Want to ensure you are a wellness champion at work?
We round up the top expert advice, wisdom and ideas, from life coaches to Zen Masters, on how to be a wellness champion not only at work, but at home and in your personal life too… discovering that in fact, this is the only way to be a true wellness champion at all.
How to be a wellness champion in the workplace:
- Lead by example
- Take care over your working environment: a clear desk = a clear mind
- Show your colleagues you care by providing them with wellness resources
- Live by the mentality “well-being = wealth-being”
- View things through a positive lens, be aware of the gifts around you and appreciate them
Be the light
Mahatma Ghandi said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’, so if you want to be a wellness champion and enhance the wellness of those around you, whether at work, or at home, then starting with yourself is the perfect beginning. We can’t force others to make changes, but real change only occurs when someone makes their own, internal decision to do so. The one thing we can do, is be a beacon of light, shining the way, and showing others how our own life is improving with the changes we make in our own lives, be it giving up alcohol, furthering our education or training for a triathlon.
The charity Mind suggests that at work, ‘Colleagues take cues from how leaders behave’. Simply encouraging your staff to take their lunch break at work while you slave away at your desk, or advising them to improve their health whilst organising social events at the local pub, sends a confusing message. But getting up from your desk, shining the light and heading out for a walk or to a yoga class not only shows your team that it’s OK to take a break, but returning back with a glow on your face and new productive, relaxed take on the afternoon will soon inspire them to create the same experience in their own working lives. Likewise, instigating social and team building events that take place without the lubricant of alcohol, and getting fully involved shows your team where your focus lies.
Live like a Zen master
‘Do not allow yourself to be disrupted by your anxieties or troubles – the key to keeping your mind invigorated is to first put the things around you in order’, says Shunmyō Masuno in his book Zen: The Art of Simple Living. And simplicity is key here – it may seem like a simple idea, but organising your desk is Masuno’s number six tip in living like a Zen master, and a great first step in ‘being the light’. As he explains, ‘Your desk is a mirror that reflects the mind… In Zen temples, we clean with all our heart. With every sweep of the broom, you clear out the dust in your mind. With every swipe of the cloth, your heart gleams brighter’.
Make a big statement
Making a big, positive statement within your workplace culture can be a huge driver to show employees that you champion their wellness. Signing yourself and your team up to take on a wellness challenge together, such as One Year No Beer (OYNB), can be a hugely positive and meaningful step to show your team how passionate you are about their wellness, plus a practical one too, which could result in work and life-transforming change.
Likewise, signing the ‘Time to Change Pledge’ also sends an overall positive message to your whole organisation that your company promotes, supports and encourages talking about mental health, helping to remove the stigma that often surrounds open conversations around mental health at work. And it won’t just benefit your employees; mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1035 per employees, per year.
Make wellbeing a foundation for your success
Rather than the old model of ‘doing’ well at work to create success, Megan McNealy encourages us to start ‘being’ well at work to create success, in her new book Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Well-being for Success’. McNealy believes that wellbeing drives success. ‘I originally assumed that my well-being quest would derail my career, but the opposite happened’ she shares. ‘Most of the workforce worldwide mistakenly believes that well-being will come after success, when you have the time and the money to focus on it. Nothing could be further from the truth’, she explains. ‘The truth is that total well-being drives, promotes and accelerates success, perfect health, joy, optimal productivity, and peak performance in business and in life.’ Her ethos? Well-being = Wealth-being.
See everything you have as a gift
In Oprah’s beautiful The Path Made Clear, Bishop T.D Jakes implores us to look at our lives and see everything we have as a gift, ‘…every moment is a gift. Every second is a gift. Every idea is a gift. Everybody you meet is a gift. You are gifted with opportunities to begin to maximise what you’ve got’, he shares. Look around you and the things you have to work with.
How can you use these gifts to champion your own, and other’s wellness? And ultimately, how does this feed into your life’s purpose? How can you use your time and energy ‘for your highest and best use’? How can being a wellness champion add more meaning and fulfilment to your life? Your answers, whatever they may be, are your unique and individual inspiration to draw from.
Being a workplace wellness champion
So by incorporating these simple techniques and behaviours into your working life, you can help to ensure you and your colleagues around you take notice of the importance of physical and mental wellbeing to champion for collective success.