Wellness is a concept that affects all parts of our lives and certainly something that we should bring into the workplace. It’s estimated that the average American worker spends 9 hours a day doing work-related duties so it makes sense to incorporate elements of wellness in such a major area of our lives. Before you get down-in-the-dumps about having to get up to go to work consider this: the IPS (Individual Placement and Support) Employment Center cites evidence showing that being employed leads to better self-esteem, quality of life and overall well-being as compared to those who are not employed. People with mental illness even experience less symptoms when they become employed through IPS Employment. Whether or not you are living with a mental health disorder, occupational wellness has the ability to improve your life.
1. Find the Positive-Not every job is perfect and some jobs can be downright difficult at times. Try not to let the bad parts of your day get in the way of your happiness. Every job has its share of issues from fast-approaching deadlines to angry customers or clients to settle down. Instead of ruminating on all the things that went wrong or irked you during the workday, focus on the positive: maybe a customer was extra friendly to you or you accomplished a difficult task that you thought you couldn’t do. Focusing too much on the negative has the potential to turn your dream job into a nightmare.
2. Personal Touches-Bring elements of home or a touch of your personality to your work space. Leave a souvenir from your favorite place on your desk or wear your favorite accessory if you have to wear a uniform to work. Keep your favorite snack in your desk drawers or listen to your favorite Pandora station while doing simple tasks, if your job allows it. Any personal touches that can keep you relaxed and fend off stress will make you more productive and content at work.
3. Plan for the Future-In an ideal world, everyone would land their dream job as soon as they completed their education or training. Even if you are lucky enough to be in your desired field, you still have to keep the future in mind of where you would like to end up in a few years or a few decades. Having a job that is not necessarily what you really want to do is not a career death sentence either. Creating a plan with goals and deadlines about where you would like your career and finances to be in the future will help keep you from getting stuck in a dead-end job. Not sure what type of career you want or how to make a a career plan? Click here for a career goal planning worksheet.
4. Know Who to Call- There isn’t always a cut and dry answer to every issue that comes up at work. Customers might have strange requests or clients might be asking a series of detailed questions you don’t know how to answer. Identifying at least one person in the company who you know will have the answers or is willing to help you out when in need will definitely make your working life less stressful. Be willing to pay your co-workers back when they help you out of a pickle. Cover a shift if they call in sick or help them out when they are swamped with too many tasks.
Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor
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