Might sound strange to some to have the words workplace and wellness in one sentence, but truth is the workplace is made of people and selfcare is about people creating practices and habits that helps them to be their best-self mentally and physically. Practicing selfcare should not end once one enters an office space. If employees are not their best, they cannot give a company their best, and it's really unfortunate that not all companies do enough to foster a workplace wellness culture—where people come first and are valued not only for their skills, talents and hard-work, but also where managers and leaders understands that work-life balance is a necessity.
Most of us spend more time at work than we do in our own home, and like it or not spend more time with co-workers than we do with our own families and loved ones. For this reason, it's important to create opportunities for selfcare and wellness while at work. I know some of you may be thinking: The culture at my job is too toxic; I am too busy at work; Work is too stressful for all this selfcare and wellness talk; I am just here for the paycheck so I can afford to practice selfcare when I leave work lol. All of that may be true, and I will admit that it will be easier to incorporate healthy selfcare habits in some work environment than others. However, that should not stop you from doing even one small act of kindness towards yourself and doing at least one good thing to promote better health during the workday. Further, I just don't think that it's possible to be stressed out and miserable at work and have this glorious, peaceful and great life outside of work. If you are going through some personal issues on the home front, some of that will likely carry over in your work and vice versa. After a bad day at work, some people carry some of that negative energy with them at home. Because it’s sometimes impossible to leave your work-stress and burnout at work, practicing selfcare and wellness at work can help you to not only be more productive and less stress at work, but also can help you to be happier in your personal life as well so it’s a win win situation! When you are thriving in your professional life, it will translate into a happier home life.
Selfcare at work is about creating boundaries, avoiding burnouts and making sure that you are checking in with yourself and prioritizing both your physical well-being and mental health. Whether you work in an environment that supports health and wellness or you work in a stressful and toxic work environment, below are some wellness tips that you can weave into the regular work-day, that will help you to be a super star at work and happier at home:
Eat a healthy breakfast and get to the office early. I am not a coffee drinker, but I love arriving at the office early (before official start time) and making myself a cup of tea so I can relax and have a few minutes to myself before the busy day ahead. Your morning routine will set the tone for how the rest of your day will go so make sure that you are giving yourself enough time for some selfcare and you don’t feel rushed all the time.
Keep your work-space organized and clutter-free. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being productive when my office/desk is in complete disarray and I have no idea which tasks takes priority over the other.
Take your lunch break and eat a nutritious meal. If you eat lunch at your desk, make an effort to go outside for a few minutes after for some fresh air.
Pack a healthy snack and avoid the unhealthy vending machine snacks and sugary drinks. Bring a water bottle to work so that you can refill at water station/fountain to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Before responding to that snarky email, take a few deep breaths to release stress and tensions and think before you write!
Avoid office gossip and drama and align yourself with people who are more positive, inspiring and encouraging.
Do use your vacation/sick days to take care of your health and to avoid burnouts. Showing up to work sick may delay the normal healing and recovery time for you to get well and depending on the illness, you will be spreading germs to others in the office NOT cool. As to vacation, no matter how much you love your work and/or how important you think you are to the operation, it’s important for you to take time off to refresh and rejuvenate and focus on other aspects of life such as spending more time with your family and loved ones. Life is too short so remember to spend as much time as possible with the people you love.
Be bold at work and ask for what you deserve. Be your best advocate, know your worth and what you are bringing to the table. And if at any point, you feel that you are not being valued; you dread going to work and have anxiety about going to the office; and/or you feel that you are no longer growing or learning anything new, that will be your cue to start looking for another place of employment. Your health is wealth and comes first!
Save the trees and stop wasting so much paper by printing things that you don’t need and just leave at the printer and never pick-up (sorry pet-peeves of mine). Maybe it’s just me but I feel good when my behavior is good for the planet such as commuting to work using public transportation to limit carbon footprint, recycling and using less paper etc.
Make time for learning and for professional development. Also, stay updated on what is happening in the company/organization and not just stay in the bubble of your department. Whether you sign up for a lunch and learn webinar or join an employee resource group, developing your skills and talents and finding a cause you are passionate about can improve your self-worth and enhance your professional development.
Be yourself and be confident in occupying space. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your ideas for how a work process can be improved and be done more efficiently.
What are some other health and wellness tips that you practice at work, and you feel help you to be successful in your career and happier in your personal life? Would love to hear your thoughts on this very important topic!