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Tips for Wellness in the Workplace
A lot of our young life is looking forward to the future, moving out on our own and working in a career we love. Getting through school is a great accomplishment and needs to be celebrated, but it’s good to remember that next step where you’re supposed to find the “perfect job” is almost as attainable as finding a unicorn. This isn’t pessimistic; this is the reality of being an adult. When you finally get employed on a full-time basis there is a whole new set of rules and expectations to follow and it can be overwhelming. Even the coolest “dream job” is going to have aspects that aren’t fun or that challenge you in ways that might be stressful. It is important to stay true to yourself and why you have chosen the career path you are on. Sometimes there will be sacrifices and sometimes it will be rewarding!
- Stay organized and complete the work you are there to do. Get a planner (an electronic or paper version). Make sure to consistently use it and highlight or cross off what you have accomplished. Stay connected to your superiors and check that you are doing what they are expecting of you. This way will help you learn the job more quickly too!
- Show up! Yes we know you are there, but can you be present mentally as well? Taking your breaks is important and try to stay focused on your work. Finding balance is something we hear about often, but it is actually something you should try to accomplish. It will help you be part of the team at work and assist others to do the same.
- Make self care kit at work to use when you are feeling stressed or unable to focus. Fill a bag or box with items that are silly, fun and can give you a real brain break from work. I personally love the silly games you can play with co-workers.
- Communicate with someone face to face when you feel there is a problem. Eeekkk-this is so scary and awkward but it needs to be done to move forward. Remember you will be working with your co-workers for possibly years to come. You want to have an open, professional dialogue with them to avoid tension. You really don’t want to dread going to work because that could lead to you hating it there. Having a face to face conversation with someone can help clear any misunderstandings.
- Help the workplace to be a positive experience for everyone in it. After working for a decade with many co-workers it was apparent that you do need to make an effort to be a team player. This helps your day go by so much smoother when you are working with your clients, co-workers or superiors with a positive attitude. This isn’t about always being “happy” but it is proven that others can feel your energy when you walk into the room with either a bad mood or a good mood. Being mindful of this and making efforts will help you in your workplace.
- Actually read the policies and procedures manual. Why? Because you should know what you are and aren’t entitled to. Knowing when and how to access sick days, benefits, EAP (if you’re lucky enough to have this!) etc. can be tremendously helpful if when you need them. Knowing the ins and outs of how things work can also help you avoid conflict or misunderstandings with your employer and co-workers. Sometimes these documents are not written in plain language, so it’s completely ok to straight up ask your manager or Human Resources person for clarification. If you are in a unionized workplace, find out who your union rep is and contact them for info.
There’s other things we need to realize when embarking on our careers and it’s sometimes not feeling great at work. There will be an ebb and flow throughout your career with your stress, happiness and the dreaded burn out. You can’t always have the best energy or be the most productive and that is 100% ok! Your personal life, or own mental health, might have an impact on your performance at work and it’s ok to take some time off to regroup. As long as you stay honest with yourself about what is going on and really focusing on self care you will be able to get through it. I like to think of this quote from time to time when I’m not having the best time.
“Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely!” -unknown
Marnie is the Engagement and Partnership Coordinator and has been happily working front line in the mental health field for over a decade. She enjoys a good joke, working at mym and spending time at home relaxing.
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