While the workplace is undeniably a stressful environment majority of the time, tackling it doesn’t have to feel like a battle. To make the most out of every workday without abandoning your well-being, you need to implement the following strategies to help you stay productive, happy, and healthy.

This is how to protect your mental and physical wellness at work:

Practice stress-relieving exercises

No matter your professional field, stress is always right around the corner. Whether that be in the form of difficult customers or tight deadlines, it’s important to stay calm and collected during these overwhelming moments. Therefore, combat stress by using healthy coping mechanisms and exercises. Examples include deep breathing, counting down from 10, meditation, or simply getting up and standing in a quiet area to recollect yourself.

Embrace exercising during breaks

If your job has a free gym membership benefit, take advantage of it. Otherwise, find an area where you can power through a few squat reps or center yourself with a quick yoga session. While you’re at it, every fifteen minutes or so throughout the day, stretch your limbs to get the blood pumping and loosen up tight muscles! Exercising during the workday keeps up your mood and energy and sharpens cognitive function, enabling you to stay more focused on tasks at hand. Plus, it reduces overall stress since it kickstarts the production of the body’s natural painkillers: endorphins and dopamine.

Separate your work and home life

Whatever is going on at home, leave it at the door before stepping into the office. Mixing work and home life will most likely become emotionally overwhelming and can negatively impact your work performance. Your personal matters are always important, but you must acknowledge and realize that they must be handled after hours, not during the times where you have professional responsibilities.

Actively hydrate with water

Water is vital to maintaining and optimizing the well-being of our bodies since it regulates all internal and external functions. Without the recommended daily intake of water (15 cups), we put ourselves at risk for suffering muscle fatigue, headaches, and even dizziness. Dehydration is serious business! If you’re the kind of person who never packs a water bottle, invest in a reusable one; or suggest that your company install office water dispensers. Therefore, you can have access to clean water wherever you go and at the same time, reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.

Eat healthy and don’t skip meals

As tempting as the kitchen pantry snacks are, don’t indulge in them during breaks. Fueling yourself with artificial foods only sparks temporary spikes of energy that end in unforgiving crashes. Eating wholesome and healthy meals improves your mental focus as well as keeps you feeling balanced and energized. Also, if you’re the kind of person who skips meals – stop immediately! Skipping meals lowers your metabolism, which makes you more prone to gaining weight as opposed to losing it.

Alternate between sitting and standing

Sitting all day is bad for your health, according to medical professionals. Prolonged periods of sedentary positions put you at risk for developing chronic diseases such as back pain, diabetes, spinal injury, and metabolic syndrome – just to name a few examples. Professionals recommend alternating between sitting and standing every half hour or hour at a desk job to avoid potential health concerns. In that case, think of situations where standing is more ideal than sitting like eating lunch, having a quick meeting, or taking a phone call.

Create a healthy and productive environment for yourself

A healthy work environment is a solid mental and physical space that is established to increase your productivity and focus. The first step to creating such a place is to keep your desk clean.

Clutter is distracting and makes you feel frazzled and disorganized. The state of a person’s desk is reflective of their state of mind!

In regards to the mental aspect: be respectful and courteous to everyone around you. Avoid the gossip of coworkers and any drama that may be stirring in the workplace. Not only is the drama unnecessary, but it can also get you in trouble in one way or another with another coworker and even your boss.

Efficiently time manage your day

The most important thing in the day is time. If you effectively manage it, you will be able to complete delegated tasks one after the other and save yourself a lot of stress, anxiety, and frustration. In the workplace, there is no room for procrastination or half-hearted effort – so put your best foot forward with this method! Prioritize the most important things that need to get done first and move forward from there.

Thrive on a positive and strong work ethic

Every day, greet your colleagues with a smile and dedicate 100% of your efforts into finishing tasks. Sustaining a positive attitude and strong work ethic throughout the workday translates into everything you do, from putting in persistent energy into your work performance, thinking of effective ways to solve problems, and even wholeheartedly enjoying breaks with your colleagues.

Ultimately, the most important thing to do at work is not only performed at your best but protect your mental and physical wellness as you do it. Both are equally significant and fully thrive in conjunction with one another. Without proper stress management in the workplace, unhealthy coping mechanisms and strategies can turn into harmful behaviors such as substance abuse or addiction and even self-harm. Therefore, it just goes to show how imperative it is to continually care for your mental and physical well-being.