7 Wellness Hacks That Can Boost Your Happiness While At Work
When we think of an environment that we would consider one of "wellness", we don't often think of our workplace. On the contrary, many workplaces actually create (or amplify) feelings of stress, overwhelm and anxiety. When the desired outcome of being at work is to be inspired, creative, positive and hardworking, this type of stress-filled setting clearly does not help to achieve this! We firmly believe that the energy of any environment greatly affects the people, how they feel, how they behave, how they think and, ultimately, how they perform. Therefore, it's essential to take steps to foster a positive work environment in order to create positive outcomes.
"We firmly believe that the energy of any environment greatly affects the people, how they feel, how they behave, how they think and, ultimately, how they perform."
Many people believe that it is the role of the employer to create this positive work environment. And, while this is true to some extent—employers should be taking steps to provide a healthy and productive environment—there are certain tips, tools and behaviours (we like to call them workplace wellness hacks!), that you can adopt to create this positive energy for yourself.
What if we told you that you can (easily) increase the wellness that you feel in your workplace, simply by making some small changes to your environment and to your behaviours and actions while at work? The fact is, we all deserve to feel happy, healthy and inspired. By taking the time to incorporate some easy wellness hacks into your daily routine, you can make your workplace more like your favourite Zen space (think Yoga studio, spa or retreat!). And, when your friends and colleagues see you looking relaxed, fresh and happy, they too will quickly follow suit.
Keep scrolling for our top 7 workplace wellness hacks that'll boost your happiness and productivity at work.
Start your workday with a favourite morning ritual or routine
How we start our day has a huge impact on how the rest of our day plays out. We have all had those mornings where we have one crappy experience at the start of the day (you sleep horribly or stub your toe getting out of bed) and the rest of your day is a cascade of one crappy experience after another. By starting your work day with something that you love to do (taking an extra 10 minutes to savour your americano or matcha latte, having a quick catch-up session with your work bestie to gossip about last nights Scandal episode or simply spending 5 minutes doing deep breathing exercises), you greatly increase the chance of having a happy and productive day. By making a habit of this, you will find that you begin to look forward to that first 10 minutes at work and it will help set up the rest of your day to be happy, productive and well, awesome!
"How we start our day has a huge impact on how the rest of our day plays out."
Take mini-stretch/yoga breaks
Sitting for 8 hours a day at work not only contributes to a more sedentary lifestyle, but it also wreaks havoc on your posture and your stress levels. Taking mini breaks to do some stretching in your office (you can even do a quickie Yoga session), is a very easy way to help combat all of these things. Simply set a reminder on your smart phone every hour and take 5 minutes to stand up, move around, stretch your body from side-to-side, breathe and expand. This small amount of moving and breathing will have a huge impact on how you feel at the end of the day.
Go for a power walk
Getting outside in the fresh air to take a power walk is one of the best ways to increase energy levels and decrease stress during the work day. Simply grab your sneaks before you head out the door in the morning and lace up, either before the day begins or during your lunch break. The simple act of getting outside, raising your heart rate and soaking up some Vitamin D (even if it's just 10 minutes!) can help re-energize and re-focus you and even get you through that dreaded 3 pm slump. Even better? Ask a friend or group of colleagues to join you and make it an every day occurrence. By making it a group effort, you'll not only engage in some stress-relieving social time, but you'll keep each other accountable to help create an everyday habit.
Do some deep breathing exercises at your desk
One of the absolute best ways to combat the feelings of anxiety, stress and frustration that can arise in many work situations is to incorporate some deep breathing exercises into your day. And no, we're not suggesting you engage in a 30 minute zen-style meditation. It can be as easy finding somewhere where you can sit quietly and then focus on your breath for 5-10 minutes, a couple of times a day. Think you're too busy? You can also incorporate this type of breathing exercise while you're doing other tasks. All you need to do is practice breathing deeply for the duration that you are doing the task (checking over a document, creating a social media post, writing a report). Make it a daily habit and you'll be amazed at how much easier and stress-free your days will go, a feeling that we like to call Flow.
De-clutter your desk, cubicle or office
Visualize it—you walk into your office space, hoping to bang out something creative and amazing, but all you see is clutter—old work items, used coffee cups and stacks of paper. Feeling inspired? Didn't think so. Our advice? Make an effort at the end of everyday to tidy up, freshen up and de-clutter. That way, when you walk in to your office space each morning to start a new day, you can simply sit down, be productive and create. But that doesn't mean you can't have a few beautiful items that help boost your happiness in that space. Fresh flowers, a piece of art, a vision board, a pink Himalayan salt lamp and an essential oil diffuser can all help create a sense of calm and keep those creative juices flowing.
Eat healthy, clean, zen-like foods
The fact is, the foods we choose to put in our bodies affect how we feel, think and act, even at work. So, by choosing to eat clean, healthy, unprocessed and whole foods, you are enhancing the state of wellness that you will feel at work. Try starting off your day with a breakfast brimming with antioxidants, healthy fats and protein (think a protein-packed berry smoothie or ezekial toast with mashed avocado and baby spinach). This will not only keep you feeling satisfied, but it will give you that energy-boost you need to get through your morning meetings without crashing. We love coffee just as much as you. But, if you consume pot after pot, make sure you are hydrating enough to compensate for the dehydrating effects (which can make you crash long before that lunch break). Opt for snacks such as nuts and seeds, veggies with hummus or apple slices with almond butter that give you a good dose of protein and healthy fats. For lunch - pack it! Create a habit of making your lunch in the morning and filling it with fresh and seasonal veggies and greens, fruits, healthy whole grains and fats, and lean sources of protein (chicken, turkey, fish, beans). By eating this way, you will have sustained energy levels throughout the day and end the day feeling as fresh as when you started it.
Take time to feel grateful
We believe that being grateful is one of the most important components to creating a healthy and happy life. Being grateful for the things that we have in our life (and this includes at work), greatly enhances our feelings of happiness and joy, and we actually attract more of those things to us. So, if your favourite part of your day is your morning team meeting or you're most passionate when working on a big project, take time (all you need is a couple of minutes) to be thankful and grateful for those moments. If you make this a regular part of your day, we promise you will start to see more and more of these moments that make you happy and satisfied at work come your way.
- If you enjoyed this article, try reading "Why You Need To Be Eating (Enough) Healthy Fats - and Our New Fave Recipe"