Research shows that we will spend 90,000 hours of our lifetime at work—this equates to 60% of our waking hours. This also means that most of the decisions that inform our health (what we eat, don’t eat, activity levels and hydration) are made at work. As the Founder and Managing Director of Well Aware, the UK’s leading provider of workplace well-being programmes, I am sharing some of my top tips to promote wellbeing in the workplace.
1. Focus on energy, not time management
So often people refer to managing their time for maximum productivity. Instead, record the times of the day when your energy is at its peak and focus on the demanding, intensive tasks that require a sharp mind and maximum focus during these periods. Alternatively, when your energy is low, do tasks that require less mental stamina. Work your schedule around you for the best results.
2. Organization is key
When it comes to our nutrition choices, we are usually at the lowest ebb in our energy and self-control when deciding to eat. Make your eating decisions before you get hungry—organisation is key here. Also, ensure that snacking doesn’t derail your day, mood, productivity etc., by making healthier snacking easier than unhealthy snacking. For example, you can place a bag of mixed nuts on your desk or within easy reach so you always have a nutritious snack on hand.
3. It’s a marathon, not a sprint
We can take a lot of cues from sporting professionals who not only improve their physical health for better performance but also harness the power of the mind to get them to the right place for success. Adopting a growth mindset, characterized by seeing potential in each opportunity to learn and grow rather than a fixed mindset, which is underpinned by black and white thinking, i.e., failure or success, you’ll help improve your wellbeing, stress levels and mental health.
4. Sleep for sanity
So often in our busy lives, we forfeit sleep, seeing it as a badge of honor to survive on only five hours of rest. Sleep is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Make sure to prioritize your 40 winks, so your work performance is not compromised, your mood remains upbeat, and you can take on all of the day’s challenges. Reframe your way of thinking about sleep. Rid your vocabulary of phrases like ‘you snooze, you lose,’ invest in sleep and see your wellbeing soar.
5. Self-care is healthcare
Learn to switch off and take time out for yourself. You can’t excel in your career, at life, as a partner, etc. if you’re not adequately looking after yourself. As Well Aware expert Suzy Reading explains, ‘build micro-moments of nourishment into your day.’ It could be as easy as listening to some uplifting music, going for a walk, buying yourself a coffee. These little moments are what life is all about so remember to build them into your daily life whenever possible.