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

Go wildly & slow: January

December came and went incredibly fast. I feel like I blinked and Christmas was here and now it's gone. I took down my Christmas tree this morning and cleared away the cobwebs (metaphorical and real). 

My head got a little bit clouded over the Christmas period. I love being at home and getting cosy, I'm the first to jump at a lazy pyjama day. But sometimes, without a routine, I can find myself slipping into a haze of nothingness boarding on depression. If I don't kick myself into action I eventually realise I haven't really done anything for days on end and I haven't seen the world outside. 

I don't know about you, but for my mental health this doesn't sit well. 

Last month I started this 'Go Wildly and Slow' monthly instalment as much to encourage myself as anyone reading my posts. And it went quite well, I lit my candles most evenings and loved the atmosphere it created. It makes such a big difference and is so worth it. I failed at getting outside every day but I did get out more than usual. I had baths, I love baths. And I wrote some letters/cards but have yet to send them (who has time to go to the post office!!) I'll send them soon!

With January being very much here and sure to fly by just as fast I'm keeping my promises for this month simple. Just a couple of ideas of how we can all go wildly & slow this month to start the new year as we intend to go on.

Forest walk at Bewl Water, Kent, England

Forest walk at Bewl Water, Kent, England

Go Slow

Set aside time to focus on the year ahead and the areas you want to see growth in your life.

It's not as snappy as 'new year's resolutions' but I think it's more true to what I find helpful. The last few years I have spent time at the beginning of the year thinking of a few things I'm hoping to leave behind and a few things I'm hoping to bring with me from the year before and the main areas of my life I want to focus on and see growth in as the year progresses. So far for me that looks like this:

  • I want to hold onto the space I've found for being creative, partly inspired by the Instagram community and my burning need for more of it in my life!
  • I want to leave behind procrastination and self-doubt (just little things really).
  • There are lots of areas I want to see growth but especially I'd like to see it in this blog and my social media platforms.

Now I need to spend some more time breaking down these HUGE goals and making them a reality.

go wildly

Have an adventure

That's it. It's really simple but that's the beauty of it. Whatever that looks like for you, start the year with an adventure. I want/need adventure in my life otherwise I start to feel a little bit crazy and the monotony of life feels like it's taking root. 

Join me in sharing your Go Wildly & Slow moments this month with #gowildlyandslow on Instagram. 

N x