WORKPLACE WELLNESS: How to practice self-care
International Labor Day, also known as “Araw ng Manggagawa” is celebrated across the globe every first day of May. This is to honor workers and laborers across industries and sectors and to empower them to understand their rights.1 While it is important to celebrate the hardwork of workers, it’s just as important to recognize work-life balance as well and find ways to ensure that employees are still achieving wellness at work.
According to CDC, “Well-being is the ability of individuals to address normal stresses, work productively, and realize one’s highest potential. Employees in good health are more likely to deliver optimal performance in the workplace.” Indeed, Healthy employees = Increase productivity. However, due to workload and busy schedules, self-care was often overlooked just to be efficient and getting more work done. Lack of self-care is actually hurting one’s overall productivity. So, how to practice self-care at work?
SELF-CARE TIP #1: Do periodic STRESS AWARENESS CHECK-INS
Do you know how you react to stress? When you get busy, do you feel like the clock is ticking faster? Do you experience tension in your back, neck, or shoulders? Do you often feel crabby or hungry?3
Give yourself a stress check once you already know how your mind and body reacts to stress. Pay attention to these signs and if experienced often, it’s an indication that you may need to take a quick break. Studies have shown that workers who took breaks have fewer stress symptoms (e.g. headaches, eye strain, lower backpain), have higher job satisfaction and lower rates of burnout.4
SELF-CARE TIP #2: STAND AND STRETCH!
Find a way to move your body every hour for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Go for a quick walk, do some quick jumps in place or some light stretching of your arms, legs, back and shoulders. Do some work while standing if you’ve been sitting in chair too long. Taking stretching breaks in between work can also help reduce stress in the body.*You can check other physical activity at workplace here:
SELF-CARE TIP #3: Find time to CONNECT
Connect with your colleagues even with topics that are not work-related. Allow yourself to mingle for few minutes during lunch breaks. Take water or coffee break together. Participate in office activities.
SELF-CARE TIP #4: Set WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES
Set good boundaries between your working and non-working hours. Do you tend to bring home your office work with you or even answering emails or checking work updates even after working hours? Try to disconnect at the end of your work day. Set a time frame to put aside any work-related matters and take advantage of the time outside of work to relax and recharge.3 Even if it feels OK right now, there will be a point that it will EXHAUST you. And prevention is better than cure.
SELF-CARE TIP #5: Practice MINDFUL EATING
Employees can get into the habit of working through lunch and eating at their desks. The guilt of missing work can create pressure to limit time for lunch or snacks. However, taking time for the structure of a regular meal, like lunch, can reduce employees’ stress. At the same time, it allows employees to pay attention to what their body needs.5
Mindful eating is like paying attention at meals or snacks which allows for full enjoyment of the food eaten with no distractions. Employees allowing themselves to calm down, focus, and enjoy the meal can help satisfy appetite and hunger.6Start being mindful by taking time to decide your meals. Good thing Gardenia offers a variety of healthy breads that you can choose from. Have some delicious and healthy snack at work by trying out Gardenia Grilled Veggie Buns using Gardenia Multigrain Soft Bun.
Gardenia Grilled Veggies Buns
1 pack Gardenia Multigrain Soft bun
1/2 pc Carrots, thinly sliced
1 pc Tomato, thinly sliced
1 pc Bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 pc Zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tsp Sriracha
- Slice the bread in the middle and pan toast it. Flatten it and toast both sides.
- Pan grill all the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the grilled vegetables onto the bread and add sriracha.
- Serve and enjoy!
Despite hectic schedules and work deadlines, always prioritize your health and wellness. Getting into a self-care mindset can be tough but at the end of the day, it boils down to making yourself and your needs a priority. Practice these self-care tips for a healthier, happier and more productive you!
5Harvard Medical School. (2011, February). Mindful eating. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating