Summary: Improving Your Workplace Wellness 101
How often do you set aside time in your life to prioritize your health and well being? If you’re a busy professional, chances are you’re letting your health slip to the wayside and you may not even realize it. Luckily you don’t need to sacrifice your work ethic while getting intentional about your workplace wellness. In fact, improving your workplace wellness will actually add to your productivity, happiness and success. In this article, I am going to share 3 simple and effective ways to improve workplace wellness, so that you can thrive in all areas of your life.
FRESH AIR & INTENTIONAL BREAKS
Are you someone who walks into the office and you’re immediately bombarded with emails and meeting requests? In the workplace, most think that the more you get done all at once, the better off you’ll be. The reality is that taking breaks away from your screen for fresh air or movement can actually INCREASE your productivity. According to research, more ‘aha moments’ occurred when professionals took an actual break in their day. Taking regular breaks can add to your engagement and in turn correlate to more productivity within your work.
So how the heck do you go about taking these breaks?
If stepping away from work is tough, try this: schedule 5-10 min breaks between meetings. Make them non-negotiable for movement. For remote work, set phone alarms for 10-15 min breaks. Treat these as crucial meetings for mental health, eye relief, and focus. Blocking off this specific time period in your day will help you actually implement your break.
Treat your breaks as you would an important meeting. Take intentional time to care for your mental health, relieve tired eyes, and return to work refreshed and focused.
On top of those more frequent breaks, get outside if you can! Fresh air is proven to not only boost mental health, but also increase awareness, engagement and decrease stress levels. Schedule outdoor lunch or coffee meetings to enjoy fresh air and movement. The fresh air will benefit everyone involved and allows you to get moving, hitting two birds with one stone!
Prioritizing Nourishment for Optimal Performance
Whether desk-bound or active, your body needs energy for optimal function.
If breaks are a challenge, it’s likely lunch and listening to hunger cues are also overlooked. Busy professionals often skip meals amid packed schedules and missed breaks. This can be extremely detrimental!
Prioritize consistent meals for enhanced quality of life, health, productivity, and engagement, akin to breaks. You cannot run at full speed ahead or at optimal capacity on an empty tank!
Practical Strategies for Incorporating Meals into Your Busy Day
To prioritize nourishment, plan meals and pack food on weekends and evenings before work. Cooking in bulk enables easy meal preparation for work days. Prepare meals the night before to avoid morning rush. Cook proteins, carbs, and add veggies, condiments, and fruit. It really can be that simple!
If you struggle with taking the TIME to actually eat that meal you packed – make a point to schedule off time for yourself to eat your lunch – just like you did with the breaks. Get into the habit of setting aside time for yourself FIRST in your calendar, if your bucket is full FIRST, you can better perform in your career. It will give you the energy you need to continue conquering goals in your profession, and it will assist in preventing burn out.
MOVEMENT YOU ENJOY
The Importance of Physical Activity for Mental Health
Physical activity is proven to not only increase our overall health and prevent disease, but it also helps us relieve stress, decrease feelings of anxiety and promote our mental health in a positive way. Oftentimes, when we get into a hectic and consuming routine around work, our other hobbies or interests go out the window. If we want to thrive in our careers, we need to also be take time to do things that are good for our mental health so we can live a long and enjoyable life as we climb the corporate ladder or reach new business goals. Physical activity and daily movement you ENJOY is one of the best ways we can promote overall health and increase our workplace wellness.
Incorporating Enjoyable Movement into Your Schedule
Moving your body doesn’t mean you have to be in a gym or on a treadmill for hours each week. In fact, I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to the daily movement you choose. Physical activity you enjoy and benefit from can be anything from going for daily walks with your dog, playing a fun game of basketball with friends, doing an at home workout or ending your night with a yoga session. Either way, the important factor here is that you have fun with it, as it adds to your lifestyle and it allows you to move your body in ways that also give you a sense of fulfillment and purpose outside of your busy career.
So how do we implement this new, fun movement that we want to prioritize? Start by getting realistic with yourself. If you KNOW you won’t have time in your schedule to do 5 workouts in a week, don’t commit to it as it will leave you feeling defeated or stressed out if you don’t achieve that goal. Start small – if you can squeeze in 2 activities that get you moving in your week, make time for those 2 things and give them your full, undivided attention. This will set you up for success, and give you a feeling of accomplishment. The more consistent you find you are in implementing this movement, the more you can build on it or add to it!
You will also want to literally put it into your calendar. If your schedule is so busy you have a hard time taking breaks/finding time for lunch, this new movement that you want to make a priority definitely deserves its own spot in your busy schedule. Block off 30 minutes to 1 hour each day that you plan to do this activity so it’s a priority. You got this!
Consistent daily movement and nourishment can not only help improve your workplace wellness and productivity, but it also helps us reduce anxiety, prevent burnout and depression, and protect us from other illnesses. We often forget to prioritize our well-being due to our busy career and lifestyle, but now you can get started on making these areas a non-negotiable for yourself, and watch how much things shift in a positive way!