Is your wellbeing at work suffering? Don’t ignore it…
Staying happy and fulfilled at work could be as simple as changing your routine, adopting new habits, becoming more proactive, or moving your career progression forward. All it takes is the right attitude and the ability to identify which approach works best for you.
To help you add a little positivity back into to your day-to-day, here are six tips to improve your workplace wellbeing:
Turn healthy choices into your new favourite habit
From planning healthy lunches and staying hydrated, to stretching and exercising as regularly as you can, adopting a healthy lifestyle in the office is a key element in improving your workplace wellbeing.
Start by considering the effects certain foods have on your productivity. For example, if you’ve got a lot of work to do in the afternoon, going XXL at lunch probably isn’t the best choice (neither is skipping lunch altogether). Not unless your boss takes a pretty casual approach to under-the-desk napping.
Similarly, if you’re staring at a screen all day, getting up and getting away from your desk is a necessity when it comes to avoiding fatigue. Even if you’re working from home. So, always ensure you make an effort to move around regularly and, if you can, go for the occasional walk.
Even if you can only manage a few minutes at lunch, you’ll be surprised what a difference it can make to your mindset – not to mention your mood.
Dedicate more time to mindfulness
Incorporating a few simple techniques into your day-to-day can help you cope better with stressful situations.
Mindfulness boosting exercises include: meditating for a few minutes before work*, focusing on one task at a time, switching off from digital devices a few times a day (lunch, at the very least) and spending at least five minutes a day doing absolutely nothing (you know, outside of working hours).
By taking time out to become aware of yourself and your surroundings, you’ll be able to keep any negativity in check. This, in turn, could reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, improve your relationships with your co-workers – and even make you more productive.
Actually start making an effort with your colleagues
Although it’s always important to give 100% in your work, maintaining a good relationship with your colleagues should never be underestimated.
Even if some days you just feel like zoning out and not speaking to anyone – whether in person or virtually – proactively getting involved with the people you work with could actually improve your mood in the long run.
And if, for any reason, you really can’t get on with the people you work with, it’s always best to bring this up with your boss (or with your colleague) and get it resolved ASAP. Because nobody works well with an elephant in the room – even if it’s over Zoom.
Never stop working on your work-life balance
It’s a well-known fact that someone who works constantly, and doesn’t devote any time to their personal life, isn’t going to be the happiest of people.
Even if you’re a naturally hard worker, you still need to give yourself a break from time to time in order to prevent burnout – both personally and professionally. No matter how busy your schedule is, setting some time aside for personal tasks and hobbies will help make sure you don’t spend every waking hour on work.
So whether it’s five minutes every day to learn something new, or just going off-the-grid on your commute, there’s never an excuse not to indulge in some regular ‘me-time’.
Get your posture right
Every job comes with occupational hazards, but some can be easily overlooked.
For example, if you spend a lot of time sitting in one place, excessive slouching could actually affect both your body and mind negatively. Similarly, if your job involves a lot of standing, walking, or lifting, failing to follow the correct procedures for each task, or taking on more than you should, will only result in health issues in the long run.
It could be as simple as ensuring you have the right sized ladder for a job, using a pillow or back support on your chair if you drive all day, or even just keeping your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the ground while seated.
Whatever it is that you do, improving your posture could decrease depression and tiredness, and generally make your body – and you – work better.
Don’t ignore your problems
Most importantly, if you’re not being given the means or allowance to improve your workplace wellbeing, it’s always a good idea to bring it up with your employer directly (providing your requests are appropriate).
Businesses have a vested interest in keeping employees happy and healthy and, if a particular working environment doesn’t allow that, it’s up to the employer to make changes and adapt to ensure better staff morale and productivity.
Allowing regular breaks for exercise, working flexible hours, or implementing new incentives to boost your ambition and drive are all sensible ways to improve your workplace wellbeing – and they should always be taken on board and considered by your employer.
*If you’ve never meditated before, try an app like Headspace to help get you started.
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