I've spent many years working in corporate environments. Let's face it, they are not all filled with yoga mats and lavender plants. Many of us struggle with weight gain, caffeine dependencies and anxiety as a result of working in stressful environments.
As more of us wish to live healthier and more intentional lives (myself included), it's no surprise that people are looking for ways to feel more balanced and well in the workplace. Many companies are now implementing corporate wellness programs to encourage employee health. You can boost this wellness movement by learning to balance workplace woes with healthier habits.
Use the 10 tips below to implement mindful practices in the context of your work environment to feel more aligned with your personal and professional goals all workday long...
1. Make up a mantra — and put your mind to it.
The first step to finding more balance in the workplace is to go in with intention. Incorporate a mindful mantra when creating your to-do list in the morning. Write down a few positive words on the top of your to-do list or a post-it and keep it visible.
I love the mantra "I will be OK and all will work out." In times of stress, we tend to feel out of control, so remembering that all will work out helps bring balance back into your day.
2. Trade in your afternoon coffee for a sweat session.
Coffee later in the day often messes with your sleep cycle, creating a deeper dependence and often leaving you with the jitters mid-day. Instead, break that routine by asking a coworker to take a 15 minute brisk walk with you. Getting your heart rate up will give you the energy boost you're looking for and those 15 minutes of fresh air will revitalize you for the later part of your day.
3. Try a mini-meditation.
Taking just 10 minutes out to quiet your mind throughout the day will strengthen your focus, lower your stress levels and even help you digest your food better. Turn to YouTube or iTunes for 10 minutes meditations that you can plug into your headphones for a mini midday retreat.
4. Stay fueled — and fuel wisely!
Stock your fridge with healthy options so that you're less tempted to run to the vending machines for sugary, processed snacks. Smart snacks should be higher in protein and fiber to help balance your blood sugar and keep your energy level up without a crash. Fresh fruit, organic oatmeal packs and trail mix are a few great portable snack options to have on hand.
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Most people don't drink enough water on a regular basis. Dehydration can lead to head aches, fatigues, false hungry and low energy. On average, people should be consuming half of their body weight in ounces of water per day. Supercharge your water by adding a few lemon slices and up the alkalizing properties that help keep your body and metabolism balanced throughout the day.
6. Rethink happy hour.
Anxiety and fatigue can be exacerbated by unhealthy habits like regular alcohol consumption and minimal sleep. Since time is limited after work hours, people often look to happy hour as their time to catch up with friends.
But there are other kinds of social plans! Instead of happy hour, schedule a fitness date, and make that time a wellness meet up. Sign up for a cycle or yoga class and then find a healthy café for a bite to eat after class.
7. Get some greenery.
Plants create fresh oxygen and have a calming visual effect yet many work places are sparse on the greenery. Fill your desk with a few indoor plants that are easy to maintain yet add color and vibrancy to your space.
8. Feel the power of positive imagery.
Surround your area with a few framed photos of your loved ones and pets. Having daily reminders of those who support you will subconsciously make you feel well supported throughout the day.
9. Experiment with essential oils.
Scent is powerfully tied to our emotional responses. Try experimenting with a few drops of essential oils on your wrists and palms and then take 1 – 3 deep breathes inhaling the scent. Rosemary essential oil has been said to improve concentration while citrus essential oils proves a burst of energy. During extra stressful moments in your day turn to lavender essential oil for instant calm.
10. Breathe with intention.
During times of high stress, the body tends to tense up causing us to hold our breathe. Taking a few intentional deep breathes throughout the day, and before important meetings and presentations, will provide fresh oxygen to the body, relax the muscles and help clear your mind.
The next time you're feeling stressed and burnt out at work turn to one of these tips for to feel calm, grounded and well at work.
What are your favorite ways to stay healthy and balanced at work?