In modern society, and capitalist countries, in particular, working isn’t always something you enjoy. All too often, it’s a means to an end, ensuring you can pay your bills, have a roof over your head, and, for many people in the United States, maintain your health benefits. In some instances, work even becomes the factor that causes poor health and wellness.
This shouldn’t be the case, of course, and it doesn’t have to be. By taking action to improve your wellness at work—and encouraging both colleagues and supervisors to do the same—you’ll be able to feel better not just at work but in every aspect of your life.
Take advantage of any workplace offerings.
Corporate wellness programs aren’t a part of every company, but for those who have them, it’s important to remember that they only work when you actually use them. If you haven’t been doing so already, take some time to research your wellness program, if you have one, and check out any incentives it may offer. From gym memberships to mental health treatment, you may be surprised to see what your company has in place in regard to workplace wellness without you or your colleagues realizing.
Spend time away from your screen.
Whether you work remotely or in an on-site workplace, countless workers across the globe work primarily, if not entirely, at a computer. Among other issues, like poor posture and the risks of a sedentary lifestyle, this can cause problems, especially if you’re turning to a phone or television screen after signing off each day. Take regular breaks to look away from your computer and, if possible, work on something offline for a short time. Consider ways you can begin to better manage your workplace screen time and begin to combat any ill effects the habit has already had.
Incorporate healthy boundaries.
Work-life balance has become a sort of buzzword, but it’s a crucial part of employee wellness nevertheless. As people in the modern world, we’re constantly cycling between versions of ourselves—you the employee, the self, the parent, the sibling, the child, and the list goes on. Any healthy workplace will understand that and encourage you to find this delicate balance and adjust as needed. If your company takes the opposite approach, encouraging you to work incessantly without reward, you might consider looking elsewhere for a role where you can better maintain a version of work-life balance.
Prioritize your own well-being.
That sense of balance doesn’t only apply to those many versions of you—it applies to you. At the end of the day, regardless of just how many hats you wear, you are an individual who needs care. So, schedule that doctor’s appointment and leave early one day—your company should be grateful for a healthy employee. Cut back when you find yourself teetering on the edge of burnout. And, most importantly, remember that your top priority must be yourself. You can’t take care of your job responsibilities, family, or other matters if you haven’t cared for yourself first.
Whether your company has an employee wellness plan in place or you’re on your own in your journey toward better health, there are some ways you can inch toward improved wellness in the workplace. However, it’s important to remember that healthy living doesn’t end when you clock out for the day, just like it shouldn’t stop the moment you get to work. Good health and wellness need to incorporate every version of you, so your whole self is able to find that elusive work-life balance and become a happier, healthier person at work, at home, and wherever else you may go.