Maintaining positive mental and physical wellbeing at work allows us to stay at the top of our game and succeed at our job. Of course, trying to balance our busy lives with work can get in the way of self-care and leave us feeling run down and lacking energy. The Mental Health Commission of Canada explains that decreased wellbeing at work can lead to a loss of productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism, too (that’s working while sick). This is why it’s important to try simple tricks that boost our daily vitality.
Don’t worry! Whether you’re managing stressful deadlines, long hours, or physical demands, we’ve got five simple self-care steps to keep you healthy and energized at work.
Step 1: Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated at work helps us to feel alert and think clearly. A common recommendation by HealthLink BC suggests consuming six to eight 250 mL (8 fl oz) glasses of water each day. Buying a funky new water bottle, trying a new tea, or setting an alarm on your phone are great ways to remind yourself to drink more! You can also check out this video for 4 ways to trick yourself into drinking more water.
Step 2: Perfect your posture
Improving your posture involves a bit of mindfulness practice, but the rewards offer renewed, sustainable energy throughout your day—as well as long-term health benefits. Start by trying a new seating position, or a laptop stand to go on your desk. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has great guidelines for good body position, and what to avoid.
Office furniture also impacts your posture. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, try using an office chair with different ergonomics or a standing desk to increase your circulation and decrease fatigue.
Step 3: Quick office desk makeover
Whether you work from home or in an office, your environment can affect your vitality, productivity, and wellbeing. Get creative and give your desk a makeover! Spruce up your workspace with positive quotes, plants, and pictures. Aromatherapy products are great too—try a diffuser, salt lamp, or blend of essential oils from London Drugs, which help to boost energy and mood, and relax the mind.
Step 4: Take time to stretch or walk the block
Rest breaks, stretching, and movement all help combat the 3pm afternoon slump. Try setting an alarm each day to complete a few new desk stretches, or take a short walk around the block. Exercise is a golden way to recharge, increase stamina, and promote brain health at work—read more and discover 6 ways exercise benefits your mental health.
Step 5: Treat yourself (and a coworker!) to lunch
What better way to boost your energy than great food and great company? Break up your workday by taking a coworker out for lunch or treating yourself to a new healthy spot. Social breaks can take your mind off of work and allow you to return refreshed and rejuvenated. Eating healthy food can also increase energy levels—you can create your own food guide to make healthier menu choices, as well as gain inspiration for future lunch recipes.
Self-care requires commitment and time, so it’s ok to go slow and try one new tip a week. Little steps make a difference, and patience and persistence are key! You’ll be on top of your game, sustaining your energy, and doing backflips around the office in no time. Stay well!