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4 Ways to stay healthy when working long hours

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We all know that busy lifestyles and hectic schedules can quickly take a toll on our health and wellbeing. Whether you’re working shifts at odd hours, grinding on a 9 to 5 or hustling on your own business, it’s easy to let work take over our lives and suddenly looking after ourselves feels like a luxury. Of course, if we stop making this a priority, we start to lose that spark that helps us feel confident and capable of doing our best. The good news is - it really doesn’t need to be this way. Here are some simple steps you can take to start taking care of yourself, improve your energy and feel better sooner.

 

#1 Be prepared

9 times out of 10 we eat junk food because it’s the most convenient option, right? Well eating healthy and looking after your body can be convenient too, it just takes a little preparation at the start of each week. If you work long hours then it can be hard to find motivation to cook and pack lunch every single night - so don’t do it!

Instead, set aside a couple of hours one day a week to prep meals you can keep in the fridge or freezer and grab when you need them. Not only will you feel better with healthy meals easily available but you can spend your weeknights and lunch breaks actually relaxing and recharging - not cooking or running to buy takeaway!


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#2 Put the coffee cup down

Okay hear us out: we know this sounds a bit crazy, but limiting your caffeine intake is a great first step to improving energy levels and getting a better night’s sleep. There’s no need to go cold turkey, but if you slowly reduce the number of coffees you are having each week, you will start to rely on it less and less.

There are a few problems with relying on coffee for energy. First of all, you may feel a buzz for the first hour or so, but this caffeine hit becomes addictive and you start to feel like you can’t be productive or even feel normal without it. It’s also common to build up a tolerance to caffeine meaning you need more and more to feel any effect.

Coffee is also a diuretic meaning it dehydrates you so unless you replace this by drinking a lot of extra water, it can leave you feeling run down or experiencing headaches. Finally, too much caffeine throughout the day can interrupt your sleep, further zapping energy before your day has even started. It’s a vicious (and expensive) cycle!

Try slowly replacing coffees with herbal infusions or low-caffeine tea varieties. You still get the same enjoyment from drinking it and your body will thank you!  

Check out some of our very own infusions here.


#3 Decrease your screen time

This is a big one for those who work at a computer monitor all day (guilty). It’s common to experience headaches, dry eyes and difficulty focussing your vision if you’re having too much screen time. For those night owls who like to work after the sun goes down, it can even affect your circadian rhythms. Over-exposure to bright lights at night cause your body think it’s daytime, and this makes it hard to fall asleep.

For most of us, it’s impossible to imagine doing our work without a computer, but it’s good to be conscious of our screen time. Try swapping out Netflix for a good book and put your phone on flight mode at bedtime so you’re not tempted to keep texting after the lights go out.


#4 Keep your immune system strong

Colds and flus love to strike at the worst possible time. Our immune systems struggle when we’re run down, but there are a few naturally powerful herbs and vitamins that can help give your immunity a boost. Echinacea, garlic, ginger, elderberry and vitamin C can help with everything from boosting white blood cell production, fighting inflammation and killing bacteria.

Feel a cold or sore throat coming on? Add a shaving of fresh ginger, a squeeze of honey and a slice of lemon to a cup of green tea and drink this each morning. It’s surprisingly powerful for relieving sore throats (you can thank antibacterial honey for that) while antihistamine and decongestant ginger will fight other cold symptoms.

How do you stay healthy when life gets busy? Let us know in the comments.


P.S. If staying energised, hydrated and happy is your thing, you belong in the Naked Grace V.I.P club. Sign up here.

Health Wellness Work life balance

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