While dressing fancy for a long day at the office keeps you motivated and puts you in a professional light for clients, it isn’t always the most comfortable dress code.
For men it’s the suit and tie with shiny dress shoes and fun socks.
For women it’s the skirts and silky dress shirts with high heels.
Over the years of working in many office settings–sometimes for up to 90 hours per week–I’ve learned how to be relaxed and cozy at my desk. Luckily, we humans are easily adaptable to our surroundings!
If your work space requires a lot of sitting and staring at a computer screen, consider the following steps to keep you comfy:
Dress Code Tweaks: I know you feel obligated to wear those high heels to match height or fashion with other co-workers, but remember that you are sitting for most your shift. Bring an extra pair of shoes, preferably some cute flats, to give your feet relief.
Is your office as cold as mine? Consider always having a dressy sweater or cardigan on your chair or in a desk drawer so you have something every day to thaw your frozen limbs. If you’re lucky, your boss will store blankets in a closet!
Take a Real Break: Don’t use the excuse that you brought your own lunch so you can’t leave the office to get food. If the weather is nice, consider walking to a nearby park or cafe to eat. Otherwise, take a quick stroll around the block and catch some rays before you open that lunch box. Sunlight and fresh air is key to revive you for the second half of your shift!
Be open minded to ways you can relieve stress. When you find yourself anxious about deadlines and workloads, take a few minutes to learn deep breathing meditation practices. There’s now scientific proof that breathing practices and mindfulness can improve anxiety and depression symptoms and lower stress levels!
Offer suggestions to your bosses to hold meetings outdoors or on a walk.
Satisfy Oral Fixations: Admit it, oral fixations are not just for smokers. We all crave something to drink or nibble on while we’re working at our desks. Don’t be afraid to take mini breaks to refill your water bottle or coffee/tea mug. Also, provide portioned snacks to nibble on during your shift.
This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention making wise choices on your snacking habits. Be as healthy as possible: organic, fresh, GMO-free, portioned, etc.
Be Health Conscious: Visit a chiropractor every couple months. They can correct your sitting posture; give you simple, muscle-building stretches; or just crack your bones/relieve any tension in your spine and hips. My chiropractor once requested I ask a co-worker to take a photo of how I sit at my desk to correct any bad habits or request a different chair. Every detail from the angle of your feet flat on the floor to the position of your computer screen is important for staying comfortable and pain-free at work.
I also recommend meeting with a massage therapist once or twice a year if you still feel tension in your muscles after seeing a chiropractor regularly for more than four months since it can take a few months before your body trains itself to stay in the right position.
Also, see an eye doctor at least once a year or as soon as you start to feel eye strain. Catching this early is important to work at a computer for an extended period of time.
What do you do to keep your sanity at the office?