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Off to a flying start

Monday 11th August

Starting a new job comes with a mixture of excitement and nerves, and generally we want to get stuck in. But if you’re not careful, it can be easy to neglect your health - which will make it harder to be at your best, and may eventually lead to you having to take time off sick. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy whilst you settle into your new role.

1. Sleep tight
To make a good impression, you may end up putting in overtime, starting early, or spending time socialising and getting to know your new team - sometimes late into the night. But despite these pressures, getting enough sleep is vital to staying well. Try to keep regular hours when you can, and avoid the temptation to cut out sleep time in the week and “catch up” on the weekend.

If you’re stressed and can’t fall asleep, there are a few methods you can try to help send you off. Make sure your room is cool, dark and tidy. Resist the temptation to have the phone, tablet or computer by the bed - turn it off or leave it downstairs. Have a warm (not hot) bath before bed. And if you really can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed struggling. Get up and do something else until you feel sleepy again.

2. You are what you eat
A new job means a new routine. If your mind is elsewhere, it can be all too easy to skip breakfast, buy a stodgy lunch, and keep going on fizzy drinks and sugary snacks. When you do finally make it home, a takeaway may sound much better than facing the kitchen. This is fine for a few days, but any longer and you’ll start to feel less than your best.

To maintain a healthier diet, stock up on nutritional quick fixes before you start at the new company. Be kind to yourself and buy ready-prepared foods - whole meals, fresh veg and desserts - to save time. Try to have packed lunches and keep a stash of healthy snacks at work to fend off temptation.

3. Managing stress
A new job almost always comes with added stress. One of the best ways to relieve extra pressure and keep your health in check is to fit in some exercise. It could be a quick pre-office swim, a jog after work or a new exercise class - whatever you can manage will make the difference. Keep your eyes open for opportunities in your new workplace - they might have a running club or sports team you can join.

4. Time to adjust
When you’re new to a job, everything from working the coffee machine to giving a presentation to new colleagues will be stressful. Of course you want to make a good impression in your new role, but make sure you’re not piling on too much pressure. Give yourself time - don’t think you have to be perfect straightaway. To keep the pressure manageable, try not to overload your life outside of work with too many commitments. That way, you can have some down time to unwind and recuperate.

 

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