Many of us make resolutions in January to try and reduce work-related stress and improve our wellbeing. But they can quickly fall by the wayside once we get back into the swing of work and running our business.
Are there any simple practical steps you could take to improve your wellbeing and that of your staff in 2024?
1. Set boundaries
Technology has brought many gains in productivity and efficiency, but it has also meant that we are more connected to work than ever. Being constantly available can make it difficult to switch off and may lead to feelings of burnout.
Setting boundaries so that work doesn't invade your home life can give you proper rest and help you to feel more energised. Exactly where those boundaries lie is likely to be unique to you, so the important thing is to decide what is right for you and then communicate that to others.
Why not try:
- Using your status message on Teams, or 'out of office,' to show when you are or aren't available?
- Having separate communication methods - email address or messaging apps - for your work and private life?
- If you work from home, creating a workspace environment where you can shut the door at the end of the day and finish work?
- Scheduling down time and treating that time as important and urgent as any work appointment?
2. Stay connected
We can feel that a situation we are going through or an experience we have had is unique to us. However, this is rarely the case. Often there are others in our network, whether professional or personal, who have undergone or are undergoing something similar. Tapping into this resource can help us to find successful coping strategies.
Therefore, rather than isolating and trying to work even harder when under stress, why not try reaching out to others?
Could you regularly take some time out for a coffee or lunch with someone you have not seen for a while? Do you belong to (or could you join) a professional organisation that has networking opportunities?
Building up in-person connections can help you to gain a greater sense of community and a feeling of being connected that will make a huge difference to your wellbeing.
3. Give back
Giving not only benefits the recipient, but also has considerable effects on the wellbeing of the giver.
Work can provide many opportunities for giving back. Why not try:
- Offering to help a colleague or business contact with something?
- Making a coffee for colleagues?
- Giving a card or small gift to a colleague who has been through a life event?
- Volunteering to mentor or coach someone, whether in the workplace or via a voluntary role in a membership organisation you belong to?
Caring for wellbeing is a constant balancing act, but setting boundaries that allow you to get proper rest, staying connected with others, and finding opportunities to give back can all help!