Saturday, 30 April 2016
Wellness at work - Looking after YOU
The workplace can be a harsh environment, it is filled with different stressors that affect all of us in different ways including; physically, emotionally and mentally. I am honouring all office workers in this blog and how you can look after yourself while you are at work. No matter where you sit on the company ladder you are important and your wellbeing is important so I have put together a few of my own hacks to help you stay well at work and focus more on number one.
Work, for most of us is the reality of our lives and we have to work to earn money and live the lifestyle that we want to live. I have been in corporate roles for 15 years and I know the toll that the workplace has taken on my wellbeing which is why it is now a priority for me. I find that being in an office environment for 40 hours (if not more) per week can be really challenging; the air-conditioning, the lights, the computer screens together with workload expectations impact our wellbeing.
Here are some things that I do to maintain my own wellbeing (both physically and mentally) in an office environment.
1) Water is so important, stay hydrated and it will help you stay focused and well at work. Sometimes I can't drink that much water myself (especially in winter months), so I have a lot herbal tea. It is also a good excuse to get up from your desk and make a cup of tea. I also use eye drops as i find my eyes get really dry from air-conditioning and looking at a computer screen. I put eye drops in almost every day to help hydrate my eyes and it has made a huge difference.
2) Use flexible work options. Most companies now offer a range of flexible work options, ask questions to find out what your workplace offers and take advantage of flexibility at work. This is also important if you are looking for a job ask about the company flexibility practices as it will help your wellness at work. I use flexible work practices (such as working from home) all the time and I still deliver above and beyond in my role. If anything it makes me a better performer.
3) Take regular breaks and I don't just mean to go for a walk (which is also important). But take regular holidays or days off so that you can have a break from the office environment. Don't wait until you are too exhausted and overworked till you organise a holiday. Stay on top of it and plan for your wellbeing. Make sure you understand your company cycle and busy periods and organise breaks early so that you can also give your best at work. You need to look after yourself first otherwise no one benefits.
Give your mind a break and ensure you are getting plenty of rest. Meditate when you can to rest and clear your mind and ensure you are getting plenty of sleep so that you can prepare for the next day. My yoga teacher says that 'your day starts the night before', so your wellness depends on quality rest.
4) Move. Just move as much as you can after slitting in a chair all day long. Whether it is exercise classes, yoga, pilates or walking. Make sure you spend some time each day moving. I do yoga every night (and I am time poor like everyone else), I do 3-5 yoga poses everyday to stretch out my hips, back, legs and arms. My body feels amazing and it prepares me for sleep, it is also realistic for me as it takes 10-15 minutes to do.
You can manage you own wellbeing at work with some planning and focusing more on yourself. You need to make your wellbeing a priority in your life and put yourself first. There is only so much you can do before you reach breaking point physically and mentally so please honour yourself and look after YOU at work and everyone will benefit.