Workplace wellness is one of those vague topics. Every company has a different approach to what wellness means and should encompass. But often this results in a “one size fits all” corporate model. Perhaps even more disturbing is a recent study that proved workplace wellness programs have no real significant impact on employees. All the more reason to create and follow your own personalized workplace wellness plan!
In broad terms, workplace wellness includes a few key areas and your plan should follow suit.
1. Physical Health:
If you’ve become more sedentary as a result of working on a computer all day, your body is suffering. Sitting, as Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic has stated, is the new smoking and it will kill you. It can be hard to find the time to exercise when work, family and life demands put their various constraints on your schedule. That’s why it’s critical to incorporate exercise into your weekly, if not daily, routine. Find a workout buddy to take walks with at lunch or motivate each other to go to the gym. After one week, you’ll be hooked by increased energy and greater mental clarity.
2. Nutritional Health:
Snacks. Today, most offices boast of having a generously stocked kitchen. While you may find some healthy options, it’s all too easy to give in to temptation of readily available snack food. Ever notice yourself snacking out of boredom, stress, frustration or just simply because you can? Whatever the reasons, it can be hard to break this cycle without a backup plan and conscious decision making.
Bring your own healthy snacks to the office or force yourself to go out for a proper meal rather than grazing on junk all day. If you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating plan but often give in to temptation, it can have a negative impact on your mood, and depending on what you’re eating, you may feel sluggish and less productive as a result. Make healthy eating a priority. Bring your fall back snacks and go enjoy a healthy lunch out of the office if you can’t bring your own. Your nutritional health is worth paying for.
3. Mental Health:
The workplace can undoubtedly bring up unresolved issues, complex and conflicting emotions, as well as self esteem issues regarding your development, office politics and even your salary. A recent survey showed that work is the top stressor for 81% of millennials ages 30-33. Starting a daily meditation and mindfulness practice can help bring a sense of calm and perspective. Being open about your feelings with close friends and family also helps. But sometimes you really need to talk to impartial outside support. Yes I’m talking about a therapist. Being in therapy doesn’t always mean spending years of your life in psychoanalysis. Having a quiet and safe space to work through one specific issue for even just a few weeks can do the trick.
4. Environmental Health:
While we hope the air we breathe is clean, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the environment in which we work. Making sure you’re working in a nicely organized space is a start. But don’t just limit yourself to organization. Beautify your work area so that it reflects your personal style and feels like your home away from home while you’re in the office. It doesn’t have to be over the top, it just has to bring you a feeling of comfort when you look around your work area. Just as you pick an image that brings you joy or peace to look at, you should do the same with the items that surround you in your office to help create a space where you can do your best work.
The bottom line here is that you have to take care of yourself and you have to make it a priority. If you don’t, your work and health are likely to suffer. It’s great that employers are putting so much attention on wellness. But you’ve got to take control and create a plan that actually works for you. Try creating your own wellness plan today and put it into action over the next few weeks. We’d love to hear about your results!
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