough to correct it or treat it is worth the hassle of a few tests each year, even if you have to take off work to do them.
When you prioritize your wellness exams, you’re making sure you’re healthy enough to keep doing your job every day.
Being proactive about your health at work starts at home. From packing a lunch and eating nutritiously to getting your annual wellness exams, it’s all important.
In professions where caution is hard to come by, the preventative care you do at home can save your life. By being healthy, those late hours you work and germs you’re exposed to don’t stand a chance!