Around wintertime, it's more important than ever to focus on your diet and overall wellness. With the lack of sunshine and the overwhelming cold, it makes sense that roughly 15% of all Canadians suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, or seasonal depression).
Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to combat the depressive truth of Canadian winters. One of the things that I like to focus on is making sure that I don't indulge in the temptations of junk food. But trust me - I understand that it can be difficult to avoid getting caught up in holiday eating and drinking, especially when you are surrounded by family and friends.
Don't get me wrong, it is fine to indulge every now and then. In fact, I would recommend it. You don't want to be that person chewing on a piece of celery while the rest of the family is diving into the turkey and stuffing. The important thing is that you need to be mindful of what you are eating, and indulge in moderation.
At the end of the day, you're spending most of your time at work, so the decisions that you make in the office are going to have the biggest effect on your body and on your mind.
Allow me to formally introduce my 4 keys for workplace wellness:
- Drink Lots of Water – First thing before bed and first thing in the morning - that's when you should be drinking a tall glass of water. When you're at work, try to go through a few bottles of water during the day. It'll flush your system and keep your body feeling fresh. It has been estimated that the average worker only operates at 65% of their potential if not properly hydrated! This means you'll be more easily distracted by social media and feel a general sense of de-motivation. Plus , the more you drink, the more you need to get up and walk to the restroom - and walking during the day is always advised.
- Eat and Snack Consistently – Instead of three massive meals every day, try to space them out. A smaller breakfast right in the morning, a snack in between breakfast and lunch, a smaller serving for lunch. Follow this up with another snack in the afternoon, and you won't be craving for a huge serving of dinner. The regular influx of food keeps your metabolism and your energy level stable, not to mention you won't feel bloated and tired like many people do after a huge meal.
- Watch What You Eat - Pick healthy options when you can, but don't overdo it. Try to avoid candy and anything with added sugar. At the end of the day, your body is a reflection of what you put in it. If you eat large meals with lots of sugar and fat, you're going to feel sleepy and have low energy. These foods take more effort to digest, and the problem with ingesting all that sugar is that the body crashes shortly after. Try to mix in fruit and veggies every day!
- Stand Up and Walk Around – One of the many things I loved when I started at Greenwin in 2015 was hearing about the Weekly Wednesday Wellness Walk. Sitting in one position all day is obviously not beneficial for our health, so there are a few things you can do. Move around, stand up, go for a short walk around the office – just don't sit in the same chair without moving for hours on end. Try not to sit for more than 30 minutes without getting out of the chair. So why not walk over to your boss's office and ask them the question you were about to email them?