Do you make sure you implement wellness in the workplace? I make sure every morning to build in some space to set the tone for the upcoming day. I meditate, maybe do some stretches, and practice gratitude before I officially get going.
But last week, even with my typical morning routine in check and a big day ahead of me, I flew out the door. Too late to return, I realized I had left my phone at home.
It sounds a bit dramatic as I write it down now, but we’ve all experienced that moment of panic where we realize we’re without our tech-sidekick.
At first, I felt disconnected and disorganized.
I had scheduled in an hour to do some work between the gym and a meeting. But now, phoneless in New York City with no way to do some of my intended tasks—let alone remember the notes I left about them on my phone—a mild freak-out was starting to grow.
While I do consciously take breaks from my phone, leaving it at home by accident was overwhelming! I had no idea what to do with myself on a day with “so much to do.”
I thought all the thoughts and felt all the feels: “How will I know what time it is? How will I be able to do all the things on my to-do list? How will I not get behind on my work?” How, how, how?
To preserve my sanity, I had to surrender to the moment. I walked to the park and sat on a bench, enjoyed the spring green leaves, the cool air, and the wind on my face. At first, it did feel uncomfortable just merely to be in this crazy, whirling city.
But without my phone, I decided to make a to-do list and connect with myself thoughtfully.
Surprisingly, I ended up feeling much more motivated to be productive and at ease with my tasks at hand.
I was more focused, less stressed, and ready to take on the rest of my day. Maybe turning off our phones, or sometimes even leaving them at home is the way to go.
I had planned to be off to the races that day, but instead, I was forced to pause and mindfully chill out, to contemplate what I needed to do, and how I could run my day from a place of power and positivity.
I realized that taking time out can make us more productive. It got me thinking about how to slow down throughout the day, not just in the morning.
Sitting on that bench I began to think about ways to do this and thus add more wellness into the workday. Here’s what came to me, sitting in nature, calm—and without my phone.
9 Ways To Add More Wellness In The Workplace
- Keep your phone off when you first get up. Do some meditation, light exercise, and deep breathing. Perhaps go out for a walk. Give yourself the space to breathe before you start your busy day.
- Don’t boot up email until you are in the office. This is precious time for you, not for starting your work. Take a relaxing shower and eat a balanced, healthy breakfast. It is 100 percent OK to keep the speed of the world at bay for a while.
- Evaluate your energy level. How are you feeling today? If possible, plan your day based on what is going on for you and how you are feeling in your body. Don’t turn your phone back on until you are ready to gear up your productivity.
- Think through your meals and snacks for the day. Choose healthy foods that support your brain and body to function in the best way possible. Make a list and get the foods you need to fuel yourself correctly.
- Plan breaks for yourself and make them non-negotiable. Close your eyes and rest for a few minutes, listen to a favorite song, or call a loved one. You’ll emerge from the break with refocused energy.
- Declutter your space. Clutter equals stress—researchers have found that a cluttered environment actually makes it difficult to concentrate, plus it limits the way the brain processes information. With clutter around you it’s hard to feel serene and collected. So do yourself a favor and declutter your workspace.
- Take time to hydrate. Hydration helps your body in every way—including your digestion. Water is crucial to break down solid foods in the stomach and distribute nutrients throughout your body.
The ancient Ayurvedic tradition advises sipping hot water every 10–15 minutes throughout the day; it will help flush out your lymphatic system and restore proper hydration.
- Schedule walking breaks. Even if it’s just going around your workspace, it’s still good for your brain and your body. Even better, go outside and upload your energy with fresh air. Have too many meetings? Take a walk with your coworker outside.
- Avoid the mid-afternoon slump. Instead of reaching for a double-sugar “nonfat” caramel latte for your midday pick-me-up, get a green juice or eat some nuts or fresh fruit. Between bites or sips breathe deeply and slowly for a minute or so, away from all distractions, to reset.
Technology has forced us to feel like we should always be “on” and available at all times for everyone and everything.
The simple truth is that if we drop out occasionally to take care of ourselves, we are more efficient, happy, focused, and yes, way more productive.