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Health and Wellness Initiatives to Avoid Workplace Burnout

Stretching at desk while working from home

Burnout results from chronic, work-related stress and can lead to several physical and mental issues that can hinder an employee’s life resulting in decreased workplace productivity, if not addressed. [1] When trying to prevent or address burnout, it’s important to remember that it affects both mental and physical health, and thus mental and physical wellness should be the goal for you and your staff year-round. Avoiding complications in health is key to saving hundreds in yearly costs in aspects of productivity and health insurance. These are a few workplace wellness best practices with studied benefits on mental and physical health that are easy to incorporate, and properly address work-related stress and burnout for both remote and in-office employees.

At the Office

When feeling overwhelmed at your desk, take a couple minutes to turn away from your screen and take a few deep breathes. Creating a breathing exercise for yourself encourages your nervous system to relax and for your body to reset itself. The same way your computer may need to restart when it begins to feel overwhelmed, as do you.

Spending time outside in nature can also be incredibly beneficial to health and the ability to prevent and address stress more effectively. Activities as simple as taking a daily walk around your neighborhood or sitting outside with a good book for lunch can be a great way to destress and clear your mind, while also reaping the benefits of breathing in fresh air. Local parks are a great place for quality outdoor activities you can enjoy with family or friends. Stepping outside the comfort of your workplace to enjoy the great outdoors is a good reminder to take breaks and escape the stress at no cost.

Remote Workouts

Yoga has become an increasingly popular choice of exercise over the past decade, and for good reason[2]. While it may seem like just another health craze, it’s an ancient practice originating from India, historically practiced in connection with Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sufism, and has been the focus of an abundance of studies on decreasing stress and boosting overall well-being. Because of its spiritual connotation, yoga classes often include meditation, both practices widely recognized for their immense mental, emotional, and physical health benefits. It’s been proven that practicing yoga decreases levels of cortisol in the body, which is known to be a stress hormone. Setting aside 10 minutes for a yoga session a few days a week can have a profound impact on lowering stress, anxiety, and depression. There are countless yoga practitioners that offer free tutorials and classes on YouTube specifically designed to help loosen stiff joints caused by sitting at a desk and arthritis or carpal tunnel, both common health problems associated with sedentary roles. Given the current status of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, yoga is easy to incorporate into your life without having to leave the house, and is likely to be beneficial in decreasing work, COVID, and holiday stress.

Physicians, psychologists, and physical trainers and nutritionists have been singing praises of a good night’s sleep, but when work is on your mind after leaving the office or signing out for the day, getting six to eight hours of sleep may seem impossible. It’s important to take the time to clear your mind and relax after work to avoid restlessness and insomnia. Adding a simple step like hot tea or bedtime yoga to your nightly routine can make winding down before bed much easier. Another important practice for waking up well rested is putting down electronics at least an hour before settling in for the night. Studies have proven that blue light from screens has a negative effect on the ability of the body to prepare for sleep and enter a deep sleep. If you’re willing to make the purchase, investing in a weighted blanket has also been shown to help even night owls rest easier.

To help you avoid workplace burnout, Human Capital can help to alleviate some of the stresses that come with being an employer. Human Capital’s total back office solutions are ready to simplify your business. Our benefits and HR Specialists are here to help you navigate some of our choice options of helping you and your staff receive great benefits and achieve peace of mind.

[1] Mayo Clinic

[2] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

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