Working Moms – How Can You Keep Healthy Habits In The Workplace?

This blog is being sponsored by Sodexo, global leader in Quality of Life Services (www.Sodexo.com)

Working mother

Who doesn’t want a healthy body to go with a healthy mind?

Every human being on Earth dreams of happiness and a good health, if you think about it, but for us moms, busy morning to night, both at home and in the workplace, good health is not just a dream, but a necessity, too.

Whether you work at home as a freelancer (like me) or mompreneur or at your day job, keeping up with healthy habits can be challenging, and even daunting if your workplace doesn’t promote employee’s wellness.

Can you do something about it?

What To Do When Your Workplace Doesn’t Promote Health

Last time I visited my fiance’s workplace, I saw no open spaces to take a walk or exercise during pauses, no healthy food in the dispenser, and unless he goes out to a nearby restaurant, he’s be better off with home-made lunch to take to work than to fill his stomach with junk food. As for exercise, maybe he could stretch his legs a bit while sitting at his work station, but what else?

For us working moms, to keep an overall good health is essential to make it through the many daily challenges of child-rearing and work efficiency without burning out or getting stresses or sick from the big load to handle.

If your situation is similar to my fiance’s at work, here are a number of tips to get into or keep healthy habits.

1. Take advantage of every small break to stretch and work out.

Even 2-5 minutes every two hours can make a huge difference in how you feel throughout your entire work day.

If you can’t get long breaks, use some of your bathroom and lunch time.

2. Prepare your lunch home and take it to work if your workplace doesn’t offer healthy alternatives.

Make sure it is nutritious and comes with a good balance of all nutrients —  carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, fibers.

Add some fruit for energy and sugar intake.

3. If you do sedentary work, make sure to do some leg and bottom exercises to keep blood circulation running and your metabolism active.

I struggle with this problem myself: I’m a freelance blogger, so I work at my desk and I sometimes stay sit for 3-4 hours in a row.

I’m trying to break that habit and work out a few minutes every two hours instead, but there are cases when I simply can’t stop working at some project, so I stretch and bend my legs while I sit and work, and I rhythmically contract my bottom and back muscles to get rid of the “dormant” sensation.

There are more helpful exercises at About.com and Cosmopolitan:

4. Add a minute of meditation to clear your mind and relax after exercise.

It will recharge your batteries to get back to work with improved drive and focus.

CNN.com has a great article about how to meditate at work.

5. Ask your employer if they’re going to implement a wellness program for workers.

The better you and fellow workers feel, physically and psychologically, the more your employer is going to benefit from their subordinates’ (higher quality) work.

If your employer is skeptic, “Why Smart Employers Promote Workplace Wellness and Paid Time Off” and ASPE’s 2013 report are a good read.

Of course, most of these tips (minus the latter) also apply if you work at home, as I put them in practice myself — the risk to get lazy when working from home is always high!

Why I Feel Caring About Health Habits Is So Important

We moms tend to put others before us all too often. I think it’s something to do with the psychology of motherhood — we feel everyone, and our children above all, as a priority compared to us.

But we tend to forget about ourselves even when our children or other people we care about are not around. We simply… don’t think about it, so those healthy habits our bodies and minds need so badly get forgotten, too.

Does it happen to you? It sure does to me.

And I wholeheartedly agree with Sodexo, the company that sponsored this post, about putting our health back to where it belongs in the life ranks, especially on the workplace, where we collect the most daily stress.

Sodexo is a worldwide leader in Quality of Life Services and they believe in everything I do, too, that is people and their wellbeing come first and that results in a better society, better working conditions and overall a better humankind.

I was reading a 2015 Forbes interview with Sodexo’s CEO Michel Landel while I outlined this post and this part struck a chord in my heart:

Every two years, we conduct an international Employee Engagement Survey and have follow up focus groups to assess employees’ needs and expectations. One of the key learnings was that our staff can need support on everyday issues and challenges, outside the workplace as well as at work. So we created Sodexo Supports Me, a free telephone helpline for employees and their families. The service is anonymous and confidential and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Callers can speak directly with a psychologist who can help with issues like divorce or addiction, and who can refer to financial, legal, and other specialists where needed.

That is why I wanted to write this post: I want to see people care more about people, I want to see more organizations like Sodexo that promote wellbeing in the workplace and in life, and I want my readers, fellow moms, to take more care of themselves and not only of their children and husbands/partners.

The reminder is here for myself, too: most of the tips I gave come from my experience and what I do every day to try and better myself as a person and as a mother, but I can get lazy, so the post is here to motivate me, too.

Please, let me know what you think about this post in the comments below, and if you don’t like blog comments, well… engage with me and other readers on Facebook and Twitter. Looking forward to learn more about your health habits! Let’s inspire each other. 🙂

Photo Credit: limoadelaide (cc)

About Luana

Luana is a spiritual mom in her early thirties. She enjoys blogging and she especially loves to provide fellow Moms (and Dads) with precious advice from her experience as a spiritual mom and from the knowledge that comes from her reading, her nursery school traineeship and her experience as an elder sister who helped raise and educate her younger siblings (twins!).