Wellbeing in Your Workspace: 10 tips for staying healthy at work

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:

Mental wellbeing describes your mental state - how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life.

Our mental wellbeing is dynamic. It can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year.

If you have good mental wellbeing you are able to:

- feel relatively confident in yourself and have positive self-esteem
- feel and express a range of emotions
- build and maintain good relationships with others
- feel engaged with the world around you
- live and work productively
- cope with the stresses of daily life
- adapt and manage in times of change and uncertainty

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!    
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

N x

Photo Journal - Misty Morning Walk on Blackheath

Last week the stars aligned to deliver me a Monday morning off from work, a marvellously foggy misty London and beautiful Blackheath and Greenwich Park right at my doorstep (well not my door but the door Nik's house).

Basically, a dream combination for a walk with my camera. 

Having a super nice camera which isn't attached to my phone has been such a blessing for me these past few weeks. It means I have a reason to go outside even if I'm by myself and that has such a positive impact on my mental health. And of course, I don't get distracted by Instagram or the internet like I do if I'm using my phone.

I hate the cold, and normally you couldn't convince me to go for a walk on a frosty morning by myself. But with my camera? Yep, always, I'll be jumping at the possibility of capturing something beautiful!

I had so much fun walking around the heath and into Greenwich park snapping the eery beauty of the thick fog that morning and I'm pretty proud of the shots I got. I've been using 35mm film cameras for that last 10 years and I was so scared of using digital but I'm loving that I can take the photos and start editing and sharing them pretty much immediately. 

I'm going to do a full review of the Fujifilm x100t soon but for now, have a look at this photo journal from my morning walk.

Blackheath foggy walk
Blackheath Lamp Post
Foggy Blackheath Walk

What helps you get outside when its a bit cold and miserable? If you're on Instagram I'd love to see what inspires you to get outside when it's all bitter and cold outside. Share your moments with #gowildlyandslow 

In other news, I'm going to start sending out newsletters soon and alongside that, I'm thinking of running a little giveaway on Instagram. So watch this space (and sign up for the newsletter)

N x

Surviving The Changing Seasons: Rest, Reflect, Retreat

I always find this time of year quite difficult for a number of reasons. The changing seasons mess with my body and make me feel constantly tired and pretty grumpy. The cold gets into my bones and I feel a good 40 years older than I am. And the growing darkness, that reminds me winter is coming, can cause me to retreat into my head and my bed and vow not to come out until spring.

Whilst this urge can be really unhealthy, and often I'll find I haven't spoken to another human being for far too long, I think there's some benefit in listening to my body and taking the time, as the seasons shift, to rest and reflect.

I think retreating can be the perfect precursor to handle a new season if it is done in a purposeful and positive way.

Retreating at L'abri, Hampshire

Retreating at L'abri, Hampshire

This year I did a little bit of hibernating in my bed with tea and a good book but I also made sure to get out of bed and find nice quiet places to reflect on the past season whilst looking forward. to the next

I'm sure loads of people struggle with this too so here are some of the ways I rest, reflect and retreat when the urge to hibernate takes over.

  • Leave the city and get outdoors - At the beginning of summer this year I spent a few days at the amazing L'Abri Fellowship in Hampshire and this weekend I went on a  two-day retreat with a group of creatives in Otford, Kent. The beauty of the countryside gave me plenty of space and time to walk whilst appreciating the wonderful changes in the surrounding nature that I so often miss living in the city.
  • Take some time off to reflect - If, like me, you know the seasonal shift messes with your mind and body then plan for it. This month I had a few unplanned weeks off from work and I am so thankful for them it gave me the chance to reflect on the last few months and make plans for the rest of the year. If I had known I would've booked a few days in one of the amazing places on offer at Canopy & Stars
  • Make time to rest and relax - As the seasons change (especially from summer to autumn) it is natural that our bodies and minds need some time to adjust. I find it really important to carve out space to rest and relax. Whatever it is you do to relax ensure you are giving yourself space for that. I recently went on a sourdough pizza making class (blog to come soon) with Nik that I found so fun. It was a great way to unwind and relax. 

Do you struggle with the changing seasons too? What do you do to keep yourself healthy and resist the temptation to hibernate? Let me know below or through the internets...

 

The First Step on my Slow Living Journey

A recent trip to Edinburgh, as the seasons changed from summer to autumn, was so beautiful and so very necessary after an intensely hectic, fast and stressful summer. Just 5 days in the smaller, slower, quieter setting of Edinburgh gave me a chance to let all the crazy of summer settle down. 

I've been thinking about starting this project since I set off on my last big adventure, almost a year ago now. I even did an online course for blogging newbies. I felt inspired, excited and a little bit scared but as always life managed to get in the way and I put it on the back-burner for a little while.

Well, Edinburgh gave me the time to think a little more seriously about diving into the world of blogging for real.

For a while, I've thought that it would be great to have a platform to share some of my thoughts and stories about the way I travel and live. That is, a little slower than your average, with an emphasis on taking the time to notice the moments and listen to my body.

Hopefully, there are some people out there who will be inspired by some of the stories I pick up along the way.  

Pentland Hills, Edinburgh 

Pentland Hills, Edinburgh 

As I'm currently not travelling, (fingers crossed not for long) I thought I'd start with the idea of 'slow living' in its many forms - ethical living, conscious living, voluntary simplicity or downshifting. Mostly I don't have a definition for what it is. But the concept of it is attractive to me, I have always loved the idea of slowing down and valuing the quiet moments in an ever-busier world.

It's something that has been an important part of the way I travel since I first got the travel bug when I was 18.  But now I'm discovering what it means to implement that into living my life more slowly not just when I'm travelling.

So, here it is, my first step into this new and slightly bewildering experience.

Are you interested in slow living, or wild travelling? Sign up to my mailing list to keep up to date with my journey or connect with me on my social media channels below.