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wellness workplace tips
Wellness
Published Monday Oct 28, 2019 by Alison Hadden

How Companies Can Nourish Their Employees in Mind, Body, and Spirit

Yoga
Meditation
Fitness
Personal Growth

As a busy executive who seeks to keep my own personal health and wellness a top priority, especially since my cancer diagnosis last year, working for a company that supports these goals makes it so much easier to maintain this kind of lifestyle. And if you’re lucky enough to work in the wellness industry as I do for MINDBODY, well, you’ve hit the jackpot.

In today’s job market, top companies are in a tight race competing for top talent. During my six years at Glassdoor, I talked to hundreds of HR and Recruiting leaders about their challenges. What I learned is that smart employers recognize that in order to recruit the best candidates, they’ve got to create a workplace that not only offers growth and opportunity from a professional standpoint, but one that nourishes the employee as a human being in mind, body and spirit.

That means creating an environment that’s diverse, inclusive, and encourages employees to bring their whole selves to work - ideally, their healthiest selves - because a healthy and happy employee is an engaged and productive one. Also because it’s the right thing to do. We should all be encouraging those around us to pursue their best lives.

Here are some of the different ways the highest rated employers are helping nourish the mind, body, and soul of their people:

 

mental health tips workplace

MIND: They encourage employees to make mental wellness a priority.

At MINDBODY, we offer regular meditation and breathwork classes onsite at our corporate headquarters which remote offices can stream live. Companies can also offer free or discounted memberships to handy apps like Calm or Headspace (my personal favorite) to teach employees how mindfulness exercises can increase focus and promote creativity. At some of the hippest tech startups, you might even find designated quiet rooms or even nap pods for employees to rest and recharge throughout the day.

Investing in learning and development programs is another way to boost the brainpower of employees. Online courses and onsite workshops can help people sharpen their skills or learn about new career paths. And providing opportunities for employees to learn from experts in their craft by letting high performers travel to a conference or bringing guest speakers onsite promotes a culture of continuous improvement and learning while keeping your most ambitious people engaged.

The best companies also find ways to allocate a certain percentage of employee time to do what they see as the fun stuff - i.e. get creative (marketing), build cool sh*t (engineering), or tackle the complex problems with big impact (leadership).

 

wellness massage workplace

BODY: They want their employees to be physically active and not fall victim to sedentary office life behind a computer

Healthy and fit employees are not only happier and more productive than their less active coworkers, but they are likely to incur lower health costs for employers.

At MINDBODY, we’re lucky enough to have an onsite gym at our HQ where we offer multiple daily classes from Crossfit to Pilates. We even set up cameras so our remote offices can live stream them!

For companies who don’t have an onsite space, they can subsidize gym memberships or on-demand workouts. Restorative health services like massages, acupuncture, and chiropractic can be included in medical benefits or employer-subsidized. You should have seen the office buzz when our Wellness Team brought 15-minute chair massages on site for a week!

When you’re behind a computer for 8-10 hours per day, the carpal tunnel struggle is real. Ergonomic support services (think high-quality chairs, monitor risers, standing desks and wrist supports) make sure employees are physically set up at their workstations in good alignment to avoid unnecessary stress and fatigue.

 

work culture diversity

SPIRIT: They foster a workplace environment that's diverse, inclusive, and built around human connection.

Brene Brown has entered mainstream conversation thanks to her TED Talk on vulnerability, her newest book Dare to Lead about courageous leadership, and now her own Netflix special Call to Courage.

Through years of research, Brene has found that in work relationships, if we have the courage to be vulnerable and authentically connect with each other, we experience a powerful sense of belonging which drives engagement and productivity.

Companies have a huge opportunity right now to show employees and potential candidates that they care enough to create supportive environments as they listen to the evolving demands of younger generations entering the workforce. Diversity and inclusion isn’t just a recruiting initiative; it's a cultural value. Today’s top companies encourage employees to connect with others in communities where they identify through internal support groups, informal meetups, and even online chats. At MINDBODY, we have a highly engaged #MBPride Slack channel with regular LGBTQIA+ events at our different office along with a thriving Women In Tech chapter that hosts a regular panel discussion live-streamed to our 14 offices around the globe.

Health benefits like EAP services that include mental health support, legal services, and short term disability, maternity and paternity leave, and floating holidays that give employees the opportunity to celebrate their faith are becoming standard-issue for most mid to large companies in the US.

Above all else, I think the best way companies can nourish the health and happiness of their employees is to treat them as people, and as individuals.

Managers should be encouraged to get to know their people so they can stay in tune with what’s going on in their personal lives. Maybe they’re having an off week because their marriage is in trouble, or their kid got suspended from school, or they are taking care of a sick parent. Instead of pretending our employees are working 24/7, or putting tight restrictions on when and where they work out of fear they’re not giving 110%, maybe we’d see better overall performance if we encouraged vs permitted our people to take an afternoon off to mentally reset and recharge. Or told them to fly home to work remote for a week so they could take care of a family member. Or offered to move the time of a weekly meeting so they could go to their favorite jiu-jitsu class.

In my experience, if you hire the right people who are intrinsically motivated, take the time to get to know them and what's important in their lives, and try and create a working environment that actively supports and nourishes them in mind, body and spirit, you'll not only have a high performer on your handsyou'll have a healthier, happier human and isn't that what life's all about?

Allison Hadden MINDBODY
Written by
Alison Hadden
VP Consumer Marketing | MINDBODY
About the author
Alison Hadden is the VP of Consumer Marketing at MINDBODY, overseeing all advertising, content, and social media. Alison previously held marketing leadership positions over six years at Glassdoor and was named a Brand Innovators “40 Under 40.” Prior to Glassdoor, Alison led Global Sales Training & Enablement at Active.com/The Active Network. After being diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer at a seemingly healthy 38 years young in 2018, Alison is also a motivational speaker inspiring audiences with her life philosophy of “No Time to Waste.”
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar