Bring the 5 Dimensions of Wellness to Your Office

1 Feb 2024

According to the Jefferson Center for Mental Health, there are 5 Dimensions of Wellness that should exist in your daily life – this includes the office. It encompasses Physical, Emotional, Social, Spiritual, and Intellectual wellness, all of which need to be addressed to foster personal wellness. 

It’s easy to neglect personal wellness at the office. However, bringing these 5 dimensions of wellness to your office can overall cultivate a holistically thriving environment. After all, we first need to ensure personal wellness before professional wellness. 

Physical Dimension of Wellness: Staying Active in the Office

A common misconception is that the physical dimension of wellness is cosmetic, which it’s not. The aim of physical wellness is to feel good in the body you’re in. A car doesn’t need to be a Ferrari, it just needs to be comfortable and get you where you need to go. It includes all physical aspects of yourself from good nutrition, sleep, to general relaxation.

Your focus on office physical wellness should be as simple as breaking your stiff and static streak with movement every now and then during work hours:

Take a Break from Your Desk. Being sedentary for long stretches causes muscle strain, which has long-term health consequences. Dr. Timothy Church from the Louisiana State University encourages all office workers to take a break and stand up from their desks every 45 minutes. 

Desktop Ergonomics. Your own desk might be working against you in the fight against poor posture! Optimise your setup to prevent back, neck, and even eye pain during work hours. The Mayo Clinic recommends that your monitor be at least an arm’s length away, placed in front of you. You should also find a chair that properly supports your spine. Lastly, the height of your chair should let you rest your feet flat on the floor.

Join sports fests to connect with your community through the spirit of sports!

Join Active Company Events. Companies like Diversify hold annual events to promote team synergy and physical wellness. Whether it be a sports fest or a race for a great cause, joining events like this can help you bond with your co-workers while letting you work out a sweat. It’s fun, and often connects you better with your community!

Emotional Dimension of Wellness: Staying in Tune with Yourself

Built-up stress can devolve into full-blown burnout. It’s best to make sustainable work habits that keep you emotionally stable. Your habits need to be a balance of productivity and de-stressing to break up the monotony. The emotional dimension of wellness is important in ensuring that you do your best in the office.

Meditate. According to a study from the 2017 Emotion Journal, a 15-minute meditation helps to keep your mind from wandering. You don’t need a yoga mat or an instructor for a quick meditation. Just a quiet space where you can be aware of your breathing, focus on different parts of your body, or simply your own heartbeat. Just 15 minutes of this can drastically change your workday and keep you ready for your tasks.

Reward Yourself. We often see extrinsic rewards as a shallow form of motivation. But it should go hand-in-hand with intrinsic motivation. To stave off burnout, never forget to give yourself an occasional treat. This may come in different forms from ordering out for lunch or getting yourself a massage after work. It’s all about figuring out what you want and knowing that splurging on yourself isn’t bad. Hey, you worked hard for it!

Reward yourself with a trip to that coffee shop you’ve always wanted to try.

Open Up Workplace Issues. Everyone should feel comfortable in their workplace. If there is anything in your team or workplace that causes you regular emotional distress, then raise these issues with your boss or HR team. You owe it to yourself to feel safe and relaxed at your office. This should be the first step to fostering an emotionally stable workplace. 

Social Dimension of Wellness: Greet your Office Mates!

A friendly workplace turns the dull office space into a welcoming community. While there should be strict professional boundaries, it never hurts to befriend your desk buddy or the people you ride the elevator with. Bringing this dimension of wellness into the office means stepping just a bit outside of “How was that meeting?” and into “How was your weekend?”. Developing a proper rapport in your workplace will always make the space comfier for you and everyone around you. 

Greet Office Mates. It’s the little things that help foster connections. You can start creating a closer community by greeting people in the morning or when you pass by them. A “good morning” or a smile with a nod can do wonders in creating genuine connections with those that you see daily. 

Connect Through Shared Interests. From music taste to the latest binge-worthy television show, hobbies truly bring people together. Sharing interests with people in your office makes for less monotonous work conversations. It also makes your connection warmer, more personal. The best way to start is by asking them about their weekend, or what they do after work.

Join Company Events. Like the physical dimension, company events are a great avenue to your community. Be active in huddles, socialise during work parties, or sign-up for volunteer programs. It should show your office mates who you are outside of work-related interactions. 

Spiritual Dimension of Wellness: Be Part of Something Greater

To foster spiritual wellness, you must be connected to the community around you and keep in contact with your own values and morals. It also means staying in tune with yourself. There are different modes to this whether it be religious, holistic, a set of values, the natural world, or it could be something as simple as silence. The main goal of being spiritually well is always having a sense of purpose and meaning in what you are doing. To foster spirituality in the office is invaluable and keeps you in tune with the bigger picture and lets you not lose yourself in your work. 

The image of spiritual wellness differs from person to person. However, we have a few tips to help to point you in the right direction:

Volunteer for Charity Programs. Once again, a great organisation provides an avenue for its teams to do social good. It can be as small as a book drive or as big as an outreach program. If you believe in the charity of choice, then do your part and make the world better than you found it. 

Foster Spiritual Habits. This also differs from person to person. This can come in the form of practising your religion at work (prayer, meditation, reading faith-based material). It could also be a walk outside during your break or a quick self-reflection using a journal. 

Find a Spiritual Work Buddy. This is the same as the previous tip, except it’s with someone at work. It can feel isolating to practise spiritual habits by yourself at work. But, once you find someone in the office with the same habits as you, ask them to practise together! Take walks with them, talk about life, and connect yourself socially toward spiritual wellness.

Intellectual Dimension of Wellness: Keep Your Brain Active

We should always keep learning and enhancing our creativity even if we’re outside of school. It keeps your mind refreshed and expansive to new skill sets and information. Cultivate an intellectual well-being where you’re not forcing yourself to learn, but actively looking for it by learning about the things you are passionate about like work. It keeps you curious and keeps your professional point of view from dulling down.

Use your breakfast time to dive into a good book.

Make Reading a Habit. The morning is an excellent way to develop intellectually stimulating habits like reading. This can start by reading the news during breakfast! It not only keeps you updated with the world, but a nice icebreaker with your co-workers when you get to the office. Reading books is also great for early mornings! It opens your day with a quiet and calming start that gets you ready for the rest of your day. 

Ask for Training Opportunities. Express to your supervisor that you’re looking for new opportunities to train yourself. Most organisations have training programs with courses that change monthly, or you can request to be signed up for a workshop. Not only does it keep you intellectually refreshed, but it’s a chance to develop your skill and address the deficiencies you’d want to improve on.

Ask to be Mentored. A mentor can help you achieve goals and keep you developing as you go. A mentor can be a supervisor or someone in your workplace that you admire. Their role is to support you, provide feedback, and give you advice on any area that you may be lacking. They can hold a great impact on your professional choices and even hold you accountable as you continue to improve yourself. 

Which Dimension of Wellness Do You Need in Your Office Right Now?

Overall, wellness begins with you and understanding your own needs. Some of these dimensions of office wellness may matter less, and some may matter more. While they all need to be addressed, it’s best to balance out what you need right now. 

If you need to talk to your office mates more than you need to train yourself, then you already know exactly where to start. It’s all about balance, and it’s all about connecting better with your own needs.