The Head, Heart, Gut (and Wallet) Check: Whole Body Wellbeing Ideas You Should Try

ITA Group
ITA Group

Employees involved in several wellbeing practices

Listen to your heart. What does your gut say? Let’s put our heads together. Vote with your wallet.

There are countless common phrases all about making decisions, but these can also invite stress into our lives. As Employee Wellbeing Month continues, here are some common concerns that plague our “brains” and what you can do to help. 

The Head—Unplugging

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? If you’re like most, you reach for your phone that is conveniently placed right next to you. We tend to see what the world is doing even before we start our own day.

50–70 million Americans suffer from sleep disturbances that negatively affect their work, home and personal lives.

Technology offers many ways to help improve our health, from exercise and recipe apps to healthy programs and meditations to community forums where people can connect. But it’s still important to unplug. Anxiety, mood swings, irritability, sadness, sleep troubles and high stress can, in part, be attributed to overstimulation due to social media, phone calls, text messages, television and news from the many technological devices we have surrounding us today.

What you can try:

Employees need to be able to take a mental break at home to set them up to succeed at work. When the work-life line gets blurred, anxiety and stress levels rise. To combat this, consider “unplugging” on the weekend and maybe an hour or two before bedtime every evening. Another option is going for walks or some other exercise and leaving your phone at home or putting it in airplane mode. This makes you more present in the moment. Allowing yourself unplug is very therapeutic and reduces the strain and intensity of feeling required to answer questions, or constantly know what is going on in the world.

The Heart—Volunteer Opportunities

Employees want to work for companies that care. According to Cone Research, 79% of people prefer to work for a socially responsible company. Volunteer opportunities give employees a sense of purpose and makes them feel more connected to their community and your company-wide social responsibility efforts. And it’s not just young people. Baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z all value the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.

What you can try:

Organize a volunteer day at a local non-profit such as a park, public school or neighborhood organization. Send out a survey beforehand to see where people are most interested in volunteering. Programs must be inclusive of today’s diverse workforce and provide volunteering and giving opportunities that align with the employees’ environments and schedules. There should be onsite volunteer events for call center staff, virtual events for remote workers, and opportunities for employees to include their family and friends to make volunteer and giving experiences more inclusive for the entire workforce. After all, community involvement and volunteering make better employees and increase engagement in organizations.

The Gut—Healthy Potluck

Employees love special events that happen in the workplace. Anything that distracts them from the daily grind of their day-to-day is a good thing. When you step away from your desk, interact with coworkers and take a mental break, you’re improving your wellbeing. Not only does lunch with your coworkers allow you to chat and catch up, it can encourage you to try new foods and take the time to eat your entire meal rather than scarf down snacks between meetings.

What you can try:

A healthy office potluck is a great way to encourage healthy eating among employees. By bringing in tasty, healthy foods employees get the chance to try new things and discover that they might like healthier foods more than they thought. While normal office potlucks tend to leave employees over-stuffed and sluggish, a potluck full of fresh, nutritious foods will give employees an energy boost, promote productivity and help with concentration.

A healthy potluck will also bring employees together and keep office morale high. Encourage everyone to bring their favorite healthy dish or to try out a new recipe.

Raffle away a gift card to the winning dish and send out the recipes after the event. To get you started, here are some of our favorite recipes.

The Wallet—Financial Advisor

Financial stress can affect your heath, which, in turn, can affect your home life, career and personal relationships. According to findings from Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s 2017 Workplace Benefits Report Millennial Supplement, millennials spend more time at work worrying about their personal financial wellness than their older counterparts, and they are actively looking to their employers for tools, education, support and guidance. Two of the most common effects of financial stress are anxiety and depression. These two conditions usually go hand-in-hand. Each one is a debilitating condition that makes it hard to focus at work, spend time with your family, and keep up with your bills and other financial responsibilities.

What you can try:

One way to help employees get a handle on their money is to offer classes about financial concepts. Provide workshops on basic concepts like budgeting and helping employees understand their retirement plans.

It’s important to not just offer a program, but to provide a road map that will enhance their knowledge about a broad range of financial topics, and empower them to take the necessary steps toward financial wellness. Invite your financial advisor into the organization and have a sign-up sheet so that employees can schedule 15–30 minute sessions to discuss their financial benefits and planning for their future.

By addressing your employees’ wellbeing concerns you demonstrate you care about them, not just what they produce for you. Remember: Everyone who works is balancing something. Whether it’s at work, at home or where we socialize or volunteer, there are a lot of components that need to be attended to. Providing resources for your team to find balance—intellectually, emotionally, financially or otherwise—after they clock out allows them to put more discretionary effort into their work. You can find even more great ways to incorporate employee wellbeing into your success strategy with this ebook.

Employee Wellbeing Ebook Download Image

And don’t forget to check out (and print out) our Employee Wellbeing Calendar for ideas you can start practicing right now!