Workplace wellness has been a popular topic lately, and for good reason. Today more than ever, people are feeling increasingly stressed out and overwhelmed at work. Prescriptions for depression and anxiety medications are sky rocketing, and employers are taking notice. An unhealthy work environment is not only stressful, but it costs businesses money and productivity. Slowly, but surely, wellness programs are being implemented at work places, but you still need to be your own advocate and take your health into your own hands. Here are a few ways to reduce stress and stay healthy at work, regardless of your company’s policies.
The importance of getting away from your desk, walking around, getting your blood flowing and resetting your mind has never been more prevalent. It’s scientifically proven that walking around, particularly in nature or in a green environment (Shinrin Yoku) can help you refocus and de-stress. So, no matter how busy you are, take short breaks to get away from your desk and move around. Also, try taking the stairs to get a bit of exercise and to get your blood and oxygen flowing.
We all know we should be eating healthy to be our best physically and mentally. This is no mystery, so be sure to eat nutritious foods and stay hydrated by drinking water and avoiding sugary drinks and soda. Bring healthy snacks like nuts and fruits to avoid grabbing that candy bar from the vending machine. If you need a boost or are craving a bubbly drink, try flavored sugar-free seltzer waters or green tea. Whatever you do, skip the soda and candy. Junk food may give you a temporary boost, but it will eventually cause you to crash. Also, avoid overeating at lunch time. This can cause your metabolism to put you into a “food coma” which will leave you dragging for the rest of the day. Instead, opt for eating small healthy snacks throughout the day, and go for something protein-rich and light at lunch time like salmon, a salad or sandwich.
Hygiene & Prevention
This may sound extreme and Larry-David-Bern-Your-Enthusiasm germaphobic, but to maximize your health at work, be sure to clean and sanitize your work space regularly. This means wiping down your computer, keyboard, desk, and cell phone regularly with antiseptic wipes. Additionally, keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth, and always wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating. This really will help prevent colds and flus. It can be easy to get lazy and not wash your hands, but it can cost you big time when you contract a nasty cold or flu bug.
Workplace drama: the absolute worse. When the office gossiper gets going by the water cooler, bow out. It’s not worth it, and you don’t want to get caught up in workplace bullies or drama. If there are issues that need to be addressed, go straight to the boss. Do not get caught up with hearsay and immature behavior. It only makes you look bad and office drama and gossip can get so mentally abusive that it can force you to quit your job. Not worth it. Handle work issues like a mature adult, not like a high school mean girl.
Forbes: The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace