- If you take public transit, get off a couple stops away and walk the rest of the way to work. If you drive, park your car farther than usual from your building’s entrance to get some extra steps in.
- Try to use your lunch break to either go for a walk outside or go to a fitness facility.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk or run up and down flights of stairs, slowly increasing the number of floors and your pace.
- Do lunges, squats, yoga stretches, or wall sits in your cubicle.
- Sit up straight and maintain good posture at your desk.
- Good posture allows you to alleviate neck and back pain, and reduces fatigue and strain on your ligaments, muscles, tendons, and joints.
- Replace your chair with a stability ball. This way, you can strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve posture while working.
- Instead of emailing a co-worker down the hall, walk to their desk.
- Do calf raises while waiting for that big print job or for your boss to arrive. Stand with your feed shoulder-width apart, press up onto your tip toes, pause, and lower back down. Repeat.
- Plan lunch time yoga or stretch classes with your coworkers.
- Ask for a standing desk, which may help burn calories, lower blood sugar, reduce fatigue, reduce upper back and neck pain. Note, this may not be for everyone. Make sure to consult first.
Negative-self talk can take many forms, often acting as our “inner critic” and can damage our mental health and well-being if it becomes frequent.
What forms can negative self-talk take?
Psychologists have come up with terms to describe common different categories of negative self-talk. Here are a few of these categories:
Blaming – Blaming yourself for every problem. For example, if your friends have to cancel on plans, you blame yourself because you think that they do not want to be around you.
Polarizing – This is also called “black-or-white thinking” and refers to the tendency to think everything is either all good or all bad, with no middle ground – you think that you are either perfect or a complete failure.
Filtering – Focusing on the negative aspects of a situation and filtering out all of the positive ones.
Never and always – If you make a mistake, you assume that you always mess things up and that you can never get it right.
Once you’ve identified negative thoughts, you can move onto trying to pick them out and replacing them with more positive ones.
Examples of turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts:
Negative thought: I can’t do it because I’ve never done something like this before.
Positive thought: It’s an opportunity to learn something new.
Negative thought: I always mess everything up.
Positive thought: I am human, and all humans make mistakes sometimes. I am doing my best.
Negative thought: I completely bombed my presentation/project. I’m a failure.
Positive thought: I did okay on my presentation/project, but it didn’t live up to my full potential. Next time I will work a little harder and prepare by doing ______.
Negative thought: It’s too risky.
Positive thought: It’s worth taking a chance.
Of course, this may require practice, however fine-tuning your thinking can have great outcomes for your health and overall well-being.
When considering what it takes to succeed at work, we often focus on innate strengths: high intelligence, the ability to learn, the ambition to achieve, and the social skills to develop strong relationships. But these characteristics always coexist with weaknesses—aspects of personality that might seem innocuous or even advantageous in some circumstances but that when left unchecked can wreak havoc on careers and organizations.
To learn more, visit https://hbr.org/2017/09/could-your-personality-derail-your-career.
Career stress and work-life issues have a significant impact on our mental health, and our sense of general well-being. Morneau Shepell offers Dalhousie employees a Career Counseling service to help achieve balance between work, family, and self.
Counselors can help you find solutions to career issues before they have an impact on your personal life or work performance. They will assist you in better understanding your professional strengths to better manage your career path and cope with organizational change or new role expectations.
It is offered free of charge to our employees and their families through our Employee and Family Assistance Program. Contact 1-800-387-4765 or workhealthlife.com.
- Pain is the #1 cause of disability in adults in North America?
- Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians – 18 percent – suffer from chronic pain
This month is Pain Awareness Month and we will be posting weekly with ideas surrounding these important issues.
How-To Guide for Employees: How to Cope with Pain at Work
- Tell your boss: You don’t have to reveal the details of your health condition, but it’s important to let your boss know about your chronic pain so adjustments and accommodations can be made. It may be difficult for them to understand, and providing them with information about how it affects your ability to work may be helpful.
- Inquire about accommodation: Help can come in a variety of forms, from changing your workstation to changing your hours, sharing the workload, taking frequent breaks, or working from home. While you might not get all requests met, find out where there may be some flexibility.
- Keep a pain diary: Write down details, such as when attacks occur and what helps to ease them.
- Get co-workers’ support: Some work you’re no longer able to do may be passed on to colleagues. To reduce resentment, let them know you’re working hard, but are limited by your medical condition. Of course, you would help them when needed as well.
- Stay in the loop: If the pain forces long absences, remind your boss and co-workers that you’re still part of the team by checking in on work while you’re off.
For more information: click here