Tips for Enhancing Your Well-being at Work

Most of us know that employee well-being is a win-win for both employees and employers, however this article focuses on how you, as an employee, can take the reins on your own well-being to experience better health and happiness. Naturally any effort you put into improving your well-being while at work will spill into your life outside work because, let’s face it, we spend a lot of time at work and that adds up to many hours of practice. And practice creates habits!

The tips below have been organized into the 5 pillars that will help you achieve and maintain optimum well-being both physically and mentally. It is not a comprehensive list, but it will set you well on the way to creating lasting changes that will benefit yourself and people around you at work and beyond.

1. Connections

Being more connected to other people will help you build a network of support which will be helpful in tough times – these could be friends, colleagues and people in your community. Connecting means listening, talking, being there for others and developing a sense of belonging. Ways to get started:

  • Talk face to face or over the phone rather than email
  • Organise an event at work
  • Create a club or team
  • Make a point of getting to know about what people do in their jobs (even if you are past the induction stage of your employment)
  • Initiate collaboration on projects
  • Take time to eat lunch with colleagues

2. Never Stop Learning

An on-going commitment to learning is a great way to improve self-esteem and adapt to change – it is also excellent for developing resilience and boosting well-being, particularly preventing depression. Ideas to learn more:

  • Learn an instrument
  • Enrol on a course
  • Set yourself a goal to learn about a topic
  • Join a book club
  • Listen to podcasts or ebooks

3. Contribution

‘Giving’ and demonstrating acts of kindness are effective ways of making us feel good. It’s not just about giving material things - giving your attention, time and energy can be highly valued by others and make a real difference. How to start being more giving:

  • Give compliments
  • Organise a charity event/activity
  • Volunteer your time for a good cause
  • Express thanks (gratitude) – keep a gratitude journal too
  • Support someone or be a mentor
  • Help a colleague with their work

4. Mindfulness

Being more aware of the present moment and your surroundings helps boost positive feelings and shift your thoughts about the past or the future to the here and now. The practice of mindfulness involves developing your skills to pay attention and there are a few tools you can use to help you develop and practice that skill. Some ways to start being more mindful:

  • Try meditation – there are plenty of phone apps to assist with this or online programmes
  • Yoga – most practices include meditation and breathing as part of a session
  • Taking time to be amongst nature, listening to the sounds and feeling the earth under your feet
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Have a digital detox – being free of your devices for a period of time
  • Single tasking (opposite of multi-tasking!) e.g. allocate particular time(s) of day to check email

5. Be more active

Exercise is fantastic for both the body and mind. Your mood will lift regardless of whether it is a brisk walk outdoors or climbing a flight of stairs rather than using the lift at work. It takes a commitment to incorporating it into your lifestyle so that it becomes a habit, even if it is only 5-10 minutes at a time. Here is how you could get your activity habit underway:

  • Take the stairs instead of lift at work
  • Stand at your desk or use a swiss ball to sit on
  • Take regular breaks at work to move if you are sitting all day – even if it’s trips to the water cooler
  • Get involved in an office sports team or organize a lunch time walking group
  • Go for walking meetings
  • If fitting in an hour long exercise session is too hard, try and get 2-3 windows of 15 minutes to exercise instead (consider using a fitness app on your phone)




                Mark Douglas

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