By Courtney Cobbs. Photography by Eric Michael Ward.
As with any and all wellness practices and suggestions, find what works for you and leave what doesn’t. If something sounds appealing but there’s one or two aspects you’re not too sure about, ask yourself what would need tweaking in order for you to try or embrace the practice.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before we dive into the wellness practice suggestions:
1. What gets me out of the bed in the morning as I prepare myself for my work? i.e: What about my work lights me up?
2. What do I hope to aim for in my work environment? For example, do I aim to bring creative and unique ideas to my workplace, serve clients well, increase my connection with my coworkers, etc.
3. If my work is unfulfilling, what about it is unfulfilling and how can I cultivate some sense of meaning during my time doing this work? Additionally, how am I positioning myself for something more fulfilling?
4. Where does my physical, mental, and emotional wellness stand in relation to my work?
Physical wellness requires you be grounded in your body to notice its messages to you. Physical wellness also involves pleasure, body movement, and rest.
1. Consider body work. If you have the ability to take paid sick leave or schedule time to care of yourself: PLEASE do so. Acupuncture, massage, Reiki, and other holistic forms of body work can be tremendously helpful in helping us achieve our workplace goals. When we feel good in our bodies we are much more present and can tap into our creativity much more easily. Body work also assists with keeping our immune systems healthy which ultimately means less time off feeling sick and run down.
2. Connect with your body. Carve out 10-15 minutes (or more if you can!) to connect with your body. If you have your own office consider doing some yoga during your lunch break. If yoga isn’t your thing, consider having a little dance break. I personally like to engage in self-massage at work. I’m also a fan of wearing a yoni egg to assist with becoming more in tune with my body and enhancing my creativity. The sacral chakra is particularly stimulated by yoni eggs and the sacral chakra is an important chakra for accessing our creativity.
There’s also nothing wrong with simply taking a mindful walk to get some air or clear your head.
3. Aromatherapy. If your work space lends itself to incorporating aromatherapy, consider purchasing an essential oil diffuser or an all-natural scented candle for your space. If you’d like some assistance with choosing the right essential oil for you, check out this article on 15 Best Essential Oils and Their Health Benefits
4. Assess Your Diet. Consider the choices you make at every meal and ask if they support your physical wellness. We are not perfect beings and not every meal will be “perfect” nor should it be; however, there are certain foods that assist our bodies with combating stress, improving focus, and improving our mood. If you notice yourself feeling sluggish after your morning or midday meal it may be worth considering a change.
Mental & Emotional Wellness
Throughout the course of the day we have thousands of thoughts and lots of emotions running through us. By utilizing some of these wellness practices you can feel more empowered mentally and emotionally.
1. Consider some greenery
Studies have shown that plants in the office can boost productivity, inspire new creativity, and reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and fatigue. There are also physical benefits such as lowered blood pressure. Who among us doesn’t breathe a little bit easier when plants are around? Evaluate the lighting situation in your workplace and choose a plant that will thrive in the space and one you can easily care for.
2. Affirm What It Is You Desire
Some people practice affirmations to manifest a loving relationship or a greater sense of inner peace. Why not use affirmations for your career? Take a few minutes before you go into work or as you go about your day to affirm what it is you wish to see for yourself. Speak it as if it’s already occurring.
Here are a few examples:
I am grateful to work in an environment full of easygoing, kind, and creative individuals. I appreciate how we all work together as a team.
I am happy that the work I do benefits me as well as society.
“I know what when I do my best at my job, I am rewarded in all sorts of ways.”
3. Create Boundaries
If you have the agency to say no to projects, favors, or “opportunities” that you don’t have the bandwidth for, find ways to say no. If there is an unspoken expectation that you check your email outside of work (and there’s no real benefit in you doing so OR it causes a lot of stress), perhaps consider setting an “auto reply” for your incoming emails on the weekend. “Thank you so much for your email. I consider my weekends sacred time. I love spending time with friends/ engaging my creativity/ having my mind engaged in non-work related activities/etc and will respond to your email when I return to the office during my regular work hours. Thank you for your understanding.”
4. Affirm Your Emotions
Suppressing our emotions is rarely a good idea. Recognize your emotions and give yourself permission to feel what you feel. Being aware of your own thoughts and emotions helps you to recognize your own emotional responses to workplace events and assist you with communicating effectively with co-workers.
If you’re constantly resisting the fact that you’re bored at work you may not give yourself permission to ask your supervisor for more stimulating assignments or get to work on a new assignment that really gets your creative juices flowing.
5. Feed Yourself Inspirational Content
Instead of reading another article on some mainstream news website, consider feeding yourself positive content.
Sometimes during my lunch break I like to listen to Abraham Hicks, Abiola Abrams, and Ralph Smart
6. Create an After-Work Ritual
If you have trouble separating yourself from work a ritual can be useful. Some people find it useful to remove their work clothes and slip into something more comfortable or something that doesn’t have the energy of work lingering on it.Perhaps you light a candle or an incense when you get home. Give thanks for having a dwelling to come home to. Find whatever ritual resonates for you.
I hope these ideas have been helpful to you. I would love to know what practices you engage in to keep yourself healthy in the workplace and if you tried any of these ideas.
Courtney Cobbs is a Reiki Master Teacher who lives in Chicago. She loves contributing to Black Girl in Om to connect with other women of color who are into holistic self-care/self love practices. You can connect with Courtney on her Instagram: purplefemme11 and her blog: Violet Heart Wellness