Calling all career-hungry professionals!
Have you recently struggled to find the balance with wellness and lifestyle VS busy career?
You are absolutely, 100%, without a shadow of a doubt; NOT alone.
My interest in wellness and lifestyle began when I started working for the Ambulance Service. Where I was living the polar opposite life of that which could in any possible way relate to ‘wellness’. Long, intense 12-hour shifts, with only two 30-minute breaks, wow. I look back and wonder how on earth I managed it!
Then I realized, it was through copious amounts of sugar and caffeine!!
I can’t believe how much of that stuff I needed to consume just to feel functional on night-shifts. However, it wasn’t just the Ambulance Service and crazy long shifts that had this impact on me.
Oh no, sales and the 9-5 grind landed me in a fairly similar sticky sugary spot.
Sometimes, no matter what the job, you just need to reach for the quick pick-me-up in sugar form, to enable yourself to keep up with everyday demands we place upon ourselves, or that our employer places upon us. It’s usually, our own expectations of what we should be doing, that constitute us feeling this way.
I should be more awake, I should have more energy, I should be able to concentrate, I should be doing this faster, I should be flying to space!
Well, maybe not flying to space. But you know what I mean!?
We ask ourselves to live in a constant state of ‘ready to go’ for absolutely every hour of the day and feel shocked, surprised or disappointed with ourselves when we start to slow down.
Is it actually any surprise, that we get sick, feel pain, end up mentally drained and feeling low? We use up 100% of our energy stores mentally, physically and emotionally while trying to keep up with our own standards. Wellness and lifestyle? How about just getting through the graveyard shift!
Have you ever noticed how it only seems to be when we are floored with the flu or struggling with something that literally debilitates us forcing us to stay at home that we actually STOP?!
I absolutely take my hat off to anyone working extensively long hours, especially shift work. The body is pretty intelligent and can adapt to an unfathomable amount of outside influences, but the sheer amount of strain placed on the body through working hardcore nightshifts, wow.
You guys operating like that week in and week out are awesome.
When I look back at those grueling shifts, while I reached for Fanta, galaxy chocolate bars, and washed it all down with triple shot instant coffees, it baffles me how I actually made it through.
The point is, I was so exhausted from the work itself, I had very little time left available to go off and study healthy living, healthy eating, wellness time management, and fitness. If I could genuinely be bothered I’d roll out of bed in a daze off to a fitness class but I’m not even sure I remember any of them feeling in a continual state of jet lag.
If I had the knowledge I possess now, back then, maybe I could have made it easier on myself.
I really had no idea when it came to food, nutrition as wellness 10 years ago. I don’t know it all now, in all honesty. There are new ‘scientific breakthroughs’ regularly being made on the human body and will continue to do so for many many years to come. However, the knowledge I’ve gained through yoga and courses around the world have armed me with some pretty cool tips on helping the body tackle whatever quest we have laid out for it.
So, here’s the valuable information that my current self, would have given to my 23-year old self battling through those 12-hour night shifts, craving anything and everything that would keep me going:
PUT THE SUGAR DOWN
I know it’s hard, It even borderline HURTS sometimes not to grab the ‘quick fix’ that is our old faithful ‘sugar-dearest’. The struggle is real for the first few times you say no. The mind starts to play tricks on you, ‘but I deserve the sugar’ ‘I NEED the sugar’ ‘why should I bother making things hard on myself, just EAT THE CHOCOLATE’. Wellness and lifestyle… Whatever!
Well, those feelings are very similar to that of addiction. Sugar is present in a lot more of our food than we realize, so if we get our diet’s right, the sweet treats don’t need to play such an integral role, night shift or no night shift!
Here’s some more information on sugar addiction Noticing addiction
SNACKS SNACKS AND MORE SNACKS
What? You are telling me to eat MORE food? That’s a stupid idea, I don’t want to put ON weight, I want to lose it and just keep functional all day! Look, I know, it seems weird. Eating more when really, the message of this article started out aimed at eating less. However, after trying out eating a couple of bigger meals with sugary fixes in-between, then cutting out sugar completely and u-turning to little and often meals, for me snacking plays an important part in wellness. I swapped Galaxy Caramels for smoothies, nuts, bliss balls, and carrot sticks;
and here I am, feeling like a new woman.
23-year old me would have rolled her eyes at replacing beloved chocolate with non-fun chocolate alternatives, but you just wait. Future you will feel totally different once you break the sugary addiction cycle.
Take a look at these easy-to-acomplish snacks Healthy Snacks you’ll actually enjoy
Protein and fats are friends, not foe’s
I was a carboholic! Pasta, bread, rice, potato, more bread and then ‘oh go on then, a bacon and egg butty’ on the weekend! I should have turned in to a potato at that rate! Perhaps just the English culinary culture? I don’t know, seems pretty easy to do the same thing in Australia and a whole bunch of other countries I’ve visited. When you haven’t prepared ahead, the grab and go food is predominantly CARB based.
Sandwiches, pasta salads among many other ready-to-go carbohydrate varieties. It sucks, you will hate me for saying it, it’s cliché I know, but preparation really is everything. Don’t be fancy, just be prepared.
Tuna Nicoise salad, basmati rice, and tofu curry, smoothies, muesli, tuna rice bowls – None of the listed ideas are expensive or difficult, they just take a wee bit of effort to organize and get ready and my oh my will you appreciate it throughout your shift.
If you are looking for other ideas on how to get healthier at work check out some of these new tricks Feel Amazing At Work
Please comment below and share this article to help our brother and sisters out there who are working hard and need a little encouragement to focus on wellness and lifestyle!