We all see the uber-fit Insta models flaunting their toned bodies in workout gear in the middle of the day and posting perfectly prepared healthy recipes. But what about those of us who are desk-bound?
As a nutrition and lifestyle consultant for professional women (and a professional woman myself), I know the challenges well and am all about finding strategies to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle, even if you work long hours.
As professional women, we want to maximise our energy and brain power, minimise stress and give our body what it needs to look and feel great.
So here are three things you can do that will make an impact and are so easy you can start right away.
1. Swap a coffee for green tea
Swapping out one or more coffees for green tea will provide you with a healthy dose of antioxidants, give you a more sustained caffeine release and keep you focused without the crash that leads you to reach for that 3pm chocolate brownie.
Coffee amplifies your underlying emotional state. If you feel calm and focused it will lead to greater focus. However, if you are anxious it will increase those feelings.
When you notice stress starting to build, this would be a good time to reach for a green tea rather than espresso to help stabilise your mood.
Not a fan of your traditional green tea? Try it iced, with a little honey or experiment with one of the many different varieties you will find in your local supermarket. Chances are you will find one you enjoy. Green tea and pomegranate, jasmine and mint varieties are my personal favourites.
NB: If you buy your green tea to go (teabag left in), remove it after three minutes, or after five minutes for extra strong or a large cup. If steeped for too long it’s common to feel nauseous and nobody wants that!
2. Have face-to-face meetings
Face-to-face meetings are good for business, your energy levels and boosting oxytocin (your happy love hormones). We humans are social creatures and thrive on connecting with other people.
Schedule a few in-person meetings per week instead of emails or phone calls.
They are a great way to break up your day, take you away from your screen and give you renewed focus when you resume your solo desk duties.
If you can schedule your meetings out of the office for a change of scenery, or do a walking meeting to squeeze in some exercise at the same time, even better!
3. Press reset with a 5-minute meditation
Do this easy (and discreet) meditation first thing when you get to your desk in the morning, or anytime you notice stress or low energy making an appearance throughout the day.
Close your eyes.
Inhale for 5 seconds, expanding your belly
Hold your breath for 5 seconds at the top
Exhale for 5 seconds, emptying your belly
Hold for 5 seconds at the bottom
Repeat x 3
Focus on your breath throughout and take a few normal breathes in and out to finish. Trust me, you’ll feel like a Zen superwoman when you’re done.