5 Tips to a Happier Workplace

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happy-workplaceWhether we’re tired, stressed, hungry, or distracted by problems at home, it’s okay to have a rough day every now and then – but it shouldn’t become a regular occurrence. These quick tips for a happier workplace can help you get back on track and enhance productivity, fight fatigue, and reduce stress, all in a day’s work.

1. Make the most of your lunch break: Taking a short break can help you refresh and restore, increasing your productivity for the rest of the day. Step away from your desk and take time to enjoy your meal. If it’s nice out, head out for a 15-minute walk. Make sure you also pack an energy-filled lunch. Protein powers up your body for a busy day, warding off a dreaded afternoon energy crash.

2. Minimize multitasking: It might feel like second nature, but reaching to check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other social media while you’re working on that big project only decreases your focus and reduces your productivity. While at work, focus on the essentials. All those social media sites can wait.

3. Stop negative thoughts and behavior: Negative thought patterns impair performance and self-esteem. The next time you find yourself thinking, ” I’m not good enough,” or, “I don’t deserve to be here,” learn to recognize, debunk, and improve irrational thoughts using following technique:

Create four columns on a piece of paper.
In the first column, write an irrational thought. (“I’m useless.”)
In the second column, jot down the factual evidence that supports this thought. (“I missed an important deadline at work.”)
In the third column, list the evidence that disputes this thought. (“I meet deadlines 90% of the time.”)
In the fourth column, create an alternative, more balanced thought based on the listed evidence. (“Although I feel embarrassed that I missed a deadline, I have a lot on my plate right now. I meet deadlines most of the time and am a valuable employee.”)

Chances are, once you’ve weighed all the facts, your first thought will seem a lot less realistic than you originally believed.

4. Practice good posture: Many of us sit at a desk for hours on end without any thought to posture, but it can lead to serious health effects. Here are great tips for great posture whether you are at a desk, behind the wheel or on your feet all day.

At a desk:
Ensure that the top of your computer screen is at the height of your eyes, whether you use a standing desk or a traditional one.
To optimize your back posture, sit as far back in your chair as possible.
Try to maintain a 90-degree bend in your knees and elbows.
Make sure that you’re never resting your wrists on the corners of a table or on your keyboard.
Position your arm rests so that they support your arms with your shoulders in a low and relaxed position.
If using a standing desk, try to keep your shoulders low and relaxed, with your elbows at 90 degrees.

On your feet:
Keep loads close to your body. The further away a load is from your body, the heavier it feels.
Use a pressure-relief mat for added comfort and support.
Make sure you’re wearing a supportive pair of shoes.
Use a footrest or any surface 8 to 12 in tall. It will allow you to lift one leg at a time and will give you a much needed change in posture.

Behind the wheel:
Take breaks from driving by getting out and walking around.
Check that your shoulders are not hunched up around your ears, but are low, relaxed and level. One shoulder shouldn’t be higher than the other.
Try to keep your neck straight. Many people have a tendency to lurch their neck forward as they drive.
Your lumbar area should be well supported, either by your car’s seat or with an external lumbar pillow (a rolled towel works too).

5. Get a good night’s rest:  Poor sleep is associated with higher stress levels, increased blood pressure, attention lapses, and reduced efficiency. If you’re having trouble sleeping well, talk to your health care practitioner about different techniques that may help regulate your sleep cycle.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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July 2016
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