12 Simple Wellness Habits to Try Weaving Into Your Workdays
While "wellness" is a trendy buzzword these days, it can be challenging to carve out dedicated time to practice self-care and take much-needed micro-breaks from the daily grind. As we juggle demands from every corner of our lives, it's easy to feel guilty about focusing on ourselves. One way to ensure you prioritize happiness is by weaving simple wellness-inspired habits throughout your workday. Actively practice incorporating tiny feel-good habits into even the most jam-packed days—the more you practice, the more second-nature it will become, and those tiny habits will reap big benefits over time.
Ready to get up from your desk, eat a filling lunch, and do something good for your mental health and well-being? Life coaches and wellness experts list the best and easiest ways to show up for yourself—even on crazy, meeting-filled Wednesdays.
Walk and talk.
“With many meetings held virtually, mention to the person you’re meeting with that you’re going to take a walk while you talk and skip the video. Put a pair of headphones on and stroll for the 30-minute call,” recommends Ivy Slater, executive business coach and the CEO of Slater Success. “You’ll expand your mind, creativity, and ability to collaborate and brainstorm new ideas out in nature. It’ll benefit the business collaboration, better your health, and encourage your meeting partner to join you and spread the wealth of health.”
Before lunch, practice restorative yoga.
“Restorative yoga is a supported version of traditional yoga. You rely more on props to assist the body as it rests while you hold light yoga poses. This practice is the best gift you can give to your body, especially if you spend most of your day sitting at a desk.” says Nory Pouncil, a self-trust coach. “Within as little as five minutes, you'll begin to feel the difference. Your body will start to release any tension in your back, and by slowing down your breathing, you'll open up the energy flow to refresh you before the next task. If you have more control over your schedule, block out 15 minutes after every 90 minutes of work.” You can start with these six beginner-friendly yoga poses that help melt away muscle tension.
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Drink more water.
“About 60 percent of your body and about 70 percent of your brain are composed of water. Hydration is crucial for overall health and also for productivity,” says Serena Poon, a celebrity chef and nutritionist. “Keeping a large bottle of water on your desk and making it a point to fill it at least twice throughout the day can help you maintain hydration and support well-being. You should be drinking your body weight in pounds in ounces of water throughout the day. One thing that people often find helpful is to purchase a fun water bottle that helps them keep track of consumption.”
Listen to your body’s signals.
“When you get an uncomfortable sensation, like a twinge in your back, headache, or stomachache, quickly and quietly focus on that part of the body and ask, ‘What does that part of me need?’ Your headache might let you know you’re thirsty—so get some water,” says Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, author and licensed clinical social worker. “This habit helps you hit your refresh button as you ease the many tensions inherent in our sedentary work lives. If you listen and respond to your body, you will experience less resentment and more fulfillment.”
Create (and honor) a morning ritual.
“In a world fighting for our constant attention, to take a moment when you first wake up, before you pick up your phone to ask yourself, ‘what do I need today to operate at my best self?’” says Diana Zalucky, a spiritual advisor and intuitive mentor. “[Sticking to a healthy morning routine] is going to set you up for success before your workday has even started.”
Do something you find fun every day.
Every single person I speak to these days is suffering from burnout in some way. Even if I'm working with a client who has a particular professional goal, I ask them what they’re doing to have fun. Unfortunately, many respond that they aren’t doing much or enough. ” says Patty Franco, an executive leadership coach. “I ask them, ‘How can you create even a few minutes to experience joy, laughter, or enjoyment in a way that’s meaningful to you today?’ This can include playing with nerf balls in the house, playing darts, singing, dancing, drawing, cooking a new recipe, watching a ‘how to’ video on YouTube, taking the dog for a long walk in the park or by the waterfront, and so on. Don’t cancel things you can truly benefit from and are important to you. You count.”
Set boundaries with work—and commit to them.
“So many people become entangled in their jobs to a point where the job becomes part of their identity, and then it begins to bleed into their personal life. This can create resentment toward the job or your boss or colleagues and can also strain your personal relationships,” says Caitlin Willard, a certified life coach and spiritual coach. “Setting boundaries can look differently for everyone—for some, it may be only working between the 9 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. ‘work hours,’ or not checking emails past 7 p.m., or committing to taking their hour-long lunch break each day. Each of us is met with different demands throughout the day, but committing to [some sort of] firm boundary can help create much-needed separation between you as a human being and the job you're paid to do.”
Give meditation a shot.
“When most people think of mindfulness or meditation, they think of sitting in a dark room for an hour, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” says Molly Galbraith, co-founder of Girls Gone Strong. “Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as adding five minutes of meditation to your morning routine or taking a 60-second pause in between emails to focus on your breath and recenter yourself. Setting aside time to be mindful will allow you to hit a pause on the stresses of the day to get present in the current moment. This allows you to feel calm and in control.”
Create a power mantra.
Rather than reaching for your phone first thing to check email or social media, empowerment coach Melody Pourmoradi wants you to recite a power mantra. “Examples include: ‘I am the kind of person who gets whatever he/she wants,’ or ‘Any challenge that comes my way is working for me,’ which sets the tone for your workday,” she says. “This can be woven in throughout the day, too: before a big presentation, the morning of an interview, or simply to get through a challenging task. Power mantras are impactful because they allow you a moment with yourself, before you become accessible to the world, specifically, your workplace, where your time and energy are in serious demand.”
Indulge your senses with aromatherapy.
“Incorporating essential oils into a nighttime routine or morning routine can add a moment of wellness and stress relief to our hectic lives,” says Nancy Reagan, the CEO and owner of Bella Reina Spa. “Each essential oil's characteristics affect the senses, moods, and emotions, telling the brain how to react. Lavender [for example] will send a signal to the brain to relax.”
Have meaningful conversations.
“Especially during the pandemic and work-from-home, it’s important to find ways to communicate with your loved ones and/or partner. Take breaks to check in with yourself and others. Mental health is important and human connection could greatly help that,” says Megwyn White, a certified clinical sexologist and the director of education at Satisfyer. If you have a partner, communicate with them during a lunch break to express your thoughts and feelings. Open the door for them to share theirs, providing a two-way street and healthy outlet for your relationship. We all need to talk it out.”
Buy (or pick!) yourself some flowers.
“Don’t wait for someone else to send them; bring your own flowers to work!” insists Allison Chawla, a certified life coach, and psychotherapist. “Flowers and plants are proven to lift spirits and boost moods over and over again in studies. Between their vibrant colors, soothing aromas, and even air-purifying qualities, surrounding yourself with greens or colorful flowers is an easy way to bring wellness and happier moments into redundant days.”
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