No matter where you are in the job search, it’s important to not only find a job that will be a good fit for you but also one that’s not going to harm your overall health and wellbeing. You always might have to sacrifice something in your next job, like a shorter commute, better hours or flexibility, but you never want to sacrifice your personal health.
Searching through job boards, tweaking your resume and writing cover letters is already taking up a lot of your time. If you’re starting your first job after college, just finishing up residency or coming back from a gap year, you will still have time to implement some healthy habits into your routine.
It’s much easier to get started with your time now than instead try to figure something out when you may be busy figuring out your new workplace.
Start An Exercise Routine
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to turn into a Mr. Olympia before your first job, able to bench press half a ton, but you do want to start committing to an exercise routine as quickly as possible.
For your exercise, that could be whatever you enjoy doing. It could be pick-up soccer in the park a few times a week, weight training every morning or simply going for a run. Whatever it is, you need to stick to it. Once you start working, you may not have the complete freedom to choose whenever you go do those activities.
When you do start work, playing soccer or going for a run will just feel like a natural, correct part of your day. You’ll be used to doing it by now and look forward to it.
Commit to a Healthy Diet
If you work in a hospital, you know how crazy and hectic your job can be. You’re running around from patient to patient, room to room and before long, you realize you haven’t eaten in a few hours or had a drink of water.
Even if you don’t work in a hospital, you may have experienced something similar while studying or working at an internship. You find yourself in the zone and completely forget to eat or drink anything.
That’s why today you can start finding some healthy snacks and making sure to carry a water bottle around with you. Substitute chips with some dry nuts or trail mix. Make sure you’re drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
Find some healthy recipes that are easy to make if you plan on bringing lunch to work every day. Limit the number of times you eat out, not only for health purposes but also to save yourself some money.
Start a Work Schedule Before Working
When you’re not working and looking for work, it may be tempting to look for jobs “whenever” and then stay up all night because you don’t have to be up early.
You’re going to be on a rigid schedule soon so you should start on the right foot. You don’t have to look for jobs from 9-5 every day, but have a set time in the day where you’re looking for work, exercising, reading or something. The sooner you can make yourself get on a schedule, the easier it’s going to be when you start working.
Commit to a sleep schedule. Almost 40% of people between 20 and 39 years old report lack of sleep, so make sure you’re not part of those statistics.
Find a Stress Manager
Essentially all jobs, at one point or another, present some kind of stress. It could be anything from a terrible coworker, an overbearing boss or disorganized desk that could be the cause of your stress. Some things you can prevent and others you can’t.
Even the calmest people can get stressed out from time to time, so it’s a good idea to have something that you know can help you manage your stress.
It can be meditation, exercise, video games, playing with your dog or whatever. If you already know what your stress reliever is, great! If not, think about what could help you get out of that funk and relax you. You might be able to practice during your job search!