So the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on and boy do we need something to get excited about after this year.
But with businesses feeling the pinch and those Q4 targets still to hit it’s important that we don’t let the festivities get in the way of our health and performance.
The shelves have been filled with those seasonal temptations for weeks now and dependent upon where you are in the country you may now even be getting out for a long awaited drink (and substantial meal) with friends and family but it’s not time to sign off on 2020 just yet.
If like many, you are still looking to maintain peak performance in the workplace/home workstation to end a dismal year on a high but don’t want to miss out on the one bit of fun you might get to squeeze in then these tips might just be what you need to get you through.
Ultimately at this time of year it’s important that we just keep to the basics, allowing us that little bit of freedom to sink a few mulled wines, enjoy the odd mince pie and perhaps even be a little less active as usual.
So lets take a look at the boxes you should be looking to tick over the festive season whilst supporting your performance to smash those end of year targets.
However your diary looks, whether you’re signing off for the day at 3pm or 3am it’s important that we prioritise sleep, this year whether it be good or bad many of us have had the flexibility to work our own hours which at the same time has blurred the lines between work life and home life. We’ve preached about it here before but at this time of year with deadlines to hit and Covid safe catch ups to squeeze in it can be easy to begin to burn the candle at both ends.
The importance of getting between 7-9 hours sleep each night cannot be undermined with huge and lasting effects on your performance let alone the serious health risks of continued sleep debt.
Listen we can all get away with a few late nights or early mornings but there are 24 hours in a day make sure you’re setting aside at least 7 of them for sleep in order to remain at your best.
With the dark, cold and wet weather setting in, your motivation to get out and be active can admittedly be through the floor and who can blame you. However with your cupboards bulging with that family pack of foxes biscuits and the cheese and pate waiting for you in the fridge it’s actually more important than ever to remain active, wouldn’t you agree??
But hold on, being active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or getting out for a run, just simply make a point of moving more. Refuse to use the lift for the rest of the month, take all your phone calls on your feet or treat yourself to a coffee first thing or at lunch by getting out and walking to the coffee shop. If you’re someone who keeps an eye on their step count could you challenge yourself to add 10-20% to your daily or monthly target.
At a time of year that can often bring about a lot of stress and anxiety as well as all the fun and excitement I can guarantee that both your mind and body will thank you for making the time to simply move more.
Eat those sprouts;
Okay so perhaps sprouts aren’t your thing but my point here is for you to keep to your nutrition basics during this period and make sure it’s not all pigs in blankets and greggs festive bakes (I know, it’s easily done).
Try to ensure that you have a portion of protein with each meal (don’t worry about breakfast if that’s not your thing) and hit 5+ (ideally 7) portions of fruit and veg each day.
Whilst now is not the time of year to keep you from enjoying the odd quality street (mines the purple one), turkey and stuffing sandwich or over indulgent hot chocolate when it comes to maintaining peak performance for those important work hours we’d encourage you to be conscious of the times in which you are sneaking in these treats. Starchy, sugary drinks and snacks can be sooo tempting at this time of year (and any other for that matter) but they can and will ultimately cause a huge hike in your blood sugars causing you to feel tired and lethargic later down the line having an adverse affect on your capacity to concentrate and focus on your work as you fight the tiredness.
By all means enjoy every one of these festive delights by Jove we deserve it after the year we’ve had but be a little bit more clever about when you are allowing yourself these treats so to not negatively impact your performance behind the desk and by sticking to the basics of protein and plenty of fruit and veg you can also keep your immune system stoked to help you avoid any unnecessary absence at this crucial time of year.
This typically isn’t the time of year where people struggle to drink enough but among the mulled wines, gluhwein and baileys coffees I’m actually talking about drinking water. Again as talked about previously staying hydrated is one of the single most important things we can do for our health whilst being relatively simple to achieve.
When it comes to sticking to the basics, committing to drinking 2L of water per day can have a hugely positive impact on your performance behind your desk, helping you maintain focus and even helping to prevent some of those muscular aches and pains.
Let’s be honest I think we’ll all be glad to see the end of 2020 but there is still lots we can achieve in these last few weeks both work wise and personally. Make sure you make the time to see and spend quality time with friends and family (in person or face to face) and set yourself up to meet those deadlines, smash those targets and finish the year on a high before signing off for Christmas with these 4 simple tips.