It’s cookie central in the break room and festive bowls of candy sit on every other desk. You feel like getting from your workspace to the water cooler while trying to avoid empty calories is like leaping across icy rooftops with Santa’s bag on your back. Take heart! The holidays do not have to be a fast track to automatic weight gain and unhealthy habits. There are ways to navigate your workplace this season without sliding off the wellness sled.
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5 Ways to Stay Healthy in the Office During the Holidays
1) Carry Water.
It’s always a good idea to have water with you. Hydration improves brain function and keeps your body cleansed which might improve your work productivity. In addition, a bottle of water is a powerful tool in social settings. If you enter an office party with a beverage in hand, no one is going to push you to the punch bowl. Staying hydrated will help you distinguish whether or not you are actually hungry for the truffle that’s tempting you. It’s pretty common for people to mistake thirst for hunger.
2) Eat Breakfast, Bring Your Lunch and Plan Your Dinner.
Make sure your meals are well-rounded so you’re not walking around the office hankering for snacks all day. In addition, this is a great time of year to get out your crockpot so you know dinner is waiting for you at home. You’ll be less tempted to fill up on office treats if you know you have a healthy lunch in the fridge and a full meal ready for you after work when you walk in the door.
3) Set a Limit.
Allow yourself a treat or two if it fits into your wellness plan. Total abstinence from the goodies you love can lead some people to overeat later. Know yourself and your habits and make the decision that is best for you.
4) Praise the Treats Even if You Don’t Eat!
Go ahead and notice the goodies and the kind intentions behind them. Instead of ignoring your co-worker’s effort or, worse letting the gift trigger some inner-rage about people not being sensitive to your wellness goals (You wouldn’t do that would you?) say something positive. Note the time it took them to make homemade bon-bons. Ask them about their family recipe. Tell them you like the color of the candy or the bowl it is in. Saying “thank you” and acknowledging effort goes a long way to build a healthy work environment that will benefit you year round.
If you feel grinchy about the office offerings, create a healthy snack plate of your own to share and show you appreciate others. On a tangible level your gift will provide partiers with a nutritious option to crunch. On an unseen level, showing gratitude is “good medicine” according to UC Davis Health. It can help reduce your stress and, thereby, reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your system which can actually help you maintain a healthy weight and meet other wellness goals!