So what exactly is wellness in the workplace?
Wellness is described by Miriam Webster as, the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal. Many of us measure “good health” by how we look, and sometimes we are so distracted by physical appearances that we forget that wellness is holistic; it encompasses our entire body, which includes our mental wellbeing just as much as our body. At Invent@NMU we love our team, which is why wellness is taken seriously, and we’ve implemented some initiatives below to help us feel our very best!
How do you implement wellness at work, especially with COVID?
Our team has done a variety of things over the last month to try and bring about a better work-life balance for our students and management staff. After all, digital exhaustion is a real thing. A few of the ways we are doing this are:
- Summer Fridays: on Fridays we are out of the office by 3 pm EST, this gives our team more time to enjoy the outdoors and decompress for the weekend.
- Wellness Slack Channels: since we are all digital we’ve created a Slack channel where anyone and everyone can chat about what they’re doing to better their overall health, ask for advice, and give insight.
- Wellness Team: in order to properly implement our wellness initiative we’ve had three team members volunteer to co-chair a committee to assure all is organized well and done in a proper social distancing manner.
You can read below for greater detail into some of our main wellness initiatives.
Wellness Wednesdays: Make it fun!
In May, we began taking team walks every Wednesday while practicing COVID-19 safety protocols. This activity has been a great way to cultivate team bonding, and get out of the house, especially while the Stay At Home order was in place; which made connecting with others outside of screens more difficult. Walking is a low impact activity that has been proven to deliver many health benefits. The American Heart Association states that regular walking can help prevent conditions like heart disease and hypertension, strengthen muscles and bones, and improve our mood. During our walks, our talented student-employees exercise not only their bodies but their excellent photography skills as well; capturing some great moments as you see above. We have since branched out to include other activities to get the body and mind moving like hiking various local trails, frisbee, and slacklining!
Self-Care Bingo: Give an incentive.
On June 1st, we began “Self-Care Bingo.” Each employee received a bingo card at the beginning of the month that included 25 activities they can do to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. Some of these activities include: trying a new recipe and sharing it with the team, hiking a new trail, catching up with a family member or friend, and practicing one meatless Monday. Others were more simplistic, such as: making the bed in the morning or taking a nap without setting an alarm. At the end of the month, each employee who has completed their card will submit it to the management team, and a winner will be selected randomly. The winner will receive a $10 gift card for a local café or coffee shop.
Yoga: Help your employees relax.
We have at least two accomplished yogis on our team, who will soon begin leading group yoga. We’re really looking forward to this, as it combines physical and mental wellness into an activity that many people can participate in, regardless of their skill level.
Meditation: Encourage disconnection.
Meditation is an ancient practice involving focusing one’s attention away from things that cause stress, anxiety, or fear, and being present in the moment. There are many types of meditation; and it may take time to find which type works best for an individual, but it’s all about experimenting. Meditation may provide more peace and reduce stress, especially when practiced regularly; improve one’s mood and even reduce physical health problems, especially those actualized by stress. Soon, we will be introducing our team to meditation apps. Some noteworthy apps include Insight Timer, Calm, Headspace, and Smiling Mind.
Do you have any wellness initiatives in place where you work? What type of activities do you enjoy doing, at work, or at leisure to foster mental and physical wellbeing in your life? Let us know here for a chance to be featured on our socials!