June is National Employee Wellness Month, and there is no time like the present to celebrate, especially as employees are starting to return to their offices, resuming their daily routines, and reconnecting with peers in person more often. This month provides an opportunity for organizations to improve existing wellness programs and support their employees in developing strategies for improved physical, mental, and emotional well-being in the workplace.
Boosting emotional well-being is not about ignoring your emotions; they are a normal and healthy part of life. Emotional well-being comes from developing more emotional awareness, emotion regulation, and emotional recovery. That means increasing emotional well-being is possible for just about everyone, but to do so, we need to build some essential skills.
There are several ways to improve your emotional well-being, and a quick Google search will offer ideas, challenges, resources, and tools.
Here are five strategies to get started:
1. Develop Your Emotional Self-awareness
Emotional self-awareness often develops from practicing and engaging in self-reflection—What am I feeling? Why am I feeling these things? And what might help me stop feeling these things? When we're not in touch with our emotions, we may engage in behaviours that hurt our emotional well-being. But, when we pay more attention to ourselves and our needs, we'll begin to learn what affects our emotions, and as a result, we can take actions that help us have more enjoyable emotions.
2. Practice "Radical Acceptance"
One of the ways you can help yourself (and others) to develop emotional resilience is through a mindfulness concept called Radical Acceptance. It requires that you look at yourself and the world in a new way. You need to let go of your ideas about how you "should be" and truly accept how you are. When you radically accept the present moment, you allow yourself the chance to take responsibility for the role that you have played in creating the current reality. It is important to recognize that things are rarely "all" anyone's fault. When you can accept responsibility for the only things that are indeed within your control – your thoughts and behaviours – then you are taking back a great deal of personal power.
3. Shift Your Mindset Towards the Positive
Another emotional well-being strategy involves re-focusing your energy away from the bad things and towards the good things. For example, if we're focusing on the worst things in our lives or a frustrating situation at work, we might shift our attention to focus on the good parts. Look for the good in a situation and accept that there will be factors you love and other aspects you can do without. It's easier said than done, but research shows that training ourselves to focus on neutral rather than threatening stuff can reduce anxiety.
4. Spend Time Working Outside
Whether you're working at the office or remotely, see if it's possible to work outside every so often. Perhaps your office has an outdoor space, or maybe there is a park nearby where teams could head for lunch or a meeting. Also, walking meetings can be a welcome break from the indoor fluorescent lighting and computer screens. If you can't get outdoors during the workday, finding some access to windows can offer some of the same benefits.
5. Learn about financial well-being
How do we practice self-care when it comes to our wallets? Although thinking about work and money may seem stressful at first, practicing self-care in these domains reduces our stress in the long run. Everyone's career and financial needs are unique. Still, we all benefit from setting realistic goals for our individual needs and learning how to prioritize to accomplish our goals. Then, we can work on building good habits to use our money efficiently.
Practicing career emotional wellness can allow individuals to achieve a work-life balance and do things to reach their long-term career goals, such as learning new skills or improving existing ones. As a result, individuals can have a fulfilling work-life without undermining their personal pursuits and family lives.
Some content adapted from The Berkeley Well-Being Institute
Photo from Jupiterimages