Wellness coaches say that the average spends 90,000 hours at work — the equivalent of 13 years. That’s just the official time we spend at the office. It doesn’t include the work we bring home, or the calls or emails we take on weekends.
That’s why life coaches say that it’s important to think about “Workplace Wellness” — or how we manage our physical, mental and emotional health while we’re at the office. “You can’t afford to postpone happiness to weekends and vacations, and you definitely can’t afford to quit your job. However, you can make small but powerful changes in your workday that will make your time more positive and fulfilling,” says psychologist Leah Cage.
Wake up to something you enjoy
Hate getting out of bed? Shake off morning blues by giving yourself an extra special morning treat. “It’s a carrot-and-the-stick approach,” says renowned life coach Martha Beck. “Instead of saying, ‘Oh no, I have to work!’ you train yourself to think, ‘Ýay, I get to have…””
Beck suggests setting the coffeemaker timer so you wake up to the smell of brewing coffee, or making a playlist of favourite feel-good songs. Other great ideas: scented shower gels, bright lipsticks, or luxe perfumes.
It’s not just a distraction — when you start the day in a good mood, you pave the way for having a good day.
Get an office plant
Offices tend to feel very stuffy because of the lack of fresh air. That does affect your energy levels and your mood — you need to breathe, literally and metaphorically!
Greenery also tends to be relaxing, which is why most of us feel better when we’re surrounded by trees and nature. That tiny office plant can be your little spot of nature in the concrete jungle.
Eat lunch away from your desk
Even if you brought your own lunch, eat anywhere except in front of your computer. Sit by the window or walk to a nearby park (if you’re lucky enough to work near one). If you work in a small office with no designated eating area, arrange your cubicle or table so you have one area that’s clear of all work-related items. You shouldn’t be able to see anything related to your task while you eat.
That tiny change gives you a physical and emotional break from stress.
Have a mantra
When you’re stressed, anxious or upset, your mind replays a situation or thought over and over again. Unfortunately, it’s playing something negative: “I can’t do this!” or “I can’t believe I said something so stupid at that meeting.”
When your anxious mind starts going into that negative loop, give it something else to play: a positive or empowering mantra. It can be an affirmation: “I am talented and creative. I can find good solutions to any problems I encounter”. Or even, “This too shall pass.”
If you can’t think of a mantra, download an app with positive affirmations or meditations you can listen to.
Align work with your personal goals
Not all of us are lucky enough to have a dream job, but all jobs can bring you closer to your dream self. “Before I became a writer and life coach, I was a waitress, an office assistant, a store clerk… I learned to look at each job as a class in becoming who I wanted to be. As a waitress, I got to overcome my shyness and interact with different kinds of people. As an office assistant, I learned to become more organized and efficient,” says Cindy Maine, an expert on workplace wellness.
Look at each job as a challenge and a learning opportunity! See the Big Picture so you don’t feel de-motivated by daily obstacles.
Finetune your Stress Radar
Some stress is good: challenging reports, difficult clients or bosses who demand better work, conflicts that force you to speak up and explain your ideas clearly and confidently.
Other stress may be telling you it’s time to prepare for change. Is the stress making you grow, or is the only reason you’re not leaving is that you’re afraid of change? Does the stress disappear after you rest, or does it just fill you with dread when you realize your vacation is over? Do you feel that this stress makes you grow, or make you feel like you have no power?
“Most people avoid stress, but stress is just an emotional thermometer that helps you decide if a situation is good, bad or stagnant,” says life coach James Irvine. “Instead of complaining ”My work is stressful’ ask why it is stressful.
Work when you work, rest when you rest
Nearly every workplace wellness expert says that Work Life balance can only happen when you have Work Life Boundaries. Stay focused when you’re at the office. However, when you’re done, close that laptop and give your 100% to relaxing and having fun. Yeah, even Wonder Woman needs to have fun!