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Zen and the Art of Workplace Wellness

Work - Life Balance

The majority of adults spend a large chunk of our lives working, so it’s no surprise that work is one of our largest sources of stress. The American Institute of Stress reports that 40% of Americans consider their workload to be their huge stressor in life.

When we’re stressed out by overloaded workdays, gossiping co-workers, and arduous commutes, everything else can seem to be about a million times more frustrating. A toxic workplace even has the potential to come home with us in the form of crankiness, exhaustion, and/or depression. For example, have you ever snapped at a restaurant worker or family member because you’re still carrying workplace stress on your shoulders?

If your work-life balance is completely out of whack, how can you get everything back on track while also reducing the symptoms of stress? The good news is that finding balance and cultivating a state of zen at the workplace starts with you. 

For many workers, the solution lies in eating a well-balanced diet, practicing mindfulness, and breaking out of your comfort zone. Start by identifying what wellness means to you, and bring that mindset to work every day — your state of balance may just be contagious, allowing you to spread zen and wellness throughout your workplace. 

Taking a Holistic Approach

No matter your industry or job description, cultivating a healthy work-life balance is integral to our overall well being. Generally speaking, our jobs take the brunt of the blame when it comes to stress, but it’s important to remember that your work-life balance goes both ways. It’s just as easy for us to carry stressors from our personal life to the workplace, including relationship problems, financial concerns, and general to-do lists that are making us antsy.

Our mental struggles, therefore, come from a variety of sources. And those struggles often manifest in complex ways, spanning well beyond irritability and stress to encompass physical health problems. Chronic mental health conditions, including anxiety and stress, can have a lasting impact on the body — affecting the digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and central nervous systems.

Fortunately, mental blocks, frustration, stress, depression, and other sources of negativity can be treated utilizing a whole-body approach, sometimes referred to as “holistic.” Developing more positivity, hope, and optimism may help reverse the symptoms that accompany excessive workplace stress. By embracing holistic healing methods, you may become more self-aware and able to overcome challenges, no matter where they crop up. 

Boosting Creativity In and Out of the Workplace

It’s not always easy to identify our everyday stressors, but it’s the first step of managing that stress and cultivating wellness. For some, job insecurity is a major stressor, especially in today’s competitive job market where short-term “gig” work is becoming commonplace. The uncertainty of gig or contract work can lead to persistent worry about finances and potentially high demands from employers who could easily look elsewhere for talented workers.

When one’s daily life is ruled by the ebb and flow of the gig economy, it can also be difficult to harness a creative mindset. Cultivating creativity may also be challenging for office workers for whom every day seems repetitive and mundane. And that fact is detrimental when we’re working to harness lasting wellness in every aspect of our lives, as creativity helps us to achieve profound happiness and personal fulfillment. 

For example, sometimes we need a creative outlet to help work through stress, or even access subconscious ideas in our mind. If you need help tapping your creative potential, try going outside, even if you just take a walk around your office building. Just getting away from your desk, constant connectivity, and reminders of looming deadlines may be enough to help recharge your creative batteries. Consider bringing your co-workers along to promote all-inclusive company wellness.

Fostering a Culture of Workplace Wellness

The company you work for can’t effectively function without all of its employees, each of whom performs a distinct task. Workplace wellness operates in essentially the same manner, and cultivating workplace wellness on an individual scale can be a challenging task. After all, if your work environment is toxic, filled with negativity such as gossip and elitist behavior, meditation will only get you so far. 

Managers typically have a lot on their plate, but workplace wellness should be prioritized to ensure a positive and inclusive company culture, along with an efficient and creative workforce. If you’re involved in management in any capacity, consider offering stress-reducing activities in the workplace, such as yoga or mindfulness meditation sessions. To find the best fit for your team, however, you’ll need their input regarding the wellness experience they’re looking for. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results!

And if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, don’t hesitate to make suggestions. If no wellness program exists at your workplace, maybe you’re the person who can make it happen. Your wellness program pitch should list its myriad benefits, such as boosting productivity, as well as provide examples of successful wellness programs at other companies.

Final Thoughts

While a few negative features are to be expected (it is called “work,” after all), there’s no reason that your workplace can’t be a healthy and creative environment. Workplace wellness begins at a personal level, but involving your co-workers and management in a wellness program can be immensely beneficial to both employee mental health and the company’s bottom line.

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