As summer transitions into hectic fall schedules, it is easy to forget to take time for one’s self. However, a happy, healthy employee is a productive employee, so do yourself and your agency a favor and consider a few simple steps to practice mindfulness in the office.
- Schedule a meeting with yourself
You don’t have to put this on your official calendar (although you can if you want to ensure it will be interruption-free), but make a conscious effort to take stock of how you’re doing, what’s worrying you and what distractions you can cut down on. Daily self-check-ins are great, but even if you can only find time to do this once or twice weekly, it can still be an important step towards reducing stress levels and improving well-being.
This is easily combined with the step above, but it can be separated as well. There are many forms that meditation can take, but mindfulness meditation often begins with a focus on breathing. In a way, it is the opposite of step one – instead of tuning in, you are tuning out. Thoughts will pop up, but they can be gently dismissed; the goal is to reduce the stress or anxiety that can come with a mind that is constantly active worrying about the future or stressing about work and commitments.
- Refresh Your Menu
You may be in the office, but grilled mahi-mahi with pineapple salsa can transport your taste buds to Hawaii. Your food doesn’t have to be that fancy, but switching up what you bring for lunch is a great way to keep your days from getting too predictable, and it can help you view lunch as a time to relax and unwind, rather than something to be eaten hurriedly at your desk.
- Stay Active
If you can walk or bike to work, great. If not, there are still ways to get in a little energy-boosting exercise during the work day. When you feel the mid-afternoon slump start to hit, hit it back – take a couple laps around the office, do some stretches or yoga poses or walk up and down the stairs until you’re ready to dive back into your work refreshed and invigorated.
- Get the Office Involved
Not just because you want to look out for your coworkers, but because you can help hold each other accountable as well. Organize weekly meditation or yoga sessions, share your favorite recipes, or just make time to sit down and share what’s on your mind – checking in with a friend can be just as important as checking in with one’s self.