The importance of being well at work and personal wellness has never been more evident. When many of us are attempting to juggle work, home and various other things on our plate, who has time to focus on wellness or to find a positive mindset?
However, research shows that wellness and cultivating a positive mindset should always be a priority. Our recent survey of professionals in Singapore shows that 4 out of 5 professionals report their stress levels have increased since the onset of COVID-19, making this connection between work, wellness and a positive mindset more relevant than ever.
Here are some steps to take control of your overall wellbeing.
1. Take things one step at a time
Focusing on wellness isn’t a complete overhaul of everything you are doing. It can simply be something like stopping to text a colleague and check how they’re doing or taking a 30-minute walk outside to rejuvenate your mind. Even a 10-minute break from technology to read or listen to music can feel like a recharge.
2. Reach out to your colleagues
Loneliness is a real issue for many, but the feeling of isolation can be alleviated by simply reaching out to other people in the same situation — your colleagues. Reach out to them about more than just the project at hand. Celebrate wins together, share weekend plans and send out messages to check on one another.
3. Draw a line between work and home
It can be challenging to draw the line between work and leisure time. When we surveyed professionals in Singapore, 69% feel pressured to be “always on” while working from home during the pandemic. However, as an interesting detail, 7 out of 10 say it is internal pressure, not coming from their company.
4. Get organised
Make a schedule and stick to it. For work tasks, block out time for big projects, and set a specific starting time. Organise your day to allow for maximum productivity. If you get more done in the morning, set out two hours without interruptions first thing, or maybe put in a few concentrated hours in the late afternoon.
5. Set aside time to move
In whatever way you can, set aside time to move each day — 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a massive difference to your health, mindset and wellbeing. Go outside for a walk, jog or run, or do a quick at-home workout. Stop every couple of hours and do a few pushups, crank up the music and have a 20-minute dance party in your living room. It doesn’t have to be structured or super intense; just move.
6. Turn off the news
Be informed, but a constant 24-hour cycle of information isn’t good for mental wellbeing. Filter the news so you get the necessary information and cut out everything else.
7. A positive mindset for the times
A positive mindset is interconnected with wellness, and keeping a positive mindset throughout trying times is vital. It’s about accepting the things that are going wrong and shifting your focus on the things going right.
Here are a few things that can help with developing a positive mindset:
Make daily gratitude lists
Sit down and list three things you are grateful for. It could seem hard in the beginning but the more you look for it, the more you will find to be grateful for.
Look for the positive sides
Look for the positive sides of any situation. For example, if you work from home, maybe it gives you more time with your immediate family.
Adopt a growth mindset
In short, a growth mindset means you always have room for growing and learning. This is about constantly developing skills and finding a way forward into new paths that you couldn’t have predicted.
How companies can help
Monetary benefits like salary, bonuses and paid leave are always the priority when evaluating a new job, or negotiating for a higher salary. Still, challenging situations help shed light to the importance of other non-monetary benefits, such as the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). These take many different forms depending on the organisation, but they all offer psychological and emotional support to employees on personal issues through professional counselling. Reach out to your HR department for the professional resources available to you.
Happy work, happy life
Workplace wellness isn’t new — experts have been saying we need to prioritise it for decades. Small steps can make a big difference in your overall happiness, so keep these habits you have cultivated now for long-term health and wellbeing.
This article is contributed by Michael Page.