Wellness in the workplace is crucial in today’s productivity-driven capitalist world. Here I hope to give you some suggestions for building a more wholesome and supported working environment for yourself and others
As sad as it is many organizations give lip service to employee wellness without ever taking any real action. In as much as it is their responsibility to ensure all employees are in a nurturing environment that prioritizes general wellness, many remain negligent (budget-conscious) leaving the responsibility to the individual.
But thank goodness for the internets and the wealth of knowledge we can access including this list of suggestions on how you can improve your physical and psychological wellness in the workplace.
Breathe, stretch, let it go
We’ve all experienced back and body pain from sitting at our desk’s day in day out. No one really needs a doctor to confirm that the inactivity has overarching repercussions of your physical health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, more than four hours a day of screen time can increase your risk of death by any cause by 50 percent. There’s also a 125 percent risk for cardiovascular disease. Lucky for us the solutions are fairly easy!
Start by setting a 60min timer and every time the time-lapses get up from your desk and stretch or walk around. If you work for a company that cares enough about employee wellness you can even start a petition for standing desks that have been proven to lessen back pain, improve posture, and core strength while limiting the chances of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and loss of lean muscle
Work it out
It isn’t easy to be active in an environment that encourages a sedentary disposition but there are realistic ways to change that. Have a work meeting on the go- instead of sitting down in a colleague’s office to discuss finer details opt to instead walk and talk. You can use your phone to put down any notes and voila, two birds one stone.
You and your office buddies can also decide to have lunch somewhere that needs a walk to get to. Bring your packed lunch to wherever you decide and just like that you’ve achieved a weight two-way workout. Remember to pack healthy meals to keep your energy levels up and promote health from the inside out!
Mental and Psychological Wellness
It is not news that music can impact your mental wellbeing and boost your immune system. A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listened to upbeat music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks. Inversely the Journal of Consumer Research found that during times of deep interpersonal loss many people tend to prefer sad music as it can act as a substitute for an empathic friend who truly understands what you’re going through.
You can use music in your workplace to lower your anxiety and maintain productivity throughout your day. Music therapy programs can be designed to achieve goals such as managing stress, enhancing memory, alleviating pain, reduce depression and anxiety, as well as improve your mood, self-esteem, and quality of life.
So, if music is an intervention, you’re interested in find a trained music therapist near you and explore how music and all of its facets can help you improve, restore or maintain your mental health.
Before you dismiss it as hippy-dippy propaganda, take a second to think about what the notion of mindfulness truly means. A typical workday can be loaded with many pressure-filled situations. From deadlines, meetings, presentations and everything in between its easy to get overwhelmed and actively stressed. Instead of overthinking ideas, concepts and situations, therefore creating imagined scenarios that are often far from reality, mindfulness shifts your attention back to the present.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated process with all the trappings of meditation. You can simply sit at your desk or in a spot you find calming and focus on your breathing, a light, a sound, an object in your surroundings or an empowering mantra for 10-20min.
Over time it will become easier to be mindful for longer periods and you will begin to reduce the reactive “Emergency mode” habit of perception that heightens the feeling of being overwhelmed or anxious.
Current trends of minimalism and things that only ‘spark joy’ aside, the state of your immediate environment does indeed affect your mental state. Doing something as simple as decluttering your workspace can make a world of difference! You know it shouldn’t be that hard to find stuff anyway.
If you can, bring in a potted plant. Making your space greener will not only provide you an avenue for mindfulness (through the motions of tending to it) but it will also clear the air around you and boost creativity.
Listen at the end of the day we all know that our stress levels and general wellbeing would be instantly improved by financial stability. Crippling student debt, high standards of living and wage disparity mean we are all starting from a deficit, unlike the baby boomer generation.
We may not be able to change any of these things right now, but we can become financially literate to help us work with what we do have. By gaining some financial literacy such as budgeting, saving, investing and so on we put ourselves in a position to better secure ourselves. Learning to live within your means and harness money to work for you may seem laughable given the many seemingly insurmountable financial odds but it’s not an impossibility. By taking the steps to secure your finances you will inevitably positively impact your mental wellbeing and lessen the psychological torture money can invoke.