Too close to the fridge? Tips for healthy homework.

In times like these, it is easy to despair. Humans need social contacts to feel good, and most of us had at least hoped that both everyday life and work would now gradually return to what was normal pre-Corona. Instead, we must patiently realize that the state of emergency we live in right now will last a time ahead. This places great demands on both society and us as individuals. It is often said that necessity is the mother of inventions. Many workplaces have quickly and switched to homework with virtual meetings and new ways of running projects. For many of us, it has been an aha-experience that it has worked so well after all. A couple of effects that will probably last even after the pandemic are that business travels will decrease and that it becomes less critical from where and exactly when we perform our work. The nine-to-five office worker is today an endangered species.
But homework also involves new challenges, with broken routines and temptations that we need to handle. It can certainly be nice to avoid stressing out to work in the morning. Still, at the same time, it can also mean that we miss out on the natural exercise of a bike ride or brisk morning walk. It can be tempting to stay in bed for a while longer and take on that task later. But postponed work breeds stress that, in the long run, makes us feel bad. And the daily lunch with colleagues is not just a nice break from work. It also involves a routine that the body has become accustomed to, which provides new energy at regular times. It is always close to both the refrigerator and the pantry at home and easy to comfort yourself with a sweet treat when you feel lonely or stuck at work. The resulting blood sugar and energy roller coaster is bad both for how we feel in the short term and for health in the long run.
Here are some simple tips adapted for this new normal that will help you keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
• Lie down and get up at the same time as usual.
• Feel free to take a short morning walk as you can plan your day and avoid stress.
• Eat a hearty, whole grain-based breakfast with enough energy to last until lunch.
• Leave the job during the lunch break and make sure to replenish with good nutrition and a fair amount of energy. Read a book or newspaper, listen to the radio or enjoy the season outside the window.
• Avoid snacking – fight sugar cravings and drink plenty of water.
• Start and stop working at regular times – draw a clear line between work and leisure.
• Move – take micro-breaks during the day and preferably several walks that provide exercise and fresh air.
The tips can be summarized in a single word: routines. In these times of homework and reduced social control, more self-discipline may be required to follow them. But the reward comes in the form of well-being and energy that lasts all day. And when it eventually becomes time to return to work “for real,” the transition will be so much easier.

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