Staying Healthy with a Full-Time Job

Let me preface this by saying this is not a “How-To” post. In fact this is more of an admission to having no idea of how to successfully stay healthy while working a 40 hour job (until now, hopefully).

I started working full-time in September with a real-life big girl job. No more college, no more homework, no more all-nighters. But somehow, it’s harder than ever for me to stay healthy. I drive an hour to work, work for 8 hours, and then drive an hour home and become so exhausted that the thought of working out for another hour with what little energy I have left seems like an insane idea.

This of course needs to change.

So here I am, ready to get back on schedule. Over the summer I worked out almost every day, or at minimum 5 times a week for an hour or more. I ate smaller, less frequent meals and they were healthier too. I gave myself one cheat meal a week and stuck to it. Now everything is the exact opposite.

What I do know is that once you fall out of a habit that you’ve created, it’s really hard to get back into it. When you start an exercise or diet routine, it really helps to tell yourself ahead of time to commit to it for at least 3 weeks. So for the next 3 weeks, I’m going to make a change.

Here are the 5 things I want to focus on in order to get back in shape, and stay in shape.

  1. Work out twice a week. Over time I’ve learned that when you’re trying to get back into a lifestyle, you can’t go full force. You need to slowly get back into it. I plan on scheduling times to workout out twice a week for a couple weeks, then move up to 3, then 4, and if I start feeling really ambitious I’ll start working out 5 times a week.
  2. Drink 8 cups of water a day (or 4 water bottles). My work provides us with free beverages, which is great but I don’t nearly take advantage of it as much as I should. Staying hydrated is key to keeping up with a healthy diet so I plan to make sure I get enough water every day.
  3. Eat healthy. I am still going to bring snacks to work, as 8 hours a day at a desk get’s really boring. But I want to try and limit the amount of carbs I eat and choose healthier snacks like fruit or veggies, or even trail mix. Unfortunately, this means all that Halloween candy in my pantry needs to go.
  4. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I struggle with this because I somehow always get distracted really late at night. Because of this, when it comes to waking up at 7:00 AM all I want to do is sleep more and I feel exhausted all day. I need to start going to bed earlier and putting all my electronic devices away so they don’t distract me at night.
  5. Focus on my mental health. Part of living a healthy lifestyle is focusing on your mental health. Lately I have been overly stressed and I commit to too many things that I just end up out of any mental energy. Sometimes I just need to take a break and relax, and I want to start making more time to do that.

If you have any other tips to staying healthy, comment below! I’ll take all the advice I can get.