Whether we like it or not, most of us spend more time at our desks, in the boardroom or on the tools than we do doing anything else. We try really hard to keep ourselves healthy and well, but let’s face it, time is not always on our side and good intentions often go down the drain.
However, there are many things you can do throughout your working day to help keep you healthy, productive, resilient and positive. National Workplace Wellbeing Day is about highlighting these simple steps; easy tasks you can incorporate into your working day to create lasting, healthy habits and feel great no matter what hours you are pulling. Improving workplace wellness has numerous benefits to an employer too, including boosting staff morale, increasing productivity and higher staff retention.
So, what can you do to improve your workplace wellness? Here are 10 things to try today:
1- Start the day right
Consider walking or biking to work, even if that is just part of the way. Park a little further from your workplace or alight the train or bus a stop early. If you are within biking distance, talk to your employer about safe storage for your wheels and allowing time for a quick change once you get in. Check with your company of they offer the Bike to work scheme.
If you are office-based, try to get out and take a short walk some time during the day; you will be surprised how much this can improve your health and wellbeing. This helps stretch your muscles and get the blood flowing, but also gives your eyes and brain a break.
3- Snack food swap
Instead of reaching for the sugar-laden biscuits or chocolate bar, opt for a piece of fruit to curb the mid-afternoon sweet craving. Fresh fruit has a much lower impact on blood sugar levels, meaning you won’t experience the same ‘crash’ you feel shortly after indulging in processed foods.
4- Team challenge
Get together with colleagues and make your own healthy eating challenge and start some new healthy eating habits. This may mean vowing to bring a salad for lunch each day, co-purchasing a blender to make smoothies for breakfast or taking turns to bring in healthier snacks such as fruit or nuts. Working as a team helps keep you accountable and makes it more fun!
5- Zen at work
Find a quiet place where you can momentarily get away from the noise of phones, tools or customers. Just a couple of minutes of deep breathing in a quiet environment will do wonders for rebooting and forging on with the day.
6- Go green
Invest in some indoor plants. These not only boost office morale by lifting the look of the work space, but have an important practical use too. Indoor plants absorb harmful carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, effectively cleaning and freshening the air you breathe.
7- Get personal
Where possible, personalize your workspace with pictures of loved ones or images that inspire, or bring in a few small ornaments for your desk to make it your own and remind you of the good things in life.
8- Light up the room
Natural light is very important to mental health and general wellbeing, plus increased productivity in the workplace, especially if there is a lovely view to go with it! Bring the outside inside by opening blinds or doors, or situating desks near windows.
9- Work smarter
It may sound like common sense but, as the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one”! Think about ways you and your colleagues can utilise each of your unique qualities and skills to make jobs easier for you – and more effective for your client too.
10- Stay positive
Look after your mental health and wellbeing by trying to stay positive, even when things aren’t going to plan. Positive self-talk and encouragement of co-workers can go a long way to fostering a happy, healthy workplace. Build each other up, support those around you and learn from all mistakes rather than see them as a downfall.
For more tips on wellbeing you can check out this week’s podcast hosted by Enda McNulty and fitness and energy management adviser, Austin O Malley, who explain why the principles of wellbeing are not simply for one day but must be lived 24/7.
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