There’s no doubt about it—looking for a job or just thinking about looking for a job can be very stressful. And many of us start to snack when we’re under stress.
The foods you choose totry to satisfy the stress munchies make a real difference. Caffeine, which is just so easy to grab, can make you jittery in the short-term and sometimes gives you a false sense of your own productivity. Junk food can cause energetic sugar highs that if you fatigued later. And large amounts of caffeine and junk food can interfere with your concentration, creativity, and optimism, not to mention your general health—all of which you need for the job search.
So instead of just grabbing more caffeine, salt, and sugar, consider a few of these snacks instead. They’ll help you fight off hunger, while giving you a satisfying crunch to help you deal with stress. Even better, they’re good for you! They’re packed with compounds that have been shown to improve your concentration, memory, creativity, mood, energy, and overall brain and physical performance so you can be at your best.
The snacks I’ve chosen here are all portable, don’t require lots of preparation or cleanup, and don’t require round-the-clock refrigeration. So they’re perfect to take with you to eat during your commute, in between classes, or even at your current job.
1. Blueberries, Strawberries, And Seedless Grapes. The great thing about these particular fruits is that you can wash them at home, bring them to work, and keep them at your desk for the day rather than needing access to a refrigerator. They don’t need a lot of cutting or other preparation, they don’t have seeds or pits that need to be disposed of, and they don’t get your hands and clothes messy when you eat them.
2. Nuts And Seeds. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. Stay clear of whole sunflower seeds and peanuts, unless you’re okay with the mess they generate.
3. Baby Carrots And Celery. Of course, these veggies make a lot of noise when you eat them, so if you’re sharing workspace, that’s a factor to keep in mind. Make sure your office-mate doesn’t mind the noise, bring enough to share, or eat them when he’s out.
4. Dried Fruit. Pay attention to how much you’re eating because the sugars and calories can add up faster than you might think. Portion control is key.
5. Trail Mix And Power Bars. Read the label closely. Some contain more fat, salt, or preservatives than you’d guess. An alternative is to make your own trail mix so that you know exactly what’s in it (plus, you can get the ratio of ingredients exactly the way you like it!).
6. Plain Popcorn. Not the microwaved kind (there’s way too much fat, salt, and other stuff in those packets), but instead just plain air-popped popcorn you can make yourself. It’s cheap and satisfying.
7. Whole Grain Cereal. There are plenty of cereals that are just as easy to eat with your hands as they are to eat with a bowl and milk. Think of cereals like mini-shredded wheat, Chex, and similar types. As always when you’re dealing with prepared foods, read the label carefully so that you know exactly what you’re eating and you can control your portion size to an appropriate amount.
8. Homemade Cookies. When you just have to have baked goods, you’re better off with ones you made yourself. Choose a low-fat version of your favorite oatmeal cookie, substitute in some whole wheat flour, make a batch over the weekend, and put the cookies into the freezer as soon as they’ve completely cooled. You can grab a few when you’re headed out the door and they’ll be defrosted by the time you get to class or work.