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How To Stay Healthy When You’re Stressed At Work

Source | FastCompany : BY JILLIAN KRAMER

Tis the season for stress. The holidays are crazy enough, but add in year-end deadlines and sales goals, performance reviews, and the news of yet another raise not given, and you can already feel your blood pressure rise. But there’s good news: You can still stay healthy, even when work is insane. It’ll just take a little extra effort.

“When stress takes over, often the first things to go are the ones we need the most–sleep, water, exercise, whole nutritious foods,” laments nutritionist Brigitte Zeitlin. “And that can actually compound the issue, leaving you less equipped to handle the stress well.”

Here’s exactly what you can do to keep that from happening before work gets really crazy.


It’s simple, but true: “A lack of exercise or poor eating habits are often the result of bad planning,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, dietician and author of Skinny Liver. So take some time Sunday afternoon to set yourself up for a healthful work week. You can “make healthy snacks ahead of time so they are ready to grab and go when you leave the door,” says Kirkpatrick, or “plan to cook at [least] three nights a week and prep any ingredients you’ll need. This will help you avoid a last-minute fast-food meal, or a sugary drink.”


It might seem counterintuitive, but Zeitlin says you should be eating every three to four hours to fuel up for those hectic days. “When we go longer than four hours without eating, our blood sugar [levels] drop and so do our energy levels,” she explains. “By making sure you are eating a meal or snack every three to four hours, you will ensure you get through those crazy days feeling more energized and focused, which is the name of the game.” When you snack, mix it up: eat “a variety of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein” for the best fuel, she says.


After a crazy workday, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym. But if you can’t make yourself go to spin class, Kirkpatrick encourages you to discover other ways you can be active throughout the day and get a much-needed energy boost. “Being active actually keeps your energy up; inactivity makes you feel lazy and sluggish,” says Kirkpatrick. “So move!”

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