Working can be stressful! Everyone who is employed or volunteering has been pivoting and re-adjusting schedules, expectations, and communication these past few years. Thank you to all the front-line workers in our community who have showed up daily through all the closures, isolation, and ever-changing recommendations. For those of you adapting to moving back into the office or work travel again, the shifts can be anxiety producing.
How do you stay well at work? How do we support each other’s optimal health and wellness in the workplace? Recently, I was hired by a commercial real estate organization to offer several workshops on “Resilience: Keys to Recovering as We Re-emerge from the Pandemic.” It was heartwarming to hear their stories of gratitude, resilience, and perseverance. Simultaneously, it was heart wrenching as they shared their loss, frustration, and challenges. I was inspired as I listened to many leaders and employees describe how working in a business that supports flourishing, growth and development was a highlight as they navigated the uncertainty they encountered.
Here are a few tips from my research and experience on thriving in the workplace and creating a culture of well being. Healthy individuals support healthy workplaces which supports healthy communities.
Make space to notice and share stressors
Pay attention to physical, emotional, and behavioral stress symptoms. Encourage proactive healthy choices. Remember, the body’s stress response is activated by a stressful event occurring in your imagination as worry or an actual event. If you catch yourself worrying about a past or future event, gently remove your attention from those thoughts.
If you work with a team, offer listening sessions. Allow time in meetings or on-on-one to discuss and process important events inside and outside of work. Utilize active and deep listening. Plan social events to develop relationships among the team. Invite diverse experiences into your conversations to continue learning through the lens of others.
Focus on what you are grateful for
Share strengths people utilize to cope and thrive through adversity. Communicate best practices and problem-solving techniques. Celebrate the wins individually and collectively. What type of creative activity has supported flexibility and connection? Offer a way for colleagues to share specifics on what they are grateful for at work. What we focus on grows!
Create a culture where self-care is encouraged and rewarded. Utilize a self-care strategy at the beginning of meetings or the starting of shifts such as deep breathing, playing relaxing or rejuvenating music, or sharing an uplifting story or quote. Promote healthy eating, drink plenty of water, take short stretch breaks, or step outside for a longer break.
Utilize guided imagery by remembering a favorite vacation, a fabulous spot to sit, or a special person you enjoy being with. Allow your imagination to fully experience this memory by using all of your senses (touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste) to recreate a relaxing memory. In your time away from work, reset. Get out in nature, connect with friends, find time alone to reflect, move your body, go to the farmer’s market, visit an art gallery, read a book, or cook your favorite meal. We live in an amazing community with many options!
Engage in professional development
People want to learn and improve. Share interesting articles, videos, inspiring talks, or materials that support growth and development. Start a book club. Share recipes. Volunteer as a group. If you work alone, connect with like minded people who grow and learn in an area that interests you.
Tend to your environment
Limit your screen time. Declutter your work and home space. Reduce avoidable interruptions. Add beauty through color or meaningful objects to your workspace. Add music, nature sounds, or silence to your workday. Bring nature to your indoor spaces through photographs, plants, and windows. Bike to work. Recycle and minimize waste.
We all can be leaders in our work environment through healthy choices and behavior. Be the change agent and trend setter you want to see.
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