Our philosophy at Opportunity Kitchen is that truly healthy workplaces require a two-pronged approach: top-down and bottom-up.
Yes, leaders and management must commit to the creation of a work environment that fosters well-being. But, each individual employee, from the lowest person on the totem pole to the Board Chairman is also a critical contributor to the creation of that work environment.
The following steps are three key ways that you can take control of your relationship to work and contribute to a healthier workplace for everyone.
Re-connecting with ourselves
Most of us are disconnected from ourselves and the messages our bodies and minds are sending us. We ignore signs of stress, emotional and physical pain. We don’t know when we’re hungry or when we’re full. We ignore how different interactions make us feel, realizing only that we are drained at the end of the day. In the desperate and never-ending quest to get everything done, we have de-prioritized our own human experience. In order to take control of the overwhelm, we have to reconnect with the (sometimes unpleasant) messages our systems are sending us, and learn to address them.
Learn more effective coping skills
Ignoring our needs in the short term may feel like it’s working, but in the long term, it backfires. We burn out, become disengaged from our work, and become vulnerable to a startling array of physical and mental illnesses. Once we start recognizing those needs, we need to be able to address them effectively. Learning to set boundaries, ask for what you need, and self soothe are all helpful tools to add to your skillset.
Contributing to a healthy culture by modeling, and providing accountability and support
Once we are in touch with ourselves and have healthy ways to address our needs, we can contribute to the culture in our workplaces (and in our other communities) by modeling these behaviors, creating accountability partnerships with one another, and providing support for our colleagues. We all need a gentle reminder to take a break now and again, and social support is paramount for sustainable change.
If you’d like to build a healthier relationship to work for yourself or your team, connect with us!