Did you know that the average professional today change jobs 10 to 15 times during their career? With frequent job changes come the constant state of “in-flux,” whether it means adjusting to new work hours, meeting new professional expectations, or moving to different cities (or even different countries). It can be challenging to find a constant in your life: a rhythm or a habit that remains the same, despite longer hours at the office. As part of our series on how to stay healthy, we’re dedicating this feature to new employees everywhere. Here are 5 tips on how to stay healthy when jumping into a new job.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
We know, we love coffee too. But too much caffeine in the morning can lead to jitters or a midmorning crash. Have a max of two cups to start your day, and then call it quits. Don’t count on coffee for your boost. Instead, take a 10-minute break to get some fresh air, and quench your craving with a cup of decaffeinated tea or water. One study showed that participants cured their midafternoon energy slump more effectively by walking up 5 flights of stairs, rather than an extra cup of coffee.
Have a Consistent Sleep Pattern
When you’re a new employee trying to adopt a skill set, keep up with a new workflow, or fit into the mesh of your coworkers, you’re probably increasing the amount of face-time at the office. But longer work hours shouldn’t compromise your sleep. We’re less capable of problem-solving and decision making when we’re sleep-deprived, so keep sleep a priority during your work transition. Our top tip? Sleep experts suggest waking up and going to bed around the same time (within the same 30 minutes) every day. This keeps your circadian rhythm consistent—and your brainpower and energy labels stable!
Find Opportunities for Exercise—Even When You “Don’t Have Time”
Nothing depletes our energy stores like sitting a desk, staring at a screen all day. And when you’re new to a job, you’re probably spending a lot of time online. But research shows that moving our bodies is essential to our brain function (meaning you’ll perform even better in your new role if you don’t neglect your physical health). So even if you don’t have time to make it to your old favorite class, or you’re too tired to wake up early for a run, take advantage of little opportunities for movement throughout the day. Walk to lunch, take the stairs (always!), do some jumping jacks in your new office if no one is looking. Just get moving!
Connect with Coworkers…Beyond Trading Emails
Human connection is a powerful way to gain energy and sharpen mental clarity; it’s why, as people age, researchers encourage daily human communication to ward off the risks of mental decline. So treat a new coworker to coffee, suggest a walking meeting with a colleague, or simply take 10 minutes to have real face-to-face interaction with a member on your team. Take the conversation offline…and ideally, out of the office!
Keep a Clean Work and Home Life
If you’re settling into a new job and a new home, it’s tempting to let those moving boxes pile up…both on your desk and in your house. While you’re probably busy making sure you’re inbox is cleaned up, don’t neglect the cleanliness of your home and workspace. A tidy environment plays a big role in our mental and emotional wellbeing, whether we realize it or not…clutter in our space creates clutter in our minds. Identify one spot within your space that you can keep clean. Perhaps at home, it’s your bathroom or your kitchen, and at the office, it’s your desk (while you shove everything else into random corners.) You don’t have to be Marie Kondo, but try to keep your living and workspace as orderly as possible.
Have a helpful tip to stay healthy when starting a new job? Leave us a comment!