If you’re like most adults, you spend half of your day at your job. Because of this, you might feel your health and happiness take a backseat. From managing deadlines, completing never-ending to-do lists, and communicating with a team of differing personalities, you may feel there is no time to exercise, do what you love, or find pockets of pleasure throughout the day. But whether you work at your home or in an office, there are ways you can prioritize workplace wellness
What is ‘Workplace Wellness’?
A step in the right direction to improving employee wellbeing, workplace wellness is no longer a trend but a must-have for many organizations. It involves combining healthy behaviors within your work routine to improve your mental, physical and emotional health and work culture. With this holistic framework, workplace wellness leads to several benefits, including higher productivity, better results, and decreased burnout.
10 Workplace Wellness Tips and Ideas
1. Choose a behavior
To get started on your workplace wellness journey, ask yourself, “What behavior do I want to change? Do you want to drink more water? Stretch more? Increase your exercise or eat healthier? Whatever behavior you want to change, follow the SMART model, and focus on one that is specific, measurable, attainable, measurable, realistic and time-bound. This model will help you eliminate old habits and introduce new ones, even at work.
2. Understanding mental health stigma
It can be difficult to experience a mental health disorder at work. You may feel like your colleagues don’t understand you, and you might fear judgment. But learning about mental health stigma and the harmful effects it creates can encourage you to speak up and communicate with your boss if you’re experiencing social anxiety, burnout, or another problem affecting your emotional wellbeing.
3. Move around
To avoid health risks, move around a bit throughout your workday. Sitting for too long can damage your posture and can create a host of health problems you want to avoid. While it’s difficult to exercise at work, especially in a traditional office, you can use an ergonomic or standing desk or even get creative and sit on a Pilates ball. However, if you can’t implement these changes, try taking a few breaks by walking around your office, stretching, or doing a few standing ab crunches. You may think you’ll look silly, but your body and mind will thank you.
4. Improve your environment
Does your workspace spark joy? Or does it bring down your mood? Whether you work at home or the office, a comfortable work environment is key. Start by decorating with a few things that remind you of fond memories. For example, personal objects like pictures of your loved ones or a travel souvenir can boost your mood on a tough workday. Next, check if your desk is clear or cluttered. Not only will a clean work desk make you feel better, but it will improve your concentration and reduce your stress.
5. Don’t eat at your office
When pressed for time, we tend to ignore our needs and eat while we work to maximize every minute of our workdays. But doing so deprives us of a much-need break, exercise, and a chance to get outside. For your lunch break, eat your meal away from your work area, and meet up with a friend if you can. Removing yourself from your environment will help you reset your brain and turbocharge your productivity levels.
6. Reduce your decisions
You may not realize it, but the number of decisions you make each day drains your energy and can lead to procrastination, fatigue, and the “I can’t deal with this now”, also known as decision fatigue. To save your precious brainpower and support your wellbeing, reduce your decisions. You can do this by having the same meal for breakfast and lunch a few times a week and investigating the impact of your daily decisions. If you feel like you’re not worried about weighing in on something, then don’t.
7. Take breaks
Do you often feel stressed and overwhelmed with your daily worklist? Instead of trying to push your brain to complete one task after another, take a break. A break could be listening to music, stretching, breathing, or speaking to a colleague that makes you smile. Try to build-in multiple breaks and never feel guilty for prioritizing a moment to relax and regroup. We all need them.
While the workplace can definitely increase stress and anxiety, practicing regular relaxation techniques can improve your mental state and wellness. And bonus, you can easily sneak one into your work routine. Here’s how;
- Mindful eating meditation. Instead of rushing through your lunch, take a moment to savor each bite. Focus on the flavors, scents, and textures as you eat. Not only is it better for your digestion, but it will ground you and decrease your work anxiety.
- Walking meditation. When you get outside, bring awareness to your body as it moves with each step. Notice the earth beneath you and the world around you, birds, trees, wind – take it all in and feel grateful.
- Body scan. Close your eyes and notice each body part starting with your left leg and moving up your body. Observe any sensations without judgment. Repeat on the right side, ending with the top of your head.
9. Learn to say no
It may be a combination of the pressure we place on ourselves and the expectations we battle at work, but whatever the reason may be, we’re so set on proving ourselves. Because of this, we take on more than we’d care to admit and try to multitask until we reach burnout. You may think saying no means you’re failing, but it’s the contrary. Learning to say no is a sign of strength and means you value your self-worth. It’s a part of setting boundaries to protect yourself. So, if you feel your plate is too full, instead of stressing, say no and delegate a few tasks.
10. Know your limits
Above all, pay attention to your emotional and physical needs. Begin prioritizing your self-awareness by knowing your limits and staying within them as much as possible. For example, listen to your body, take breaks, and schedule holidays when you need them, not when you’re at your breaking point. Learning how to value yourself, love who you are, and place your needs high on your list, helps you physically and mentally and is the true mission behind workplace wellness.
This post contains affiliate links.
If you’re looking for tips to improve workplace wellness and found this post helpful, please share it on Pinterest!
And if you’re looking for more mental health tips and advice, please follow our Mental Health board where we share all kinds of great ideas we find each day!