How YOU Can Make Your Workplace Healthier and Happier

Building a culture of wellness that benefits your colleagues, the company, and yourself is completely achievable. Here's how to get started.

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We all know by now that healthy employees are happy employees. And happy employees mean happy work environments. And happy work environments mean overall success from all angles. (Did I break that down too much?) But how do we get to that point if the culture at work is already a little less than ideal?

Not sure how to rate your work culture? Here’s a quick test. If any of these statements ring true, it’s safe to assume that your work environment could use a little pick-me-up:

  1. Donuts, cookies, and other “treats” are available in the break room pretty regularly.
  2. You know at least one employee who is miserable in their current position.
  3. Leaving the office for lunch, taking a day off, and achieving something great are all things you keep to yourself for fear of being shamed by colleagues.
  4. Your company has never sponsored or offered wellness-related events or opportunities (think health fairs, free biometric screenings, gym or yoga studio memberships, onsite nutrition counseling, or even healthier lunch options in the cafeteria or break room).

If one or more of these (or all?!) is true for you and your current place of employment, then 1) congratulations, you’ve gained awareness about your work culture! and 2) let’s do something about it.

Grab Your Helmet…

To effectively fight this “battle” and begin creating a positive and productive workplace culture that supports employee health and happiness, here are my four super-doable tips that YOU can start doing right away that will help you become a wellness WARRIOR at work (no blood or guts, promise):

  1. Bring a healthy lunch (or dinner or breakfast, depending on your shift hours) with you each day and stock your workspace with healthy snacks (see list of suggested snacks below) for between meals. Seeing you prepare and embrace healthier food options will encourage others to do the same. AND it’s a great opportunity to share new recipes with coworkers or let them try new things.
  2. Speaking of sharing (healthy) recipes and exposing coworkers to new things, also share with them any kind of fitness class or gym you’ve been attending as well as any new fitness apps or devices you’ve been using. If you started using essential oils for better sleep or switched to all-natural beauty products, share that too! By doing that, YOU’RE becoming an influencer, and people will be intrigued and motivated by the things you say and do!
  3. Attend any wellness events your company organizes. Or, if your company has never organized any, approach senior leadership to set a time to discuss what wellness events or offerings for employees might be feasible.
  4. Make lunch (or dinner or breakfast) dates with your colleagues! Seems simple enough, and yet many employees tend to have their work meals alone, or at their desks while they continue to work. But this might be the most important tip, because it is proven that strong, positive relationships between colleagues are what help everyone get through the day, regardless of any other company shortcomings. When you have a one-on-one conversation with someone, you build trust and open the channel of communication. This will help you to recognize the needs and concerns of your colleagues, which will ensure that you’re addressing the right issues! Plus, it’s good just to leave your workspace and all of your emails and talk with another human sometimes.

That’s it—totally painless and stain-free suggestions. As humans, we often don’t realize the power we hold to change our circumstances and help others. But it is my hope that these tips will serve as baby steps toward bigger change, and that your workplace will feel a little healthier and happier than it did before. Now, here are my snack suggestions:

Healthy Workspace-Snack Suggestions (no refrigeration needed):

  • Almonds, cashews, peanuts, or pistachios
  • A bunch of bananas, apples, oranges, or anything else that ‘fruits’ your fancy
  • Lighty salted popcorn
  • Peanut or almond butter (put it on your banana or with your apple for a protein-boost)
  • Instant oatmeal (plain or with minimal artificial flavoring..keep cinnamon, honey, or vanilla almond milk handy to add healthy flavor..or splash it with some coffee!)

Suggestions for the Fridge:

  • Low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Almond or soy milk to replace cream or milk for coffee
  • Any baked or roasted vegetable leftovers you have..they make a great lunch!

Go out there and be your best self!

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