When late nights at the office become a regular occurrence, the normal human requirements of proper sleep, food, and exercise can fly out the window.
Luckily, lawyers can maintain healthy habits even when work is insanely busy.
You need sleep to stay focused, energized, and productive at work. You also need it for overall health. When work days start early and end late, sleep is usually the first area to suffer, so treat it as your top priority. First, put the phone down! Scrolling on your phone right before bed will make it harder to fall asleep, mess up your circadian rhythm, and suppress melatonin secretion. Putting the phone down at least 30 minutes before bed will rest your body and brain better and will help to avoid the classic phone-onto-face drop.
You’ll also need to put the coffee down. Coffee can have lasting effects for up to 5 hours, so drinking coffee during those late-night meetings will make it even harder to get quality sleep once you finally get to go home. Try some matcha tea; it has the same energy-boosting effects but doesn’t cause the jitters or restlessness.
This does not have to be you anymore!
Staying late almost always necessitates some form of take out meal. Heavy, fattening food tastes great and is fine on occasion, but eating it too often will catch up with you in the form of too much sodium, sugar, and weight. The easiest way to avoid unhealthy meal choices is by bringing your own food. Take time on your days off to prepare a few meals a week that you can take to work and reheat as needed. For the inevitable late-night snacking, many offices have vending machines or plates of cookies that seem to mysteriously show up. These options aren’t exactly appropriate fuel for lasting energy. Keep your office stocked with protein bars, nuts, fruits, and other healthy things you can nibble without guilt.
No more losing your money to the vending machine
Finding the motivation to get to the gym after coming home from a drawn-out closing in the wee hours is rough. Long hours sap your energy and sleep is what you most need. However, you still need to get moving somehow, even when long hours leave you with little time. Depending on how far you are from work, try walking at least part of the way—get off a few stops earlier than usual if you take public transportation.
Do some power walking!
Your office can be your gym: Try out a standing desk if that’s an option. Standing desks have been proven to help keep you awake and energized. Or, just try taking a walk around the office when you’re feeling drowsy or generally tired. Go say “hi” to your friend down the hall. Walk to the other side of the building and back while on a call. Stretching the legs a bit will re-energize the brain and help you refocus. And of course, try 10 minutes of yoga when you can squeeze it in.
It’s ok to sweat a little in the office!
Remember, it’s all about staying alert and fueling your body in the healthiest ways possible. When your schedule is wacky, keeping things healthy is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible one.