Wellness Made Simple: 5 Effective Tips to Stay Healthy and Energized in the Workplace

Posted 01/10/19 Hailey Peterson

About Hailey Peterson: As a member of the HR team, Hailey coordinates Vaco’s benefits and leaves of absences, analyzes personality profiles, helps administer Vaco’s 401k Plan, and heads the company’s Wellness Program. If you have a question, she is happy to help you find the answer!

Hailey and her husband love to spend as much time as possible outdoors with their dog, hiking, camping, you name it: just give her some fresh air! She is passionate about health and wellness and loves to read, preferably with a glass of wine in hand.

‘Wellness’ – Multi-faceted and ever-changing with the latest trends, some aspects of wellness remain consistent, and they’re no more apparent than right here in the workplace. After all, we spend most of our time here, with our colleagues, creating habits (both commendable and not so commendable) along the way. It might be time to check-in to ensure we pursue our best selves, especially at our second home.

A few simple actions can be taken to improve our daily environment and overall health:

  1. Identify your individual work style and adapt your environment to suit your needs
    • We all operate a little differently; do you know what you need personally to produce your best work? This might include calculating your tolerance for distractions (such as noise or interruptions – including impromptu conversations with coworkers) or acknowledging your preference for aesthetics in your surroundings (say, bringing in some flowers or framed photos of images that appeal to you). Try making a checklist of factors that are important to you and take some time to evaluate if you’re paying attention to fulfill these needs.
  2. Recognize potential energy drainers and limit exposure where possible
    • After you’ve taken stock of your physical environment, it’s time to consider interpersonal requirements. What energizes your coworker may very well be draining to you. While listening to music may work for your productive colleagues, white noise may be your preference. Make sure you know your own source of vitality and refreshment, as well as learning to identify others’ preferences. This is key in engaging in a productive way.
  3. Anima sana in corpore sano – “A healthy mind in a healthy body”
    • You’ve assessed your optimal work environment, and determined what energizes you socially (as well as what doesn’t), but have you considered what daily cumulative measures you’re taking to balance both mind and body? Intense focus is admirable at work, but if you’re not taking periodic breaks to rest the mind and engage the body, that chugging machine is going to break without attending to its maintenance. A recharge can be as simple as taking a short walk around the building for some fresh air or stretching while you refill your coffee and grabbing a healthy snack – you will find yourself more focused and at ease.
  4. They don’t call it “Brain Food” for nothing
    • Yes, there is a time and a place for indulgence, but our consistent daily food and drink choices are pivotal to promoting maintained energy, a healthy weight, and balanced mood. Temptations lurk in even the most well-intending environments and it’s OK to treat yourself, but if you are prepared with healthy snacks you will be less likely to reach for something that’s not an ideal fill.
  5. When the going gets tough, get thee an accountability buddy
    • There tends to be two types of people: the first is the lone ranger, for whom solo expeditions of strenuous effort stir true grit and triumph. The second is more than likely the rest of us, and sometimes we need a little help. You’re not alone! Reach out to teammates, listen to their struggles, and unite together to encourage a mutual dedication to self-improvement. There’s a reason group fitness classes exist: it’s the simple act of showing up and struggling together that pushes people toward communal success. Hold each other accountable and stay team focused!

Make healthy decisions for YOU; not the Wellness Guru you follow on social media, or the self-proclaimed “Doctor” on the internet. At the end of the day, you are the only one who truly knows your body and mind and what you need to perform optimally, whether at work, or during daily life. Turn off the cell phone and shut down the computer for a bit; let’s all make a collective effort to return to ourselves internally, so that we may return more to others once we’re restored.