Lifestyle: How to get out of your office mood rut

Look, we’re not about getting nominated as Miss Congeniality at the office but girlfriend, there are bills to be paid and when you are working your way up the foodchain, you can’t afford to be throwing jackets on people’s desk and giving the side eye. That comes after the 7th promotion, right before retirement. And I mean, god forbid someone asks you to put coffee on the shopping list or to run an extra errand for them. You’re not an Annie. But you are the kind that rolls into work half an hour late on a Monday only to complain about how tired you are by 9.32am. You begin your countdown towards the weekend by 3pm Tuesday and while you would rather do a root canal than get to know your fellow employees, you always have something to say about Susie from booth 10 – but we all know Susie couldn’t hurt a fly.

We hate to ask, but are you the least favourite employee at work? The one that is just plain horrible to be around? If you had to think twice then you could be in an office rut – and short of getting a new job and moving on – we’re here to tell you that your attitude can be changed with a few lifestyle changes.

We turned to a few of our lifestyle favourites – James from KX Pilates, Emma from Smart Analysis, Emily from Improve Performance, and trainer and wellness warrior to the stars, Amy Rosoff Davis.

Amy, what can we all do pre-work to help get through a long day? 

Working out first thing in the morning gives your metabolism a nice boost for the rest of the day. It also give you a nice boost.

Personally, I feel great when I start my day with some good sweat. It gives me energy and helps me want to make good healthy choices for the rest of the day. Getting your workout done in the morning means it is impossible to make an excuse not to work out.

James – how can Pilates before work help with 3.30itis?

One of the best things about Pilates is that the KX workout is a full body strength and conditioning workout which also elevates your heart rate for an overall cardio workout. Unlike using traditional weights or equipment you’d find in the gym or other fitness classes, the Pilates Reformer applies resistance to the our bodies for a longer period of time per repetition, in all directions, which means your body works hard, for longer.

For your body, this style of working out will enhance your metabolism for a longer duration (using more energy more often) but for your mind, working out in the morning will help to ensure you start kicking goals earlier in the day creating a sense of achievement and pride, it will also help to reduce any sense of guilt you might have later in the day if you’d otherwise not participated in any exercise – you don’t feel guilty because you’re already a head of the game, and feel OK about just chilling out in the afternoon.

Will we see a difference in exercising before work for those energy levels come mid-afternoon?

Movement is a great source of energy. Sounds funny, you’re thinking, doesn’t working out use energy? Yes, that’s true, but working out actually helps you to feel more alert, and feel more mentally focused and clear.

Believe it or not, there is some research out there which clearly outlines that working out, or being active, has more potential to wake you, and keep your more alter, than caffeine. Unfortunately, it was also found that this approach to energy production works better on fitter people.

The good news is, the fitter you are, the more adbudant your personal energy supply will be. The fitter and healthier you are, the more alter you are. Makes sense.

What can we all do at work, come 3pm, to get the last bit of energy throughout the day? 

When I worked in a office many many moons ago, I made a habit of ensuring that I always took time to have lunch away from the desk, preferably outside. I also made a habit of trying to make any meetings I had, active – like a walking meeting to ensure more time could be spent being active.

This is a practice I have continued to this day. From catch-ups with my current team, to job interviews with new trainers, to social influencers, business networks, even my accountant… my response to your meeting request will always be “Sounds good! Send me a time and place we can go for a work out, and we’ll take it from there”

If you are stuck inside, try to be as active as possible – take the stairs, do a few stretches, run on the spot for 30 seconds as soon as you start to feel sluggish. Reaching for a candy draw will only be met with short term satisfaction, and longer term feeling of fatigue.

Emily – what food could be contributing to these mid-week moods?

Eating sweet and sugary snacks in the afternoon will cause an immediate spike in your blood sugar levels which places alot of stress on your body to metabolise eventually causing a severe drop and a slump in your energy levels.

Go for whole foods that have been minimally processed that will continually fuel and sustain the demands of your afternoon back the thirty minute mark.

This could also be caused by a lunch that isn’t nutritious enough. While we think we are being healthy by eating a salad for lunch, if we don’t include a great source of protein and or quality carbohydrate we’re unable to fuel our body for the afternoon causing us to feel lethargic, hungry and heading towards to cookie jar for energy!

Lunch time – what should it look like?

Opt for a healthy and nutritious lunch that is going to fuel you for the afternoon – try a hearty homemade minestrone soup, chicken and salad wrap/sandwich, poke bowl or salad that contains a good source of quality protein and carbohydrates.

If you are needing a nutritious afternoon snack opt for a tub of low-fat yoghurt, piece of fruit, wholegrain crackers with peanut butter and tomato or maybe even some chopped up veggies with hummus.

Emma – we’ve heard that sitting down at a desk is the new cancer. HELP…. 

We see a lot of sedentary workers who sit down at a desk majority of the day, carry much less muscle in their legs and more muscle and fat in their upper body. Since they carry most of their weight in their upper body this can have harmful effects on lower back pain- so we recommend lower body strength training and keeping glutes activated is extremely vital for protecting the lower back.

Regular exercise for office workers is extremely important for circulation, mental health and avoiding health risks. Another alarming concert can be hydration as you are usually sitting inside of a building with air-conditioning or heaters on all day long. This can have some harmful effects on the skin and water levels of ones body if they’re not keeping themselves hydrated. It can be hard to keep hydrated when not outdoors running around everywhere as you don’t feel thirsty all the time so it’s important to keep the fluids up.