Recently, I had the privilege of attending a panel discussion about practicing wellness in the workplace. The panelists were Mary Jo Boyles, who is an employee health and wellness coordinator, Kenton Bibbs, CEO of Grindology Fitness, Melinda Henry, who is a Corporate Wellness Specialist, and Byron Henry, who is a Talent and Engagement Synthesizer. They all shared very insightful tips on practicing wellness in the workplace, and I would like to share what I learned with you.
How to Incorporate Wellness in the Workplace
Sometimes we get so caught up in our work we forget that taking care of ourselves is a continuous process. During the discussion, Melinda said something that really stuck with me. I’ll paraphrase it: Wellness in the workplace transcends what we do individually. Therefore, it’s important for us to practice wellness in every aspect of our lives, even at work; after all, we spend a lot of our time there. In this blog post I’ll be discussing some ways we can make sure we are working well.
It Starts with Us
My first tip is to do your part. We may have the idea that it is up to our employers to create an environment that promotes wellness, and while this is partially true, as employees, we play an integral part in creating this workplace culture as well. Byron pointed out that we know the culture we want our workplace to have. We know before our employers do. So, we hold a lot of power when it comes to fostering that environment.
If you want an environment that is friendly and social, you can be the person who takes time to check in with your coworkers. If you want an environment that values physical activity, make sure you are taking your five-minute walks throughout the day, and maybe even invite a coworker to join you. There is always a way you can contribute to creating the work environment you want.
Practice Wellness at Work on a Regular Basis
There are so many ways you can incorporate wellness into your day at work. I’ll name a few, and you can decide what works for you.
Drinking enough water
Create a Space for Connections
A big part of wellness is how we connect with others. Since we spend so much of our time at work, it makes sense for us to form connections with our coworkers. And these connections don’t have to take away from your work or even take up a lot of your personal time. It’s as simple as asking about your coworker's kids or the trip they took over the weekend. As long as it’s genuine, it will be meaningful.
To take it a step further, you could get creative and make it more of a group thing. Maybe once a month you have a group lunch where everyone discuses a topic. Or, you create a group chat in Microsoft Teams for people with shared interests to have conversations. There are so many opportunities. You just have to be creative, intentional, and genuine.
I shared a few tips, but I think one of the most important things to do is have fun. Life is meant to include fun and enjoyment. Although wellness in the workplace is very important, it’s not something you should beat yourself up about if you are struggling to incorporate it. Trying your best is enough.
One way to have fun incorporating workplace wellness is to set challenges for yourself. It could be getting in 1,000 steps at work, having at least one meaningful conversation a week, or remembering to stretch once a day. It’s always fun completing a challenge, and you might even set up a reward system for yourself. The point is to help yourself work well and have fun while doing it.
We spend a large portion of our time at work. If we want to live in a way that is full of wellness, it only makes sense for us to incorporate it at work. Take those short walks, have those meaningful conversations, and have fun!
By: Madison Beckford