Gentler Days: Tips for a Gentler Work Day

This post is part of a three-part series from one of my favorite bloggers – J of Sparklingly! Just started reading the series? Check out part 1: Tips for a Gentler Morning.

tips for a gentler work day
For a gentler work day:

– Work in some workouts at work: If you’re like me and make your living sitting at a computer all day, I’m sure you’ve been properly scared by all the research that shows regardless the exercise we get in, the act of sitting for basically 8 hours straight is deteriorating to our health. To combat this, I try to (covertly) do a few squats or wall push-ups in a corner of the office throughout the day (when my outfit allows). I also purposefully choose the smallest glass in our kitchen so I have to get up frequently to refill it from the cooler (also a good time for a quick squat). I’m particularly bad at moving around once I’m in a groove, though, so I sometimes run this this app on my computer—it’s not the prettiest, but it gets the job done by allowing you to program regular breaks (of the 10-minute variety) and microbreaks (15 seconds, meant to remind you to look away from your computer screen) throughout the day.

– Check your lighting situation: If you can avoid overhead fluorescent lights, you’re exceptionally lucky. If you can’t, see about getting a lamp at your desk to provide a softer glow that can block the retina-burning blaze of the ceiling lights. My office situation won’t allow for that, so I downloaded f.lux, which uses your location to adjust the lighting of your screen based on the amount of daylight present, minimizing the awful blue light emanating from your computer that messes with your system (and sleep cycles!).

Walking to & from work

– Keep moving: Depending on where you live and where you work, try to make more of your commute dependent on your own two feet, especially if you sit all day. Walking to and from work, or to a further subway stop or parking spot, gives you more time to get into work mode before work or decompress after, to get in some fresh air, and to get your blood circulating.

– Guard your calendar: If you have jam-packed days, schedule in some “you time” throughout, especially when back-to-back meetings rear their head. No one’s day is made any better if you’re grumpy, so having time to pop out for a walk or lunch or just to use the bathroom will make your work day ever so much nicer.

tips for a gentler work day 2

Thanks again, J! What are some things you do for a gentler work day?

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  1. Kelly says

    My tip is to never eat lunch alone. Socialization is great for mental health! 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      I agree, Kelly! That’s definitely one of the downsides of working from home…unless you count puggles as socializing. 😉

  2. Thanks for the helpful tips! I get stressed a lot on a work day and I rely on foods when I get stressed. Doing squats sound like an awesome idea.

    1. Good for the tush AND good for releasing some stress from your joints! 🙂

  3. On the hour… one or twice a day (if i’m not able to leave for a walk etc.) I stop to take a centering breathing break. I look away from the screen and take 10 really deep breaths (taking care to relax my whole body)… Sometimes I message a buddy to do it with me 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      I love this suggestion! I could definitely benefit from doing this, since I often catch myself taking really shallow breaths when I’m working.

  4. I try to walk around as much as I can but for the most part I am that girl staring at the computer and sitting on my chair all day long 🙁

    1. To be honest, I’m often that girl, too, Dixya. But giving your eyes a break and stretching your legs even just once a day will make a huge difference, so don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t do it as often as you like. Baby steps! 🙂

  5. I am lucky to have a window in my office and I rarely ever turn on any lights at all. On a very cloudy or overcast day I have a small floor lamp I use instead of the fluorescent lights (I hate those!)

    I also walk to deliver messages instead of using the phone or email and definitely make multiple trips to the water cooler. I used to go for a 20-30 min walk every day after lunch but got out of the habit.

    Loving this series!

    1. Ooo, lucky again, Anna! Sitting near a window is the holy grail—I bet you’re able to have lots of lush desk plants! I’ve gotten a bit out of the strolling habit, too, thanks to the muggy temps…but come the first whispers of autumn wind, back to the street post-lunch I go!

    2. Ps. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Kait says

    I’m LOVING the f.lux program. Its so nice to have a “warm” screen. thanks for sharing these great tips.

    1. You’re welcome! F.lux totally fixed my hopelessly harsh work lighting situation. Glad it’s working out nicely for you, too, Kait!

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