Workplace

Surviving (and Thriving) After a Bad Day in the Office

When you're caught in the whirlwind of a bad workday, it's essential to understand your emotional state. Drawing from years of expertise in corporate wellness, let's dive deeper into effective strategies that can turn your challenging workday around.

July 1, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

We've all experienced those days at work when everything seems to go wrong. The stress starts mounting, your workload appears insurmountable, and even the smallest workplace frictions feel amplified. 

During these challenging times, understanding how to navigate and transform these experiences can have a significant impact on your overall well-being and productivity. 

Drawing from years of expertise in corporate wellness, let's dive deeper into effective strategies that can turn your challenging workday around.

Understanding the Undercurrent

When you're caught in the whirlwind of a bad workday, it's essential to understand your emotional state. Emotional self-awareness—the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions—is a critical aspect of emotional intelligence. It allows you to pinpoint the stress triggers, thereby enabling you to navigate them more effectively.

During such challenging times, find a quiet, private space. Close your eyes and focus on your feelings without attempting to alter or judge them. Identify your emotional state and label it—this could range from feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or frustrated. Acknowledge the events or interactions that have led to these emotions. This process not only allows you to dissociate from immediate emotional distress but also helps in developing a comprehensive coping strategy.

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it." - Maya Angelou

The Power of Mindful Breaks

In the face of mounting stress, one might feel compelled to plow through the work without any breaks. However, this approach often leads to mental fatigue and diminished productivity. Short, regular breaks offer an opportunity for your mind to reset, reduce stress, and enhance mental agility.

Consider adopting the Pomodoro Technique—a time management method that encourages you to work in focused time blocks, typically 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. During these breaks, engage in mindfulness activities such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises. 

Mindfulness helps ground you in the present moment, offering a respite from the anxieties tied to your work. Even simply enjoying a peaceful moment staring out the window or savoring your coffee can provide a calming effect.

Regain Control with the Eisenhower Box

When stress is peaking, it often stems from a feeling of losing control over your tasks. The Eisenhower Box—a productivity tool named after the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower—can help you regain this control. This method allows you to categorize your tasks into four quadrants: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important.

By visually organizing your tasks, you can identify what needs your immediate attention, what can be scheduled for later, what can be delegated, and what can be eliminated. This approach not only helps in efficient time management but also provides a sense of control and accomplishment as you navigate your way through the workday.

The Power of Communication and Collaboration

In the chaotic throes of a demanding workday, it's crucial not to overlook the value of communication and collaboration. Strong communication fosters a supportive environment that can significantly lighten your emotional load and lead to more effective problem-solving.

Start by openly discussing your current challenges with your colleagues or superiors. Express your thoughts and feelings in a constructive manner, ensuring to focus on the situation, not the individuals involved. For instance, instead of saying "I can't meet this deadline because of all the other work I have," try expressing it as, "I'm concerned about juggling the current project with the upcoming deadline. Do you have any suggestions, or could we possibly redistribute some tasks?"

Remember, your colleagues might be unaware of your workload or the challenges you're facing. By communicating your situation, you not only relieve some of your stress but also open up opportunities for others to provide assistance or offer solutions. It can also stimulate a collective discussion about workload distribution, eventually leading to a more balanced and manageable workflow.

The Role of Self-Care in Workplace Wellness

While professional strategies are critical in managing a tough workday, don't underestimate the importance of personal self-care practices in maintaining overall workplace wellness. Engaging in self-care activities is not indulgent; rather, it's a vital part of preserving your mental and physical health, particularly during challenging times.

Consider the various forms of self-care and how they could be integrated into your routine. This could involve physical activities, such as going for a walk, doing yoga, or hitting the gym. Physical exercise triggers the release of endorphins—often referred to as 'feel-good hormones'—which can help to alleviate stress and improve mood.

Nutrition and Mindfulness

Nutrition also plays an essential role in managing stress. Consuming a balanced diet fuels your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to cope with stress. Therefore, even during a hectic workday, make time to prepare and consume nutritious meals. Hydration is also important, as even mild dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue and decreased cognitive functioning.

Mindfulness and relaxation activities can also significantly contribute to stress management. This might involve practices such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation. These activities promote a sense of calm, improve focus, and help in detaching from immediate stressors.

Lastly, make sure to prioritize rest and sleep. Lack of sleep can amplify feelings of stress and reduce your ability to cope with challenges. Ensure you're getting sufficient sleep each night to allow your body and mind to recover from the day's stresses.

Closing Thoughts

While bad days at work are inevitable, they don't have to dictate your overall work experience. By harnessing emotional self-awareness, taking mindful breaks, employing effective time management strategies, fostering open communication, and prioritizing self-care, you can transform a bad day into an opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Occupational Wellbeing

Navigate Virtual Burnout: Wellness Centered Guide to Thriving

January 10, 2023
The Wellness Tribe Team

Virtual meetings have become a staple in our new normal of remote work, but they can also be a source of frustration and burnout. From background distractions to feelings of isolation, the virtual meeting struggle is all too real. In this article, we will dive into the common struggles of virtual meetings and provide practical tips for managing them. 

From setting boundaries to finding ways to stay engaged, we will give you the tools you need to make virtual meetings less of a struggle and more productive. So join us as we explore the virtual meeting struggle and discover ways to stay sane in this new world of remote work.

The Zoom-ed Out Zone

Navigate Virtual Burnout: Wellness Centered Guide to Thriving
Photo by Iyus sugiharto on Unsplash

As we stare into our screens for hours on end, it's easy to fall into a state of mental fatigue. The monotony of staring at the same faces, the lack of engagement, and constant interruptions can leave us feeling stressed and burnt out. Virtual meeting fatigue is real, and staying focused and engaged can be hard during long virtual meetings. 

It's not uncommon to find yourself daydreaming, checking your phone, or multitasking during virtual meetings. This constant state of distraction can lead to decreased productivity and increased stress levels. But don't worry; there are ways to combat the Zoom-ed Out Zone and make virtual meetings more manageable.

A Virtual Escape

"Virtual meetings are like a game of telephone, by the time the message reaches the end, it's usually distorted." - Unknown

Virtual meetings can be a real challenge, but there are practical ways to manage the difficulties they bring. To make the most of your virtual meetings, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Setting boundaries: It's important to set boundaries with your colleagues and family members to make sure you have a dedicated workspace and time for virtual meetings.
  • Creating a dedicated workspace: Set up a dedicated workspace with a comfortable chair and good lighting. This will help you stay focused and engaged during virtual meetings.
  • Finding ways to stay engaged: Try to find ways to stay engaged during virtual meetings, such as by participating in discussions, asking questions, or taking notes.
  • Self-care strategies: Make time for self-care and maintain a positive mindset during virtual meetings. This can include taking breaks, stretching, or practicing deep breathing exercises.
  • Prioritize your schedule: Make sure you're not overloading yourself with too many virtual meetings in one day, and try to schedule breaks in between the meetings.

Implementing these practical tips and strategies can make virtual meetings more manageable and less of a struggle. Remember to take care of yourself and maintain a positive mindset during virtual meetings, and you'll be able to stay sane and productive.

The Virtual Meeting Revolution

Navigate Virtual Burnout: Wellness Centered Guide to Thriving
Photo by Headway on Unsplash 

Implementing practical tips and strategies for virtual meetings can revolutionize the way we experience them. By setting boundaries, creating a dedicated workspace, and finding ways to stay engaged, we can make virtual meetings less of a struggle and more enjoyable. Self-care strategies such as taking breaks and maintaining a positive mindset can also greatly improve the virtual meeting experience.

But the revolution doesn't stop there; we can make virtual meetings more interactive and productive by using the latest technologies and tools. By using virtual reality, breakout rooms, and interactive polls, we can make virtual meetings more engaging and create a sense of togetherness.

Conclusion

We hope this article has been a beacon of hope in the stormy seas of virtual meetings. We urge you to share your own tips and strategies for staying sane during virtual meetings with us, and let's make virtual meetings a thing of the past. It's time to take control of our virtual experiences and make virtual meetings work for us, not against us. Let's revolutionize the virtual meeting experience and make it more enjoyable and productive for all.

Productivity

How to Maximize Your Efficiency While Working From Home

October 12, 2022
The Wellness Tribe

It can be challenging for many of us to work remotely or in the office when productivity drops, and with it come new obstacles in the workplace. In the face of distractions, interruptions, and the constant need to maintain an adaptable mentality, it may be challenging to manage, pursue, and commit to new strategies to increase job performance.

Regardless of where you are in your career or how you got there, growing yourself professionally should be an ongoing exercise that challenges and inspires you.

Putting it off is a bad idea until your manager brings it up in your performance review. By following these strategies, you can elevate your professional game and become your most productive self, in addition to improving your health and wellbeing at workplace.

Why Remote Work Is a Good Idea

Why Remote Work Is a Good Idea
Photo by Windows on Unsplash

There is a preferred work environment for everyone. Some prefer complete solitude, while others need the hustle of a coffee shop to stay focused. But, no matter our individual preferences, none of us enjoy working with noisy colleagues.

Here are some statistics to consider: 

  • There is a 61 percent belief that noisy coworkers are the most distracting factor at work; 
  • To maximize efficiency, 86% prefer working alone; and 
  • There is a 40% perception that spontaneous meetings are a huge distraction in the workplace.

The good thing about working remotely is you don't have to deal with all these distractions. Although it may sound harsh, the best advice is to solve your own problems. Do not ask questions that Google cannot answer. Don't put yourself in a position where you need to be micromanaged.

The Pomodoro Method

Working nonstop for a long time starts to fry your brain. On the other hand, experts claim that working in 90-minute increments increases productivity.

There is a limit to how long the human mind can work before it has to rest, which is 90 to 120 minutes in reality. So give yourself a break after 90 minutes and focus entirely on the most critical item on your priority list.

You may want to explore the Pomodoro Technique if you aren't satisfied with recurring 90-minute work periods. Focus on one assignment for 25 minutes. Then, take five minutes to rest. Make three more repetitions of this method.

In case your workplace has an employee wellbeing program, chances are you've already introduced the Pomodoro method. If not, consider doing so in the future. 

How to Overcome Procrastination

‍How to Overcome Procrastination
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

Typical workers spend 2 hours a day procrastinating. A typical individual takes 23 minutes to regain focus after being sidetracked. Sound familiar, doesn't it?

Some of the distractions we enjoy are keeping an eye on Twitter, reading the news, organizing our inboxes, and cleaning our desks. A frightening aspect of our behavior is that we are quite adept at convincing ourselves that such distractions are part of our job description. With the increasing size and importance of assignments, most people are becoming more prone to procrastinating.

However, we should not let ourselves be fooled: when we delay, we focus on the worst aspects of our endeavor, which makes the task seem even bigger. Rather, follow our favorite advertising campaign: Simply do it and consider your priorities list.

Don't let email be your afternoon escape, even if you avoided it in the morning. Individuals check their email 36 times per hour on average. This amounts to 13 hours spent reading, deleting, sorting, and sending weekly emails. You don't have to respond to an incoming email immediately. Keep a regular schedule of checking your email throughout the day instead of rushing.

Creative Exhaustion

Creativity is a crucial trait of a successful employee, whether you spend your days creating art in Illustrator or crunching figures in Excel. But how can you stop an afternoon brain cramp when creative thoughts appear out of reach? 

Keep your research time limited so that you can overcome procrastination. Getting lost in a sea of GIFs and further away from your starting point can be an easy trap. So to jumpstart your momentum and prevent afternoon headaches, turn your gaze away from your device.

On average, people spend 7.4 hours per day in front of a computer screen. Taking a diary into a brainstorming session will prevent dry eyes. Consider drawing a flowchart or doodling to get a better sense of the scale of your project. 

Finally, use your downtime to brainstorm. There is no denying the fact that many of our best ideas come while driving or taking a shower, so it is important to be able to leave work at work.

Mastering the Art of Working Remotely

In recent years, remote labor has been on the rise. But, in addition to its apparent advantages, working remotely also has its disadvantages. The benefits are a 30-second commute, greater flexibility, and more control over your surroundings.

Remote work can be difficult to separate professional and family lives without physically separating them.

Additionally, you may find it difficult to focus while roommates, children, and spouses are in the background. 

Establish a Home Office or Desk

If you feel like working from your bed or sofa, we recommend doing so for a change of scenery. Working from home, however, requires consistency. Establish your main workstation at the kitchen table or at a desk during the day.

It will help you associate that location with efficiency, productivity, and work. In addition, you get bonus points if you equip the site with dual monitors, a charging station, and anything else you need to get the job done.

Prepare Yourself for a Lot of Communication

Working remotely makes your team members and management less likely to become entangled in unexpected verbal brainstorming sessions. Consider checking in with them more often than usual. Communicate your objectives and initiatives to your team or collaborators.

Get your coworkers together for a coffee chat or remote Zoom meeting. Be sure to clarify any unclear details in emails or virtual meetings. Despite being away from your workplace, don't let yourself go unnoticed.

Setting Your Logoff Time

There are many challenges associated with working from home. For example, some days, you'll want to log out at 3, while on other days, you'll want to work until 8 p.m. Having the freedom to work from home is excellent, but don't let it compromise your well-being. 

By setting a logoff time, you’ll be able to stay productive until the end of the day, and you’ll know exactly when it’s time to watch TV, cook dinner, or go for a walk with your spouse.

Join the Wellness Tribe

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This month we are focusing on food and how it affects your mental health. Join us as we bring in the most relevant interesting content from across the wellness segment.

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