Picture the scene, you arrive to work late, the trains were delayed, and the carriage was crowded, you had no time to grab a bite to eat. You’re in back to back meetings, you’ve not touched your to do list, you skipped lunch and then in frustration, you lose your temper with a colleague. To improve your mindset, you seek out sugar and caffeine, which is great for a while but just as you finally get productive, you hit a sugar crash. You miss the gym – too tired – get home eat something quick and easy, have a few glasses of wine, crash out and then start again tomorrow. Notice I didn’t even mention the family.
Reacting to the stress triggers in your day has led to the following:
• Cortisol increase
• Highs and lows of sugar and caffeine fixes
• No exercise
• Poor food choices – skipping meals, convenience foods
• Mental and physical tiredness
• No space for organisation and planning
As our stress levels increase, so our resilience lowers. Challenging deadlines, external influences, financial worries and poor self-management all increase the load leading to brain fog, high blood pressure, weight gain, exhaustion, illness and burn out.
Companies are choosing to address these issues by implementing wellbeing programs. They recognise the benefits of supporting their people in becoming more resilient – wellbeing changes mindsets, team dynamics and increases morale.
This issue we are discussing two of the most popular wellbeing interventions in the workplace. We’re not suggesting this is the complete solution however, for the majority of businesses it’s a great place to start.
MASSAGE AT WORK
Massage at work is an instant hit. People’s faces light up when massage therapists walk in, they know they are going to receive physical and mental respite from their hectic schedule and personal ailments.
A massage break offers so much more than a cigarette, coffee or sugar fix (the more socially acceptable work breaks). It encourages mental and physical relaxation allowing the individual to recalibrate their approach to the day and recognise the effects of stress on their wellness.
Seated sessions are fully clothed, a medical history is recorded and so the session starts. Sometimes there is silence, sometimes a need to speak and sometimes we discuss how to become more well. What that niggle might mean, why your legs twitch in bed at night, why you’re so thirsty? Every session and person is different.
The goal is that the person receives exactly what they need to improve their work performance and create a better work/ life balance. Whether that is signposting services, inspiration, validation, understanding or simply relaxation. It’s amazing what can happen in 15 minutes.
MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS IN THE WORKPLACE
How many of us truly know what the practice of mindfulness and meditation involves? Invariably, they are thought of as practices that require totally quiet minds, zen-like behaviours and huge amounts of time to practice. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Mindfulness invites us to simply observe and be connected to our state in any given moment without changing it. Meditation offers us a method to practice that observation, bringing our attention from the mind to the body, instantly creating calm.
For some of us we get the same experience from painting, listening to music, or reading a book but for the majority of us this is not so easily practiced at work. A two-minute meditation or mindfulness practice can bring that calm. It offers respite for our exhausted minds by simply focusing on the breath as it flows in and out of the body.
It’s great to practice alone or as a group and the internet provides a myriad of opportunities to engage in guided meditation. For those who would like to try a simple meditation practice the Headspace app offers no nonsense sessions and not a guru in sight! Remember, ‘if your mind wanders a thousand times, your only job is to bring it back 1000 times’ Jon Kabbat-Zinn.
◗ Stress levels reduce
◗ Muscles relax
◗ Postural awareness increases
◗ Mind calms
◗ Clarity and focus increases
◗ Muscular imbalances ease
◗ Stress level awareness increases
◗ Signposting to supportive services
◗ Clarity to change
◗ Work/life balance improves
◗ Increased self- responsibility for health
◗ Presenteeism triggers addressed
◗ Wellbeing support and advice
◗ Better team dynamics
◗ Improved communication and decision-making
DYNAMIC READER OFFER
20% OFF our 90-day trial programme to get you started quote DYNAMIC
Valid to end of April 2020
◗ Contact Alison@brightonwellbeingcompany.com, or visit www.brightonwellbeingcompany.com