World Wellbeing Week takes place in late June, offering the opportunity to reflect on the various aspects of wellbeing in our current lifestyle and how we can make an effort to improve it. In the past year, much of our daily life and work patterns have had to change. Therefore, looking after our wellbeing whilst our work lives are so tightly bound to our private lives is more important than ever.
Have you ever stared at the computer screen, finding it hard to get through your to-do list? Don’t feel guilty as the lack of motivation could happen to the best of us. When an employee is more engaged and happier at work, they’re 20% more productive. And employee wellbeing at work has indeed been climbing up on the corporate priority list, becoming a topic under the spotlight as the pandemic brought an immense impact on our life.
Now is the time to explore what you can do to improve your overall wellbeing, no matter if you’re working remotely or in the office.
Calm Your Mind Before Major Tasks
Anticipating the implementation of a big task can be daunting. Right before you start, try these simple techniques to help relieve your nerves.
Breathing exercise - make sure you’re wearing something comfortable. You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down:
- Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
- Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
- Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again if you find this helpful.
- Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.
If you’re working from home, meditation and yoga are also great options for destressing. These exercises require nothing but a mat, and you can find abundant resources and instructions on YouTube, making it effortless to practice at home.
Taking Time Away from the Screen
Remote working often makes it harder to remember to take breaks that allow you time away from the screen, which is vital to both mental and physical wellbeing. Set an alarm every hour to step away from the computer for 5 minutes, during which time walk around the house to get yourself some refreshments and to have a nice stretch. You can still practice this if working in the office too.
Lunch breaks are a good cut-off point for time away from the screen, so make sure you take it. And for the same reason, get ready and wrap up your tasks in the last half an hour of the day so you can log off on time. As easy as it is to work overtime when you’re at home, try to stick to the normal work schedule to avoid burnout.
Draw on your creativity and arrange the desk space to suit your character and work purposes. Perhaps it’s a small plant pot or a multi-layer tray that helps with filing; you’d be surprised at the impact of a little change to the desk setup.
The same can apply to planning your work. Instead of adding tasks to the standard Outlook calendar, why not write them down on a physical calendar and enjoy the satisfaction of crossing them off as you work along?
Don’t Miss Out on Social Occasions
Be it a virtual coffee break or a drink after work, seize the chance to socialise. You may not even realise how much you’ve missed chitchat with another colleague. It's a good opportunity to take your eyes off the screen and mind off work during a long week.
Look After Your Health
We all know that peckish feeling in midafternoons, but snacking doesn’t have to compromise your health. Leave a fruit bowl nearby to satisfy your hunger while adding to your five-a-day, or choose any healthier option that best suits your appetite.
It’s common to have pains that result from sitting in a certain position for too long. Don’t ignore any aches and check your posture for anything that needs correcting. If possible, ask for a standing desk so you can work on your feet for a change during a long working day. Your employer should be regularly checking that you have a suitable setup that works for your health and wellbeing.
Care for the overall wellbeing is not just for June, but a lifestyle all year round. There are lots more we can do to lead a healthier life. If this list covered anything you’re not already doing, let it be an inspiration for you to find the wellbeing practice that works best for you.