The one, and possibly only, benefit that a global pandemic brought us was a greater awareness of the importance of our health. Americans need this—particularly at work—where tradition rewards long hours and heavy workloads as a sign of our success.
Prioritizing Your Health at Work is Important
Can you even prioritize your health in these kinds of environments?
It’s ironic that even the healthcare industry is experiencing high rates of employee burnout; it seems even people that work in the business of health are not immune to overwork.
But during COVID something shifted so that we seemed to realize that health is everything. There is evidence that we’ve improved a bit in our efforts to stay fit and healthy. One company that makes wearable devices found “a meaningful increase in healthy activity since the onset of the pandemic.” The World Economic Forum reports, “The pandemic has made people more concerned about their health.”
If you’re worried about your health, we have tips on how to make your wellness more of a priority in the workplace, no matter the field that you’re in.
Tips for On-the-job Health
Today, most consumers say they’re interested in customized personal diets, telemedicine, and fitness apps to track their health. These are all good signs that we’re moving toward a future of better health. But our desire to improve often doesn’t translate into action when you add in the stresses and heavy requirements that come with many types of work. Sometimes work environments are simply out of our control, and so our efforts to manage stress and mental and physical health can go awry. What can you do right now to improve this?
First, use your benefits
Healthcare workers in particular are notorious for not “practicing what they preach,” i.e., taking care of themselves. But if you have benefits, we would encourage you to use them for preventative care. Medical, vision, and dental care should be a regular part of your routine, even if you never get sick, don’t wear glasses, and have healthy teeth and gums. If you’re the kind of person who is more likely to take their car for an oil change than you are to go for an annual health exam, pay attention—we’re talking to you.
Use technology to track your activity but also to streamline healthcare. Say you’re at the office and feeling sick. Instead of powering through it, consider a quick telehealth visit on your cell phone. Most companies are encouraging their workforce to dial-up a doctor on their device. It’s a fast, effective way to get the care you need without taking off from work and traveling to a distant office. Instead, the clinician comes to you in a virtual visit that can get you the care you need quickly without forcing you to leave the office. You can also take advantage of wearable devices to track activity, eating, and more. If you need an added boost to your motivation, these technologies can help you kick it into high gear.
Set some boundaries.
Part of why employees are leaving their jobs in the trend called the “Great Resignation,” is because healthy work-life boundaries have been breached by their job. Employees want a healthy environment where work stays at work. This is harder, admittedly, when you work from home. But if you want to maintain your emotional and mental health, it’s critical that you find a way to draw the line between work and home. Otherwise, even if you leave your job for another, you will bring your established work habits along for the ride. Our point is that if you don’t find a way to take care of yourself now, in your current job, the chances are higher that you won’t learn to do it in your next job. Start by actually using all of the PTO that you have for a change. Americans are notorious for failing to use all of their vacation. But these days are there for you, so make it a point to use and enjoy them.
Ready to Start Prioritizing Your Health
If you’re in a job where health just isn’t a priority, perhaps changing jobs really will help. Call on the Custom Group of Companies when your health and wellbeing require a change of scenery.
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