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5 Ways I Stay Healthy While Kicking Ass at Work

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy while Kicking Ass at Work  |  The Fresh Exchange

I have found that the more I dive into the business world and my dreams, the harder it is to find balance and control over my health. Loving what you do can be all consuming and so fun, but it is important to find a sense of control and hold on your health. Taking care of ourselves can especially be pushed under the rug during crazy weeks and lots of deadlines.

While working, traveling, and stressing out last year I gained weight, felt sluggish, and really out of control of my own well-being. This is not abnormal for anyone who begins a business, starts a new job, and/or is thrown in a new direction in life. During my own time of craziness, I crafted a couple ways to make myself feel better, think differently about my time, and still find a way to care for myself.

Today, I wanted to start the month off with these 5 things, that may seem small, but have made a huge difference in my life. They have helped me to feel healthy, energized, and to stay fit even when I am working 80+ hours.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy while Kicking Ass at Work  |  The Fresh Exchange

1. Use Your Off-Time Wisely:
When I find myself with an insane week ahead and I know there is a possibility of just caving to bad foods, I try to focus on preparation for what is ahead. This means I spend about 5 hours on my Sunday running to the grocery store and prepping food for the week ahead. I stock the fridge with fresh veggies and fruits that are easy to have on hand. This means you will find piles of apples, bananas, carrots, celery, and other grab-and-go items that provide nutrients and are not processed but instead whole foods. I also make a healthy, simple soup (such as this one, this one, or this one), they make a great quick lunch that doesn’t result in me eating something I will regret. Stress eating can be very harmful and really cause problems, especially over a period of time. Then I line up 5 SUPER simple dinner recipes that force me away from the office, but only for enough time to clear my head. Finally, I try to prep a few jars of juice as well. This means if lunch is not going to happen, I can still get all my nutrients from a great green juice. Preparation can mean the difference between eating poorly and eating healthy even amongst the insanity. Focusing on getting as many raw nutrients you can when you are under stress will help you stay awake, aware, and focused. Fuel your body properly.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy while Kicking Ass at Work  |  The Fresh Exchange

2. 10 Minute Workouts: 
We all know that when things hit the fan, hitting the gym can be hard, but the 10 minute workout sessions from the guy behind P90x are great. He is super annoying, but the workouts are great. Once you’ve done the workouts enough, I suggest putting him on mute and putting on a great playlist :). We CAN all find 10 minutes in our day, no matter how intense it gets. What I have found that even 10 minutes a day in a stressful week can make a huge difference in my body. Sneak it in just before you warm up your soup for lunch or first thing when you wake up in the morning before you shower. Working out keeps you mentally stimulated and you will feel good about your body during the day as well. Working out also increases endorphins, which can fend off stress and also bring confidence to your day. I highly suggest buying these or even using this app on your iPad as well. The little things can make a huge difference.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy while Kicking Ass at Work  |  The Fresh Exchange

3. Stay Hydrated:
When I am working I try super hard to work with a bottle of water next to me. Staying hydrated means healthy skin and less cravings for bad things. Also to keep from drinking too much alcohol, which can be a major downfall when I am stressed. I instead keep the fridge stocked with sparkling water and limes, it makes me think I am having a G&T, without the calories or headaches. I also try to eliminate caffeine during the hard times, I know that sounds insane, but really it will help. If you need your fix, opt for herbal tea or even green tea. They will not spike the caffeine levels in your body and leave you with the slump a few hours later.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy while Kicking Ass at Work  |  The Fresh Exchange

4. Make Lists and Stay Organized:
To make sure you are not overworking yourself or spending too much time at the computer beyond what is necessary, focus on making lists that are organized by delivery dates, client, and necessity to feeling successful that week. By doing this it will keep you on task and focused, which insure that you am not wasting time where you don’t need to. This means you can finish faster and get more sleep or spend a little time doing something for myself. Those things make for great rewards when you thought you would never get a chance to grab that time with a friend or get a moment to enjoy the outdoors that week.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy while Kicking Ass at Work  |  The Fresh Exchange

5. Sleep Whenever Possible:
A crazy week can mean late nights and early mornings. A very wise business owner friend of ours, who also travels a ton, once told me that whenever possible get sleep as much as you can and rest your eyes when you can’t. This means that by helping myself stay focused results in more sleep that week than I expected and less dark circles under my eyes. I do not allow myself guilt for taking 3 hour naps midday if I stayed up late to finish something, slept for 3-4 hours, and presented at 9 Am the next day. For instance, after we launched Obaby, Mike and I took showers and then went to bed without guilt and slept till we woke up 5 hours later. You have to give your body what it needs in order to restore itself again.

These are all ways I have found to keep that feeling of clarity, positivity, and control over your health in check during some very stressful weeks and even months. I have wasted too many hours that could have been better spent asleep or in a yoga class. As part of making both myself and our business better I have tried to make all these things a part of my work week. Learning to value the small things in your health can make for a larger successes down the road. When you feel in control of your health and don’t feel as if you are sacrificing yourself, even during times of stress in your work, it means you will be more confident in what you do as well as feel confident to set bigger goals for yourself.

What are ways that you have found to help yourself stay healthy when your week feels out of control?

55 Comments

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  1. These are some great tips. I ALWAYS have perrier lime in my fridge and it too reminds me of a G&T (minus the Gin, because I’m pregnant haha). 10 minute workouts are a great idea as well. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is so great! Love this post. I recently posted a mini-series on forming habits to support the crazy life of running your own business, and one of the most important things is taking care of your physical self. Thanks for sharing!

    http://sincerelyginger.com/blog/2014/2/2/the-power-of-habit-part-3-defining-habits-for-entrepreneurial-success

  3. These are all great tips! The only other thing I can think of is to practice small moments of gratitude, taking just a few minutes to revel in the beauty of each day so you don’t lose sight of the important things. :)

  4. Love this article, love these advices, love your blog !

  5. This post came at a great time for me, I just worked 3 x 15 hour days styling a photoshoot and am totally exhausted. I ate so many Tim tams and sweets just for a hit of energy to keep going and now feel awful! Next time I will be prepared with healthy options.

  6. I’ve also learned to sleep whenever possible and I’m trying to adapt to 10 minute workouts. It’s the first time I’ve branched out to completely working for myself so rearranging my schedule has been hectic. This article couldn’t have come soon enough! I’ll start to put some of these other things into practice, like using my time off wisely. Thank you so much for sharing Megan.

  7. YES! Yes. yes. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for– thank you so much, Meghan. I regret to say that in the approx. 3 years my partner and I have owned our own business, I have woefully neglected myself. I find that I’ve developed a pattern of working really intensely, burning out, then taking “lazy days” to regenerate. Rinse and repeat. Also, we are major offenders of the “hey, let’s just eat out again, it’ll be easier” routine. I grew up with going to a restaurant for dinner or lunch was a HUGE treat. Now, it’s a nearly every day occurrence. Just because we don’t “have time.” I’m printing your list out and putting it somewhere where I can see it every day and remind myself to respect my health as we build our success story.

  8. love these tips! I recently read an article that said working out hard for 10 minutes is better than barely working out for 30 or an hour!
    i also think it’s a great idea to prepare meals on sunday night so that you can just grab and go!

    great tips — thanks for sharing :)
    xox
    chloe
    http://popcosmo.com

  9. As work is picking up again this year, this was something I really needed today. I also feel that taking 10 minute breaks throughout a work day is crucial. Just going outside, sitting on a bench and absorbing in the sun, the air, and the ground under your feet. Perhaps spending another 10 minute break meditating.

    These breaks during my days are something I can’t function without and I’m sure it would be good for reducing stress levels and improving overall health

  10. These are great tips. I find that cleaning the house or taking a run helps to hit the refresh when I’m feeling frazzled!

  11. This is such a great post! I love the crisp photos and the practical, friendly tips. :) I feel so motivated to go for this week headstrong!

  12. Thank you for this very inspiring post! For me, I try to take a break from time to time. I stand up and look by the window and appreciate the sun (or the rain, which is more probable in Belgium) or I take a walk in the park next to my office. It could be 1 minute or 2 hours but it’s very important to me to meditate and distance work.

  13. Oh that is always a major one for me…especially when you are working from home.

  14. LOVE this post! Simple and effective advice! Working out is my biggest challenge during stressful times and in the winter months when unpredictable weather can make it difficult to drive to the gym. But your suggested 10 min work out video and 7 minute workout app can be done basically anywhere…and who doesn’t have 10 minutes?

  15. These are so awesome and helpful, thank you!!!

    I too, found that creating a (short!) list of what I REALLY need to get done when I first get to work really helps me focus and feel accomplished.

  16. Thanks for this great post! And I agree….the only way to get through any workout by the p90x guy is to familiarize yourself enough that you can put him on mute!

  17. I love this. Thanks for taking the time to post these. I try to remember them when I am overwhelmed with design projects

  18. Great tips, Megan! This has also been a big focus of my life in the past few months. My husband and I do our best to eat well (we don’t buy many processed foods anymore and make many things from scratch). We also try to eat until we’re satisfied, not until we’re stuffed silly, haha! It kind of started after our visit to Colombia, where we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a different relative’s house, and since we have such loving & thoughtful family, they all prepared huge meals! We realised we had to save a bit of space in our stomach for the next meal and this thinking kind of reset the way we think about food.

  19. Love this post, super insightful. Thank you!

  20. already feeling more balanced just by reading it! it is a beautiful post with useful tips, loved reading it, thank you!

  21. Megan, I have to say – I did that crazy workout video you suggested already 3 times this week (yes, I put on my own music instead!), and I feel so awesome. Man, core workouts make you feel really great. Thanks for sharing it!

  22. first of… congrats on OBABY! it’s awesome!!!! also… this is so practical but totally needed. i forget sometimes that taking naps is necessary and sometimes i forget to plan out my day… that’s so important. thanks for the tips and the lovely pictures!!

  23. I really enjoyed this post, I followed some link love from Nubby to get get here. I need to be better about pre-prepping food.

  24. Some great tips here and so well presented, as always! I hope you like the soup :) Take care of yourself!

  25. […] these tips on how to keep your life balanced while doing well at work/school […]

  26. These are great tips and a wonderful visual lay out! It’s amazing how hard it can be to stay fit while working a desk job. It takes a lot of planning and effort. Great post!

  27. Oh! This is absolutely brilliant. I love it and so happy to have read it today. I completely agree with all of them! I recently started doing a few 10 minute workouts through out my day, remembering to take time away from my desk to exercise and get my blood flowing. Those few minutes has done WONDERS!

    Love this! Also, THANK YOU. I beat myself up so much about taking long naps. But hey, apparently my body needed it, right? Thank you for the reminder! :)

  28. […] friend Megan Gilger of The Fresh Exchange shares some amazing tips to stay healthy while working hard (I needed to read […]

  29. Such great tips Megan! Thanks for sharing

  30. First off, your blog is beautiful. I love the simplicity of it, and all that clean white space!

    As for the article, it is spot on for me right now. I am struggling to find balance with an extremely stressful and time consuming job, a husband, and an 18 month old. Some these are easy to do and will make me feel a million times better. Thanks for writing!!!

  31. Thank you for this article! It make me recognize that i have to care more about myself :)

  32. First time I saw your blog, LOVED those tips! I have been in the middle of this crazy life running around for one year. At the begginning I though it was going to last just a few weeks, because of a new job + a master course, but then I realized I was wrong. I always try to find ways to keep mysellf healthy, but at the end of the day I just order some delivery. Thanks for your tips. I am starting it today! Cheers from Brazil!

  33. I love this! A few months ago, I started a fairly busy corporate job, where I’m training to take over for my boss when she goes on maternity leave. I used to have tons of free time after work, but now not so much. These are such great tips.

  34. Great advice! I am tackling a crazy teaching schedule this semester, and staying healthy is definitely a lot harder. Thanks for the tips and motivation!

  35. I like your easy steps that allow one to feel refreshed and ready to go…

  36. This tips are great, I’ve been full of work lately and this list is gonna help me so much :D

    http://elblogdemon.com

  37. Oh I loved this post! I definitely needed these tips. I feel like there is so much going on in my life (wedding, business, buying a house) and that I am losing control of my health and my body. It is nice to know I am not the only one who feels like this, but even nicer to know that there are ways to not feel like this. Organising meals, snacks and drinks in advance will be the key for me, I think. Thanks for this post. It is my first visit to your blog, so I shall now have a little look around further :)

  38. So glad you found me and the post! I hope you stick around :)

  39. i really appreciate these tips! as a new business owner, newlywed-ish, and married to a man full of HUGE ideas and dreams these definitely spoke to me so we can be healthier!

  40. […] Kicking ass at work and in the gym?  Can be a challenge.  This woman has it down pat. […]

  41. Such a great post! I was already practicing some but a great reminder. Loved the make list and stay organized, I’m totally a list nerd.

  42. […] Stay healthy and be awesome at work. […]

  43. This post was exactly what I needed! These past few months have been the most hectic of my life work-wise and I’ve been really struggling to keep myself well throughout all of it, so thank you for sharing these tips… would love to hear any more you may have!

  44. Good ideas and beautifully illustrated. I am a teacher and have to constantly remind myself to take care of me first. During student teaching, I worked so hard that my immune system crashed and I got pneumonia. Fast forward six years and I was able to deal with a sinus infection without having to miss a day of work.

  45. After going out on my own last year, I learned that all the things you mentioned above (plus not feeling guilty for watching a Real Housewives episode when you need a mental break!) are crucial to staying sane and being successful as an entrepreneur/freelancer/contractor. I profiled a few freelancers about this same subject, and they offered helpful tips about working from home: http://mysocaldlife.com/freelancer-advice/

  46. love these! I try to implement all of them as much as possible (especially the to-do lists!) but the 10 min workout suggestion is clutch because there really are no excuses when the workouts are so short. Definitely downloading the 7 min workout app. Thanks so much for sharing! I also cook as much as I can. It not only allows me to do something I simply love, it helps me to eat more responsibly.

    from–The Lion’s Den

  47. This is so incredibly true. Getting more sleep especially resonates with me. Since launching a new studio for my business, I was only getting a 4-5 hours of sleep a night and feeling bad for taking midday naps. Now, I’m getting a little more balance, but still take a nap if it I need it. Thanks for the validation!

  48. Love these tips! I have been trying to be more health conscious lately. I think getting as much sleep as possible and finding time for workouts is essential for a healthy mind and body. I try to do yoga at least twice during the week, and use the weekends to catch up on sleep. I have found that drinking water throughout the day has helped me cut down on “unnecessary” snacking! I am so glad I found you blog!

  49. A 20 minute power walk does it for me every time. I can walk out the door feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin, and come back feeling like a new woman! Fresh air and a good brisk pace. I tell ya, it’s magic.

  50. thank you so much for these suggestions! i really want to try the 7 minute workout app you recommended! my favorite fitness related app is nike training, but mostly i just make sure to put a workout class at my gym into my hectic schedule to make sure i keep exercise a priority (sometimes hard..). have you ever used a fitness band? thoughts? and, i too am a big fan of lists! x :)

  51. […] Five ways to stay healthy while working from home. This would have been crazy helpful earlier this year, given all of the snow and unexpected WFH […]

  52. Great tips. I am working full-time and doing a Master’s Degree on my days off this is a great list for me!

  53. Ϝantastique post, continue de cette façon

  54. these are great tips. i catch myself slumping on the health side as well when starting a new job – and i really want to get back in a healthy routine :) thanks so much for sharing!
    xo, cheyenne

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