October Newsletter 2013
October is Healthy Workplace Month.
Understanding the importance of personal health, practicing fitness at work, having open communication and doing things that contribute to a positive work environment are important to achieving wellness and for keeping Canada’s workplace healthy.
Most adults need a good eight to nine hours of sleep (some may need less and others more). What we probably do not realize is that an ongoing lack of sleep can negatively affect our work performance, wreak havoc on our relationships, and lead to mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety. With a few small lifestyle changes, adequate and good quality sleep can become the norm. Here are a few tips for getting to sleep easier:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. This will stabilize your sleeping/waking cycle.
- Remove as many electronic devices as you can from your bedroom. There should be no bleeps, beeps or glowing lights in your sleep space.
- If something is worrying you enough to keep you awake, write it down. It helps to describe how you feel or to make a list of the things on your mind, to deal with in the morning.
- Experiment with different stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, stretches or yoga.
- Do not exercise right before bedtime as it can have a stimulating effect. To avoid indigestion and heartburn, eat small frequent meals and avoid high fat food and sugary snacks in the evening.
Be More Physically Fit at Work
Most of us spend half of our waking hours on the job. Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can contribute to diabetes, heart disease and early death. Physical activity helps us cope with stress, improves concentration, alertness and memory. Some tips for incorporating movement in your day are:
- Move more, sit less. Stand when talking on the phone. Go for a walk over lunch or during breaks.
- Take the stairs. It raises your heart rate, works muscles and the oxygen from breathing deeply is rejuvenating.
- Park your car away from work and walk the last 10 or 15 minutes to work.
- Organize fitness challenges at work.
Fostering a Supportive Workplace Culture
Employers who strive to create a positive and supportive workplace culture promote a clear vision to employees, and ensure employees understand their individual contribution toward the organization’s success. This in turn, makes employees feel valued, feel inclined to support each other and enhance their mental well-being. Here are a few tips for you to contribute to a positive and supportive workplace.
- Open communication. Maintain an open line of dialogue with your colleagues and management.
- Be aware of how your colleagues are doing at work.
- Do not tolerate harassment, discrimination or stigma.
- Take pride in your work. After all, you are part of your employer’s success.
- Promote relationship building at work by participating in, and even organizing social events.
- Participate in health awareness events at work.
- Be a team player. Avoid the “it’s not my job” mentality.
- Be approachable. Smile and make eye contact. Be friendly and call people by name.
Have Fun at Work
Laughter really is the best medicine. It relieves stress, resolves conflicts, manages pain, promotes feelings of well-being, lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease. Some tips for having fun at work are:
- Take advantage of your employer’s commitment to community with enjoyable activities such as sports events, volunteering with charitable organizations or supporting needy families over the holidays.
- Organize a contest to build rapport, morale and teamwork (i.e. health challenge or fundraising contest).
- Organize a group lunch; either at a restaurant or potluck in the office.
- A few small changes in your life can make a huge difference to yourself and those around you!