Wellbeing is a bit of a buzz word these days and most workplaces are going all Google trying to make the most of their spaces to help keep their workforce happy and healthy. Which is a fairly positive trend and shows that organisations are realising their workforce is super valuable. I suppose they're thinking a happier, healthier workforce is ultimately more productive, right?
In this post, I've outlined 10 ways to keep focused on your wellbeing in your own workspace, wherever you work.
People throw the word wellbeing around all the time but what does it actually mean?
According to Mind the mental health charity:
To me its really important for my mental health to be aware of my well-being. I find especially at work I need to be reminded of how to stay healthy in my mind and my body.
I work in an office and as much as the organisation I work for is on the whole pretty good at looking after us as employees, I think 9-5 office culture is generally pretty poor at valuing wellbeing and health. Everyone seems to exist in this weird space were we all know its bad to be so stressed and not look after ourselves but its also the norm so no one really bothers to change it.
If I'm honest, I could write a whole essay on how the culture (especially in London) of being overworked and over-tired is turning us into automatons, and playing right into the hands of the capitalist establishment, but that's because I read too much Foucault at university.
Now that I'm no longer at uni and I had to get a job and start adulting for real (because, bills and moving out of my mum's house!) I'm realising how hard it is to stay healthy when every other day people are bringing cakes and biscuits round at the office and its cold outside so I'm spending all the daylight hours inside with artificial light & air.
Do you struggle to stay healthy and happy at work?
I reckon a lot of us do, that's probably why mindfulness and well-being have become so mainstream recently.
To help you (and me) out I've written a list of ways we can remind ourselves to focus on our wellbeing in our workspaces, because ultimately if we're not well then we're no use to anyone at all.
10 tips for staying healthy at work
- Keep it clean and tidy - This is super important to me because mess really stresses me out and I hate not being able to find things! So I set time aside every week to clear my workspace, both at the office and at home. I try not to let stuff pile up and I (kind of) try to practice that whole 1 touch rule to make sure I put things away where they belong.
- Get a desk plant -I'm truly a disaster when it comes to plants. They all just seem to give up on life around me. Still, I find having plants around my workspace really uplifting and they have the added benefit of cleaning the air in the room! Try a succulent if you're worried about forgetting to water them or a Devil's Ivy specifically for clean air.
- Take breaks - This is a big important one! It's so easy to forget to really take a break. DO NOT eat your lunch at your desk. Actually take a break and leave your office. Go sit on a different floor or outside. Don't just take a break at lunch also take breaks throughout the day and move around. Go for a walk for 5 mins!
- Resist the temptations - If your office is like mine as soon as you start flagging someone will appear from nowhere with a delicious sugar-filled snack. RESIST instead keep healthy snacks on your desk so when you hit the midmorning sugar low you won't reach for the biscuits.
- Drink from a beautiful cup - My personal favourite, because I forget to drink water throughout the day I keep a nice cup/water bottle that I really enjoy drinking out of on my desk to remind me to stay hydrated.
- Make yourself comfortable - Get the right equipment to ensure you are comfortable and not causing your body any damage. Wrist rests, Screen raiser, whatever you need make sure you have it!
- Breathe - When you start feeling stressed or you're dealing with problems and chaos remember to breathe. Take deep breaths, use a guided breathing gif and get some fresh air.
- Go to The Light - Go outside whilst the sun is out, especially in winter. Getting real sunlight on your skin is so important. If you haven't already, scope out the area around your office for quiet outdoor spots where you can go and have a quick break.
- Standup, Stretch & Balance - When you sit at a desk all day it's so easy to forget to move around. I'm really bad at this and by the end of the week my back is always killing me. Ask your colleagues to remind you to move around a few times a day or if you work from home set reminders on your phone.
- Step away from the tech - I reckon we're all rubbish at this one! Try making a purposeful effort to schedule in activities in your working day when you're not using technology. Maybe spend 10 mins either end of the day writing down your to-do list with pen and paper away from your computer.
Let me know if it helps you or if you have any tips for keeping yourself healthy at work.
For more info on wellbeing at work check out this really great website run by two women carrying the torch for healthier happier work spaces! www.work-well-being.com They also have a really lovely Instagram account (where the images embedded in the post are from).
Also, Mind has some really great resources.
Stay happy and healthy!