Spring into Your Best Self with These Easy Tips
From skin care secrets to good-for-you recipes, our healthy living guide will bring out the best in you this season.
Work from Home Heal
Some helpful hints on how to work from home like a pro.
Problem: Frequent Snacking
Eat sensibly. Munch on greens and protein for your main meal and snack on fruit, granola bars and nuts to avoid feeling sluggish. Eating at your desk tends to make you overwork and overeat too, so get up and eat at the kitchen table or sit outside. Also, drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and focused enough to power through your work day.
Problem: Poor Posture
Sitting and staring at a computer screen for several hours a day can give you a stiff, sore back. An easy solution is adjusting the height of your screen to eye level. Have a few old books lying around? Stack them on top of one another, pop them under your monitor and you’re good to go. If you don’t notice any immediate improvements, try deskercising. (Yes, it’s a real thing.) One move to try is the shoulder shrug: raise both shoulders up towards your ears, hold for five seconds, slowly drop them back down and repeat until satisfied. Is your upper back still stiff? Try the pencil pinch exercise: Roll your shoulders back together and imagine that you’re holding a pencil in between your shoulder blades. Hold for five to ten seconds, release and repeat twelve to fifteen times.
Problem: Lack of Physical Activity
Taking a few breaks throughout the day helps you be more productive and gets your creative juices flowin’, so step away from your workspace for a bit. Hop on the Peloton during your lunch break or take a walk around the block to stretch cramped muscles, alleviate sitting-induced backaches and clear up any feelings of midday grogginess.
Problem: Eye Strain
A very common condition, eye strain often occurs after looking at a computer or tablet screen for long periods of time. Studies show that reducing eye strain not only benefits your overall vision, but also reduces fatigue. If you often feel tired and have trouble focusing on the computer screen, try these hacks:
• Match the computer’s display brightness to the same level as your work environment.
• Change all text sizes so that they are easy to read.
• Keep blue light at a minimum; you can fiddle with your computer’s settings to adjust its color temperature.
• Step away from the screen every hour or so.
Sleep plays an integral role in our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Check out these tips and tricks on how to have a restful night’s sleep from Dr. Peter Karczmar, a board-certified specialist in pulmonary and sleep medicine at Coastal Medical.
Hold Off on the Caffeine
Cut yourself off from caffeine earlier than you might think: Stop drinking coffee or consuming anything with caffeine in it (including chocolate) by 2 p.m. “Consuming a caffeinated beverage [or snack] any later can keep you up all night because caffeine is a stimulator,” says Karczmar.
Get Rid of Distractions
It’s normal to check your newsfeed just one more time before calling it a night, right? In reality, you shouldn’t watch TV or use your phone, computer or tablet while lying in bed. “One reason is that these types of activities make you alert and wake you up, which then makes it even harder to fall asleep. The other reason is that the light from the device affects the timing of your sleep,” he says.
Adjust Your Environment
Drown out the silence (and any buzzing thoughts) with an app that plays soothing sounds like crickets chirping or waves crashing on the shore. It all comes down to personal preference; even something as simple as a small fan can create the perfect amount of white noise. Pillow type is also something that affects everyone on an individual level. When buying a new pillow, take the time to go through your options, whether it be memory foam, feather-filled, firm or squishy. And what about room temperature? “It is up to individual preference, although a warmer environment tends to disrupt sleep,” Karczmar says. So, really, the key to uninterrupted bliss may just be investing in a quality portable fan.
Prepare your body for eight hours of heavenly slumber by exercising later in the day rather than the morning (but not so close to your bedtime that your heart is still racing when you go to lie down), or by taking a warm, relaxing bath right before changing into your pajamas.