Work is where you spend half of your time. How you care for yourself at work will impact how healthy and happy you will be.

While some of what goes on at your job is out of your control, there are many small (and even a few big) things you can do to invest in your health and wellness.

1. Take Regular Breaks

Avoid working long stretches without getting up to move and stretch. Your mind needs the break as much as your body. Use your breaks to release tension and unfocus for a while.

Workplace wellness: Take regular breaks

2. Skip the Sugary Treats

It’s tempting to cave when someone puts a bag of candy in the break room, but you’ll notice that if you choose healthy snacks instead, you’ll be more focused and energetic for the day. Not to mention, your waistline will thank you.

Workplace wellness: Skip the sugary treats

3. Make Time to Connect with Coworkers

Strong social relationships make you happier and healthier. (1) Stop by a coworker’s desk to say hi or invite a group to lunch. These little interactions can improve satisfaction and decrease stress at work.

Workplace wellness: Make time to connect with coworkers

4. Look Away from the Computer

Your eyes become tense when focusing on close things such as a computer screen for long stretches. You also blink less when looking at a screen leading to dryness. (2) The American Optometric Association recommends at least 15 minutes of eye rest for every 2 hours spent on the screen.

Workplace wellness: Look away from the computer

5. Get a Plant for Your Workspace

Having a bit of greenery in the office can increase workplace satisfaction, heighten focus, and naturally improve air quality. (3)

Workplace wellness: Get a plant for your workspace

6. Drink Lots of Water

Staying hydrated is key to feeling your best. Coffee and tea both are mostly water, but plain water remains the best way to hydrate. Even mild dehydration can impact your brain’s ability to focus, so drink up. (4)

Workplace wellness: Drink lots of water

7. Use Your Vacation Time

An estimated 40% of workers don’t take vacations regularly. (5) This can have long-term impacts on health and lead to burnout. Taking a vacation leads to improved feelings of well-being and greater productivity. (6)

Workplace wellness: Use your vacation time

8. Take Time at Work to Pause and Notice How You Are Feeling

Often work is such a busy space that it is hard to observe how the body and mind are feeling. Take time to stop, close your eyes and watch your breath. Check-in with any areas of tension in the body. Acknowledging how you are feeling will help you make better choices for your wellness moving forward.

Workplace wellness: Take time at work to pause and notice how you are feeling

Feeling Well is Worth Your Time

Being productive at work and feeling well are not mutually exclusive. You are not stealing from your employer by intentionally taking care of yourself during the workday.

These habits will make you a better, more productive, and happier employee. Your wellness benefits everyone.