For many workplaces, it has been a challenging year. Employees may have experienced remote working conditions, extended lockdowns and increased home and work pressure.
Border closures resulted in fewer holiday travel options. Getaways to tropical resorts were reluctantly swapped for staycations. Hand sanitiser was lathered instead of sunblock as annual leave accrued.
With that in mind, the holiday season is the perfect time to encourage employees to take time out to relax, recharge and prioritise self-care. The following tips are designed to create a wellbeing holiday on any budget, location or time frame.
Disconnect to reconnect
It might have felt like we were more connected to our digital devices this year. This could have been due to Zoom meetings, watching the news or socialising on Facetime.
Holidays present an opportunity to take a break from device dependency with a digital detox. A digital detox could include introducing boundaries on screen time usage or disconnecting completely over a designated timeframe. Reducing screen time may help improve sleep quality, reduce eye strain and establish healthy work-life boundaries.
Medibank introduced workplace digital detox afternoons for teams across the organisation, where employees could literally switch off. This time was used to read a book, journal, garden, exercise and disconnect. Your team could incorporate similar digital swaps into the holiday period to feel more connected. More ideas on workplace wellbeing can be found in the 2021 Medibank workplace connection paper.
When your employees are on holidays, they’ll have more time to get outside, walk, hike or simply sitting outdoors, undistracted. Unable to get outside? Having plants at home or images of nature can also help to create a feeling of calm and serenity.
A holiday for your taste buds
If your teams’ holiday plans didn’t extend to Europe this Summer, eating a Mediterranean inspired diet could be the next best thing. The Mediterranean diet foundations include nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory food which help support a healthy immune system. Encourage your employees to indulge in a combination of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seed, legumes, seafood and olive oil. Dairy and red meat can be enjoyed in moderation.
Medibank offers corporate nutrition seminars, cooking demonstrations or one on one health coaching to support your workplace wellbeing program. Contact email@example.com or get started with one of these fresh and healthy summer recipes.
Movement for mood
Staying active during the holidays can help reduce stress levels. Exercise increases serotonin, our body's happy, feel-good hormone. Taking your exercise routine outdoors combines movement with sunshine, fresh air and nature.
Encourage your employees to try some new movement or exercise these holidays. They could go on a bushwalk, dive into the ocean, hire a stand-up paddleboard, join an outdoor yoga class or register for parkrun.
New year, new skill
Travel can often take us out of our comfort zone, into new experiences, cultures, cuisines and communities. Taking up a new hobby can provide similar benefits.
New experiences rewire the brain to build new neural pathways, also known as neuroplasticity. Engaging in activities that are new and challenging may help improve cognition, memory and contribute to overall wellbeing.
Encourage your employees to learn how to play an instrument, speak a new language, meditate or join a cooking class as a fun way to try something new. Explain that it’s like a holiday for the brain.
Visit Live Better at Home for more ideas ranging from mindful cooking to ballet lessons. Medibank have also partnered with Smiling Mind to deliver leading workplace mindfulness and meditation programs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
The gift of self-care
A 2019 Medibank survey showed one in two Australians believe they don’t practise enough self-care. Sharing simple strategies on how to take a wellbeing break can help ensure your employees are well-rested and re-energised over the holidays.
Get in touch with your Medibank Account Manager for a free consultation to co-design your 2022 employee health and wellbeing strategy to create a happier, healthier workplace.