Workplace wellness is growing rapidly, especially with more and more employees getting sick from stress.
Doctors are calling stress the Black Plague of our century — infact, Harvard researchers estimate that 80% of doctor’s visits are related to stress. Getting stressed is not bad for you, but staying stressed is toxic. Stress ages your body and it ages YOU. As you may already know, I offer corporate wellness consulting, presentations, seminars and retreats for leading companies to empower their employees to beat burnout and boost their wellbeing. From Salesforce to Google, Sephora to Genentech, I have consulted for some of the most forward thinking companies when it comes to preventative employee health. I am just returning from New York after presenting a 2 hour employee seminar for New York University tilted: “High Performance Health Hacks”. This was offered for their corporate leadership team at their 2 day company retreat. I was honored to be there with NYU and offer my top secrets for high performance through wellbeing. It’s exciting to see more and more workplaces taking health initiatives and implementing their own programs to safeguard the health of their employees.
Are you looking to integrate wellness and other good health habits in your office? Here are a few simple ideas that might work for your organization.
For a customized, energizing, and informative corporate wellness presentation to empower your team in wellbeing, contact me here and I will ensure that your employees have the tools they need to be successful.
Workplace wellness ideas you can try now
Set aside spaces in the office for movement and meditation
Your office does not have to look like the traditional space with desks and cubicles. You can offer or dedicate a specific area for stretching or meditation. Salesforce has dedicated meditation rooms on site and Genentech offers employees access to an onsite gym. You could also choose to design your office with more open space to encourage more of walking and physical activity. A little bit of movement goes a long way and can positively impact health and longevity.
You can also provide resources educating employees on how to move more throughout their work day. Ive worked with many companies to create custom instructional pamphlets and videos featuring exercises employees can do at their desks or in their workspace. These resources teach simple movements, like exercises you can do to ease neck and shoulder pain or yoga tune up therapy techniques for tension relief. Movement is medicine and can help employees avoid the constant aches that can come from sitting and stress.
Provide workplace wellness employee events, classes, seminars and meetups
I believe live events are very powerful in raising awareness of healthy work and lifestyle habits and supporting individuals in taking care of themselves consistently. Work with your HR to host regular events centered around health and wellness. You can offer lunch and learn seminars for employees on healthy living topics (like eating for energy or meditation) or host weekly classes on site for yoga, movement, or meditation. You can also bring fitness + wellness experts like myself to company retreats or special events for an interactive workshop centered around wellness. These types of live events bring people together over health and remind employees of the value behind taking care of themselves. They inspire and empower individual and company health. Looking for custom events, seminars and workshops to bring into your office? Contact me here and together we can empower your employees through wellness.
Schedule Self Care time on the Calendar
Whats not on your calendar usually doesn’t happen when stress hits you. Block out time on your calendar every week for self-care. Include times for exercise, grocery shopping, meals, meditating, and other self-care habits. Make this time nonnegotiable time expressly for you. If a potential conflict comes up, try saying something like “I’m so sorry, but I have plans” or “Thanks for thinking of me! I’d love to another time.” Allow your self-care time to take precedence over all but real emergencies or important life events, like weddings, funerals, and anniversaries. If you must make a change, reschedule your self-care time for another day that week and stick to it. Treat your self-care appointments like any other essential appointments you can’t miss.
Move as much as possible
We often forget the power of exercise for reducing stress and managing mindset. WHEN YOU MOVE YOUR BODY, YOU MOVE YOUR MIND. Remember: workouts are not limited to your time in the gym, strive to live an active work day. Move as much as possible. If you find yourself feeling cranky, wound up, or lethargic during the workday, see if you can take a break for some “office yoga,” or a few simple physical therapy exercises to counter act all of the aches and pains that come from sitting at a desk. If it might feel better to temporarily step out of your workspace, see if you can find an empty room or outdoor space to enjoy a few stretches. Or take a short “walking meditation” break at lunch. Use this time to simply breathe, clear your thoughts, and focus on the present moment. During lunch or breaks during work, make it a habit to walk around. Or have “walking meetings” with colleagues. Studies have shown that the brain is more creative when moving, exercise may prove to help you and your team come up with the best ideas for business. By walking, you can stimulate blood flow throughout your body. It also helps with mental relaxation so you can be more productive when you return to your desk.
Simple techniques can also be done to increase the number of steps you take at work each day. For instance, park your car at the spot that is farthest from your office building or wear a step tracker to help you and your colleagues move more. This will compel you to take additional steps to your place of work. Whats one way you can incorporate more movement into the office? Think of a realistic goal that might work for you and stick to it!
Plan Ahead for Your Meals and Snacks
Stress eating is often the culprit of unhealthy diets at work. It is, therefore, a good idea to plan your meals a week in advance. This is not only practical as you know what food items to pick up at the grocery but also ensures you have healthy foods on hand when you get hungry. If you do not bring your own meals to work, talk to your employer about the possibility of incorporating healthy food choices in the cafeteria. Eating healthy is one of the best ways to promote health and wellness, whether you’re at home or in the workplace.
Take a Break to Meditate
Meditation is a way of training the mind just like you train the body through exercise. It helps you keep your mind in good shape. It has been around for thousands of years, and has survived all this time because it works. And i know it sounds good in theory, but im sure the idea of adding one more thing to their to-do lists is stressful in itself. How can sitting still and slowing down really help you go faster? The good news is that even a minute or two of meditation can be beneficial, and many meditation techniques can be practiced anywhere at any time. I want to help you discover the power of meditation. Put your iPhone on airplane mode and take some time to unwind with a guided meditation. Try The Mindfulness App, Headspace or Simply Being for inner peace and calm on the go. Or try one of my guided deep breathing meditations for stress relief. Find a meditation habit that works for you. Being consistent with meditation will help you stress less and accomplish more.
Create Healthy Routines and Plans.
Thinking ahead is everything when it comes to being successful, and creating healthy habits or routines can make staying on track more effortless. Personalize your approach and find ways to create little habits that help you reach your goals. Everybody is different. Maybe you make it a habit to cook and prep your meals for the week on Sundays. Or you plan ahead for your workouts and pre-pack clothes in your work bag. What are some simple life hacks you could use to cut time, thinking, and effort out of following through with your desired healthy habits? Being organized and establishing healthy routines will allow you more time and space to breathe. Plus the less thinking you have to do, the easier it is to follow through. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead.
Change Up Your Work Environment
If it is possible, try to change up your office space to be workplace wellness friendly. You can take your laptop to an outdoor area where you can breathe in the fresh air as you work. It is also a good idea to get some sunlight, too. It is an old-fashioned approach to workplace wellness, but it is also one of the most effective. You will become more productive when you change up your environment, especially when your desk starts to become stale.
Work with your colleagues to build environmental support and social norms that enable you to maintain your self care habits and workplace wellness as a team
Work together to build movement, meditation, and mindfulness into your workday. Schedule group “stretch breaks” or meditation meetups. Make “Healthy Hour” dates with colleagues to get moving after work or get healthy snacks for work. Individuals alone have a hard time staying consistent without accountability and group support. You can find ways to work together to make a more mindful workplace and support each other in practicing little habits that allow you to overcome stress. This is where my work comes in handy! If you need me to come in and help kickstart a workplace wellness revolution in your office, contact me here and lets get started.
Whats one workplace wellness idea that works for you? Let me know in the comments below. The workplace wellness revolution is a TEAM effort. Together we can inspire a healthier work culture and more vibrant world.
Cheers to your health and thank you NYU for letting me share my “High Performance Health Hacks” at your company retreat!
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