The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
As legal professionals, I bet we’ve all “been there and done THAT,” i.e. eaten junk food, and way too much of it, to relieve job stress. It’s frowned upon to consume alcohol at work, so that leaves, well, chocolate and chips. In fact, I know some legal professionals whose daily lunch (and sometimes breakfast) consists only of chocolate and chips, washed down by a giant soda – or 16 cups of coffee.
The problem is that this kind of eating only increases our stress in the long run. Not only are we making poor nutritional choices and doing nothing to improve our overall health, we’re not giving our body the right fuel to keep us going during long, demanding days in a fast-paced legal environment. And we’re smart enough to know that a daily lunch-time soda and candy bar is more likely to increase our stress over time, even if it does provide a quick sugar high.
The Sun Sentinal recently published a great article with better ways to handle work stress, including eating tips:
- Take a brisk walk at lunch time. “It’ll relieve stress, revitalize the body and renew the mind.”
- Team up with a colleague for support. “Two is better than one for accountability and encouragement.”
- Read health and fitness magazines during lunch.
- Bypass vending machines by bringing your own healthy snacks to work.
- Banish the candy dish from your desk.
- Don’t eat while you are working. “Think about what you’re eating while you’re eating it so you aren’t mindlessly consuming calories.”
- “When you’re tempted to eat but not physically hungry, chew a stick of gum or brush or floss your teeth.”
I’m guilty of eating at my desk, even for entertainment while summarizing less-than-scintillating documents. But flossing my teeth when I experience hunger pangs is a new one for me. Actually, the thought of flossing my teeth instead of having a cookie works as an appetite suppressant.Following a recent health scare, I’ve had to give up many of my stress-eating favorites, including coffee and chocolate, but have discovered that bringing healthier food choices from home helps me avoid junk food (even though I still miss it). The instruction to give up the candy dish made me laugh, because I had a candy drawer.But I confess to occasionally sneaking out to the Sonic drive-thru for comfort cheese fries on days when celery and fruit just won’t provide a brief, blissful break.