Taking care of your mental and physical well-being in a modern office

There’s a lot to contend with as a new graduate in an office environment. After months of going through job interviews and endless resume re-writing, it seems like the hard work is only just beginning now that you’ve finally landed yourself a job. In your eagerness to prove yourself, just be careful not to fall into the trap of burning yourself out mentally and physically. Here are some effective ways in which you can avoid mental and physical burnout in a competitive office environment:

Don’t hesitate to ask for help
As a new graduate, you might be a little apprehensive about asking for help as you don’t want to come across as incompetent, but if you need clarity on something, you need to ask. Between making assumptions that could potentially lead to mistakes and asking to gain understanding, managers would rather you ask them questions. Seeking assistance will be acknowledged as an initiative on your part to get things right for the team, so ask when you are not sure.

Get organized
Let’s face it, there is a ton of information about your role and the way your department works that you will need to get a handle on – and your mind is not going to be able to take in all that information during your first few weeks at work. So jot down what’s important and look at your notes later so you can absorb information better. It also helps to keep track of your work assignments by using either a manual or online planner (such as Timeful and Easily Do, both on iOS) to record short and long-term tasks, as well as daily tasks. In addition to keeping your workload manageable, this will alleviate stress, especially when you can tick off the tasks you accomplished at the end of the day!

Take a walk
While you might be inclined to stay in during lunch to catch up on all the new information that has come your way (or perhaps to impress your manager!), do yourself a favor and take that break instead. The change in the environment while you walk to get your lunch will do you a world of good, especially when you are feeling stressed. Additionally, some simple stretching exercises will also do the trick. Any form of movement will help you clear your mind of work, and get you re-focused when you get back to your desk.

Stay in touch with friends and family
To maintain work-life balance and to foster healthy mental well-being, it is important to spend time with your loved ones outside the workplace. As busy as you might be at your new job, make some time to keep in touch with friends and family. It’s important to switch off from work. Friends and family can help provide that much-needed break you deserve.

Dr. Tahira Kurram, lead physician at Qatar Foundation Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) offers these additional tips to keep you happy and healthy at work:

• Have a good breakfast (rich in varied fibers and protein), break down your meals throughout the day (as opposed to one heavy meal), minimize your caffeine intake (especially on an empty stomach), keep hydrated and avoid sugary foods
• If you have a desk job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, then you should take regular breaks to stretch and move your body
• When you’re at work and feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of tasks at hand, take a step back and focus on doing just one thing at a time instead of trying to multitask
• If you’re staring into a computer screen all day, adjust the settings to alter the screen brightness so that it doesn’t put a strain on your eyes. You should also consider taking regular breaks from looking at the screen
• If you feel lethargic in the morning, the problem is likely to have started the night before. Switch off all mobile devices before bedtime, and place them away from your bed. Having at least seven to eight hours of sleep will help you take on a new, challenging day with gusto
• Go for regular health visits despite feeling fit and strong. Sometimes you are not aware of certain deficiencies, such as vitamin D deficiency or anemia