It’s Day One of EW Group’s annual Wellbeing Week
Being a specialist in inclusive working practices means you really can’t get off the hook when it comes to looking after your staff.
We’re a small team often working at a frenetic pace to make sure that we deliver on the promises made to our clients. This means we have to be really disciplined to leave the office on time, not have lunch ‘al desko’, and to find our own little patch of serenity in amongst the busyness. A set of circumstances replicated in workplaces up and down the land.
Having already let last year’s well-intended inaugural Wellbeing Day slip off the priority list, I knew we had to commit to something more substantial this year if it was to really fly. So here we are, day one of our Wellbeing Week.
Today we’ve enjoyed two one-hour taster sessions led by our own consultants: Ways to Wellbeing with Vix Anderton and Breathing Techniques for Stress and Resilience with Fenella Hemus. In the middle we threw a Wellbeing Lunch: a concept which I made up and then asked everyone in the room to help me define. A classic consultancy trick!
Corporate wellness and wellbeing – the latest component of an inclusive working culture
I’ll be blogging all week about wellness and wellbeing. In the meantime, here are some nuggets from today’s sessions which I hope might get some of you started on your own wellbeing plans:
- The business case: An estimated 50%-60% of sickness days are stress-related in Europe.
- We naturally experience different moods during the day, driven by our circadian rhythmns. Most people experience their peak in the morning, with a dip mid-afternoon. To be your most effective and creative, be attentive to your rhythms. For most, the familiar mid-afternoon slump can be combatted with a proper lunch break and a walk in the fresh air.
- Starting a morning ritual can be great for wellbeing. Keep it simple. Incorporate some movement (today we all did a couple of star jumps), a short meditation, and a non-caffeinated drink when you wake up (try a hot water with lemon). A morning ritual has the power to shape your day.
- Lots of small breaks throughout the day will help keep your energy high. Try observing the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes you should spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away.
- Breathing exercises have the power to decrease muscle tension, lower our heart rate and blood pressure, and balance our oxygen levels. Alternate nostrile breathing (a technique used in yoga practice called pranayama) connects both sides of your brain and settles the mind, body and emotions.
- If you feel overwhelmed, try to resist the tempatation to repeat the mantra “I’m so stressed!” in your head. Instead, reframe the situation by thinking about how you feel physically or mentally. This might be “My heart is racing” or “I feel a loss of perspective”. Then focus on your intention to do something about it (like a breathing exercise or stepping away from your desk).