This blog will focus on how to be primally active at work. This a blog in a series called Daily Primal Actions. You might want to read the first two two blogs about waking up primally and getting to work. Otherwise, dive right in here.
Work is a main focus for most of us. Although, you can thrive from the motivation of completing tasks, the sense of belonging being part of a group, and revel in the success a career can bring, what health costs are you willing to pay for it? What if you could mitigate those health costs by living a primal lifestyle?
Let’s divide work into chunks: morning routine and break, lunch, afternoon routine and break. Because getting to work is being discussed, it would make sense to also mention leaving work and the activities that may be involved directly thereafter. However, after work activities will be a broad topic, so that will be left for the next blog.
In the previous blog on getting to work, setting yourself up for success was discussed. It can begin with the evening prior and ensuring your quality. However, whether you had a bad sleep or skipped a stable morning routine because you were running late, there are still opportunities to balance yourself out and maintain a primal lifestyle during your working hours. Think of it as a challenge. Sleeping in skipping breakfast, and zipping to work with no movement, how can you find an anchor to help you succeed throughout your day. That is what a primal lifestyle is all about. Providing you with habits to make you as successful as possible.
So you’ve skipped your morning routine. What are some things you can do upon arrival at work. Take five minutes in your car after parking and focus your intent. Meditation is the practice of staying focused in the present moment. This will shine through to others and impress your team and management. Did you bike ride to work? Depending on the route, but if you’re sharing it with traffic, then you would have had to be fully focused on the flow around you to ensure you’re safety. One draw back, stressful encounters of others not paying attention to the road rules. Perhaps there’s a park you can stop at for a few minutes before arriving at your work place destination.
What about having breakfast at work? Either skipping breakfast by accident or intentional if you are practicing intermittent fasting, can set you up to be tempted once in the workplace. It can be troublesome with the amount of tasty treats all over the place. Bringing a breakfast with you that you really enjoy can save you from cheating first thing in the morning. Having a bite to eat soon as you arrive at your destination can protect you from indulging. As you feel more secure refraining from toxic foods and food like products, you can begin to delay your eating until lunch. Having a bullet proof coffee (coffee with butter), tea, or a collagen energy drink, can also help you maintain your fast form eating until your break or even lunch. Just be careful how much exercise you are doing before hand. You want to train yourself up to fitness and fasting at the same time. To be safe, make sure to consume some protein, fat and carbs after a strenuous bike ride or early morning fitness routine.
Depending on how progressive your work space is, you may want to look at bringing weights a yoga matt, studying desk to mix up your day. Sitting at a desk and scrolling through documents can allow for one arm to do some bicep curls. Working on a 25 minute on, 5 minute off pattern? Take the 5 minutes to do some pull ups at the door frame bar you’ve hung up. Remember that meditation to fit in before you start work even though you woke up late? If your matt is there, or cushion or block, use it as a way to centre yourself. Yoga can be done in small spaces. Basic stretches after riding your bike to work can be done in the office, or a group fitness space.
During your morning session at work, try to develop your sense of creativity. You have just arrived, checked your email, responded to the essentials and put out the fires. You are feeling pumped from your bike ride and/or fitness routine before getting here. And you nearly empty stomach isn’t bothering you because of your light and sensible breakfast. Allow yourself to tap into that sense of calmness and be original. Depending on what your line of work is, writing out ideas to better your employment can be beneficial to make yourself recognize what is important. Reaching your first break of the morning, perhaps you decide to break your fast now, with something light. Yogurt and eggs are light, easily digested foods. Perhaps you have a coffee now, or tea. Caffeine isn’t your thing? Try some sparkling mineral water or flat water with some citrus garnish. This way you can still get out of your space and change your environment for a few minutes. That will help stimulate your mind or get you out a rut that you may be experiencing work wise. If you do computer work, this’ll help with correcting your posture and provide ease for your eye gaze?
Returning to your desk you feel a little revitalized. Breaks aren’t meant to take away from your work time. They’re meant to replenish you and provide you with an opportunity to refresh yourself so you continue being productive. Obviously, if you are in the middle of a project or duty, you may need to be flexible with when and for how long you take your break. be responsible and take the time you need within your organization’s contract.
As you come onto lunch hour, there are a few possibilities. Perhaps you break your fast now, decide to spend some time with friends or family to clear your mind from work, take an opportunity to build workplace relationships through joining the crew for lunch, get in that workout that you missed in the morning, or get a crew together from the office for a lunch hour run.
Deciding to break your fast at lunch hour is a good option if you want to keep your intermittent fasting in the 8 hour window. Just make sure to have dinner by 7pm. Lunch is meant to be a break. So taking time with friends or family to clear your mind is beneficial. Everyone agreeing to meet a local spot that is primal friendly or bringing a bagged lunch to a public space, creates time to nurture those relationships.
You tend to spend so much time with your work colleagues that it may be nice to get away for a bit. But, using the lunch hour to bond in ways outside of occupational tasks can bring better understanding for each other during the other hours of the work day. Joining the team for lunch and ‘shooting the breeze’ can be a way to diffuse any intense situations from earlier, a chance to clear the air or figure out what hurdles may be coming up and how to deal with them as they do. Again, this is about relationship building. As important as your actual work tasks are, building these relationships will strengthen the support needed in a workplace to run efficiently.
Most lunches are for an hour. Luckily primal basic fitness routines, whether high intensity, strength building or movement, can be easily adapted to 30 or 45 minutes. If you’re going on a lower level of exercise and may not sweat, scents can easily help you stay fresh, rather than having to shower. But this is very individual. Make sure you are confident about your body. If you are feeling that working out will take your time away from eating, a smoothie or protein shake may be easier to consume in a shorter amount of time. Just remember, these are foods, and should be consumed gradually and digested at a proper pace. Don’t force it down. Luckily, smoothies and protein shakes can easily consumed in most work places if you have run out of time for lunch.
Getting the work crew together for lunch run is a great way to bond if you’re tired of the workplace luncheons. Also, running or some other type of physical exercise can increase a positive amount of adrenaline to give you energy through the afternoon. If you’re office is progressive or has space enough, tuck away the chairs and get the yoga matts out. 30 minutes stretching is a great way to break up the day.
The afternoon at work can be the biggest challenge. If you’ve managed to stay away from a lunch loaded with carbs and you’re not crashing from the sugar rush, you just might be able to get some work done. Now is a really good time to impanelment the 25 minute on/ 5 minute off rule. After 25 minutes of constant work, take a 5 minutes break away from that task onto something else. That may mean you are taking an actual 5 minute break. See if that’s okay with the management to break up your afternoon break into smaller chunks.
If you are still able to maintain a sense of focus, having a stimulating drink at your break can help you thought the last leg of work. If you are ingesting caffeine, just know how it affects you. You do not want to stimulate yourself if it will hinder your ability to sleep at night. But if you are planning to do an after work fitness routine, having some caffeine at this point may support you in that endeavour.
You’ve finished your day at work. You managed to balance a primal life with the needs of your occupation to the best of your ability. You are able to determine what you had for for your diet, used your breathing techniques to keep you focused, got in a fitness routine at some point, and strengthened relationships with the people in your life The rest of the day is yours, what will you do with it? Stay tuned for the next blog find out how to carry on your primal lifestyle throughout the evening.