As the New Year approaches, it’s time to look closely at the healthy habits you have, both in and out of the office. Taking a look at how you handled stress over the last year, or how burnt out you feel now, is a great place to start. Creating resolutions to improve your health and well-being while at work should be at the top of your to-do list as the year draws to a close. Here are some ways you can incorporate health and happiness into your work life in 2022 and beyond.
Schedule breaks throughout the day
Whether you are working from home, or you are back in the office, scheduling time for a break is imperative to your productivity and stress levels. Studies show taking a break every 50-90 minutes will allow you to stay the most productive and avoid burnout in the long run. These breaks can last from 10-20 minutes, as they can help your brain reset from the constant focus done in the previous work sprint. When taking your break, unplugging and moving around helps unwind your mind. Getting up from your desk during your break is a great way to stretch, get some fresh air, and adjust your posture before you come back to work.
Give your eyes a break
Taking a break also gives your eyes time to rest. Being focused on your work for long periods can strain your eyes. When you introduce a computer or other digital screens into the mix, your eyes and body can experience more symptoms; blurry vision, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches are some factors of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Taking breaks, including media breaks, are a great way to alleviate the eye strain and fatigue you feel. You may also consider purchasing blue-light computer glasses to protect your eyes while working. Wearing glasses with this particular protective coating can reduce the impact of blue light and limit the potential for CVS. Introducing this wearable technology to your workday can help support your health all day long.
Take advantage of your benefits
During the pandemic, many employers started implementing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as an added benefit to employees. These types of programs consist of services that help with many areas including, but not limited to: mental health counseling, family crisis services, financial and legal assistance, and even work-related issues. Utilizing your EAP is a great way to reduce stress in and out of the workplace and find affordable resources that could be challenging to find otherwise. Employers that offer EAP see better employee retention and satisfaction knowing that their employees can navigate the program to find the assistance they are looking for.
Utilize your time off
Creating a work-life balance is an important part of your workplace well-being. Use your time off policies in a way that promotes a healthy relationship between work and your life. When you plan a vacation using your Paid Time Off (PTO), make sure you truly unplug from your work devices. Having time away from the office gives you a chance to reboot and reset to come back to work revived and well-rested. Many employers are now offering flexible time arrangements, allowing employees to alter their workday time as a way to promote work-life balance and to lessen stress and fatigue. If your employer offers flex time opportunities, use them when you need to. Flexing your time for things like taking your children to school, going to a doctor’s appointment, or simply running an errand allows you to use your PTO for much-needed vacations.
Finding ways to incorporate healthy habits into your work is important to reducing the opportunity for burnout. Starting the year off with goals to reduce stress sets you up for a successful year in and out of the workplace. Becoming the best version of yourself won’t happen overnight, however, giving yourself time to set these goals to crush will make the 2022 version of you the happiest and healthiest yet.