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How to Help Employees Cope with Crisis and Prioritize Mental Health

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We are all in crisis (COVID-19) and the challenge to our mental health is overwhelming. In a recent poll, nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus. This is a problem because when our stress increases, so does risk of physical and psychological issues. These issues include digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, emotional distress, and triggers to mental health disorders. Under these conditions no one can perform their best.  And when you relate this to your employee population, the challenges to employee well-being are significant.  Poor mental health affects employee productivity, performance, and health. By helping your employees cope with stress and crisis, your business will see more productive, safer, well-adjusted and happier employees.

As a result of the ongoing global health crisis, we are facing an unprecedented surge of mental health problems, including depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. If these mental health issues are not addressed now, this can lead to prolonged suffering with long-lasting impacts. The question is, how can you help your employees cope with crises now and avoid these negative health outcomes in the future?

Encourage your employees

Be there for your employees. Providing guidance for employees during times of crisis is imperative. Focusing on employee wellness will allow you to help employees better cope with crises. Encourage the right behaviors that will lead employees toward better mental, physical, and emotional health. Help your employees with some of the tips below. 

Social Connectivity for Mental Health

Studies show that people who feel more connected to others experience lower rates of anxiety and depression. During times of social distancing, employees may feel more isolated and may struggle to remain social.


If working from home, add virtual group meetings and check-ins. This will keep social ties between coworkers and instill a support system. Encourage video chat lunch breaks or a walking club to remain connected as a work team.  Healthy competition is a great way to keep employees connected – schedule a B.Komplete Online Wellness Challenge to engage your employees across the Country (and the World).

Physical Activity for Mental Health

Now more than ever, it is important to encourage physical activity. Regular physical activity positively impacts the mind and body. The problem is, people are participating in less physical activity as a result of mandated quarantines. Getting active and adding physical activity into your day will bring better energy – better sleep – sharper memory – and more positive feelings. 

Encourage employees to get outdoors on days when the weather is nice.  If working from home, take the time that would be spent on commuting to do something physical, no matter how big or small.

Start an exercise group for employees to share home workouts and tips. This will provide employees a support system to help them stay motivated in their fitness goals. If employees need a little extra support and accountability, video chat walks are the perfect solution. It’s as easy as calling a friend or co-worker during your lunch break or at the end of the work day and getting moving. This is a great way to get active while staying social.

Healthy Eating for Mental Health

When employees eat better and focus on nourishing their bodies, they are better prepared with the energy to take on stressful situations. The nutrients in our food affects how well our mind and body are able to function. It is important to choose a healthy balance of foods to be able to take on the day and cope with stress. One recommendation to aim for is to consume 2, 4-oz servings of oily fish a week for DHA benefits. 

Encourage employees to take lunch breaks and prep meals ahead of time as would normally be done for an in-person work week.  We can help make cooking simple (and delicious)!  Contact us to learn more.

Self Care for Mental Health

Practicing self-care means finding ways to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional health. This can include physical activity, meditation, sleep/rest, journaling, engaging with friends and family, or taking on a new hobby. 

Self-care can be anything really- it just depends on the person and what makes them feel good.  Encourage employees to find the activities they enjoy that benefit them mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Seeking Professional Guidance

Normalize the practice of reaching out for help and seeking professional help when needed. Talk about the importance of prioritizing mental health and seeking help.

Encourage employees to seek professional counseling or assistance if their mental health is not well. Some resources to turn to for further help include the disaster distress helpline, crisis textline, national suicide prevention lifeline, and resource hotline for substance abuse disorders. Visit mentalhealth.gov for crisis numbers and resources.

Finding Positive Hobbies for Mental Health

With many of us experiencing increased stress, it’s so important to add positive activities into the day.  This can help as a distraction from any negativity and can act as an outlet to release stress. 

These positive activities can include any of the previously mentioned behaviors such as exercise, self-care practices, and socializing. Creative activities can also be incorporated to reduce stress and relax. 

Work-Life Balance for Mental Health

Navigating a work-life balance is a difficult feat in and of itself, but adding the element of working from home, possibly with family in the mix, is a whole new challenge. Consider a more lenient approach to the workday.  Discuss work plans with employees to understand their availability and needs.

Utilize these tips and find an approach that works best for you and your employees. Coping with a crisis is not easy, but you can offer encouragement and be there for your employees so that they can continue to be there for you and your clients.  B.Komplete is here to help.  We are offering all of our wellness services virtually.  Contact us to learn how we can engage your population, reduce employee stress, and ensure connectivity and positivity with your workforce.

Written by Heather Schissler, B.Komplete Office Assistant

Blog

6 Solutions for Office Productivity

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It’s 3 PM, and you start to squirm in your desk chair.  Your back is getting stiff, your shoulders are tense, and you have completely lost focus on your work.  Sound familiar?  You are not alone in this – Daily Mail reports that 2:55 PM is when most employees are not productive.  This is when you may find yourself checking social media, grabbing an energy drink or coffee, or simply zoning out.   When we sit at our desks for long periods of time, even the most diligent worker will lose focus at some point. And, when we are sitting too much we start to feel less and less motivated on a daily basis. Our bodies have small aches and pains that we think are natural. There’s still two hours left in the day and our boost in energy is nowhere to be found. With a few minor adjustments, you can feel better and gain back that focus and energy you are looking for.  You will be more productive and confident throughout your work day.  Our blog will explain how to create a healthier office space: an atmosphere for you to excel to your full potential.

Tip 1:  First things first, get organized.

Schedule some time to declutter your work area. Add this to your calendar just like any other business appointment. Organizing your work can help you organize your brain and compartmentalize your stress. Clearing your desktop will provide some mind clarity. This will also help to eliminate distractions and allow you to focus on the task at hand.

Tip 2:  Too clean? Add your personal touch.

Bring in items from home that make you feel good and motivate you. Add framed photos of family and friends. Add memorabilia of a particular achievement or vacation. Pick items as things that can motivate you when you glance their way. Be selective and keep these items to a limit as they are not meant to be a distraction, but a catalyst to your work.

Tip 3:  Stand up for yourself.

You may have heard of standing desks before. Movement from sitting to standing periodically throughout the day can help you to feel more energized and increase your productivity. It can also help to alleviate some of the aches and pains that we may feel after being in a sedentary position for too long. While some of the latest and greatest standing desk options can put a dent in your wallet, there are some more affordable solutions that can give you the same benefits. If standing isn’t for you, there are other options for improving your posture at your desk. Chair attachments can be beneficial in alleviating lower back pain and helping us to sit up straight.

Tip 4:  Refresh your desk with a plant.

Studies have shown plants to be significant in reducing negative energy in the workplace. Large or small, plants can reduce pollution in the air around your desk and help to minimize stress. Different colors can cause us to feel a certain way when they catch our eye. The color green is associated with thoughts of nature, vitality and wealth. Having just one plant in an office has been shown to have an uplifting effect on the entire staff!

Tip 5:  Prepare your emergency stress reduction toolkit.

Keep a few handy items in your desk drawers that you can use when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You could have a stress ball to release tension in your body. You could have a neck wrap to help reduce stiffness in your neck and soothe your muscles. Try aromatherapy through use of a diffuser with essential oils. Stock up on your favorite scents of essential oils to inhale or diffuse in a time of stress. Some of the recommended scents to help you to feel calm are lavender, rosemary, lemon and peppermint.

Tip 6:  Fuel your brain.

Carbohydrates are your brain’s primary choice for fuel. When we are hungry, our brain is not at it’s full potential. This doesn’t mean you need to eat a three-course meal, but snack on something small and full of nutrients to give your brain a boost. Some non-perishable snacks that you could keep on hand are trail mix, whole wheat crackers, popcorn or mixed nuts. Have a fridge nearby? Even better. Bring a yogurt or cut up fruit or vegetables and dip with you and take a walk to the fridge to grab them.

After you try out a few of our tips let us know what you gained by optimizing your office space!  We often underestimate the amount of time in our lives that we spend at work. When we try our best to live a healthy lifestyle outside of work, it’s important that our work habits are healthy as well!

Do you want to add that extra edge for your workforce?  Are you interested in creating a healthy work environment for your employees?  Email us for more tips and tricks for how your office can create and maintain a healthy workplace, info@bkomplete.com. We look forward to hearing about your office and partnering with you to create a winning workplace!

Blog

How to Live like a Wellness Professional

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Living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult for all of us – even wellness professionals. When you choose to take the steps to overcome barriers, you’ll be surprised to find out how rewarding living healthfully can be. Today we will be introducing you to just a few of the health and wellness professionals on the B.Komplete team and giving you some insight to what they have found to be most successful in overcoming their personal barriers to living a healthy lifestyle.

Art is a Registered Dietitian and  Life Coach on the B.Komplete Team.  Art has a unique background in social work that allows him to make long lasting relationships with those he counsels. While he loves what he does, his favorite job is being a father to his two daughters. He is motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to live up to his own expectations of being able to run around and keep up with his 4-year old now and as she grows up.  While his life can be very busy and health has to be a conscious decision, he finds easy ways to make it fit.  He finds ways to intertwine nutrition with family time at dinner with house favorites like taco night. Art’s family’s taco night incorporates healthier ingredients like lean ground turkey, an abundance of vegetables and low-fat cheese to make them more nutritious without missing out on flavor.

 He loves to educate his family through cooking and allows himself to indulge as long as he is mindful; whether it be with a piece of chocolate for dessert or a glass of wine at dinner. He takes the time to enjoy these small treats when he craves them, so that he doesn’t feel the need to overdo it later. Art is constantly tapping into his internal motivators and challenging himself to strive for better, not perfect. When he can fit in a workout, he gives it his all to make the most of his time. He goes to the grocery store when he knows it will be less busy to save time. He drinks flavored seltzer water because plain water isn’t so exciting to him. Art uses his family as his “why” and plans to grow older without aches and pains as a result of his conscious healthy lifestyle. Art wants you to ask yourself: What is your internal motivator?

Johari is an exercise professional on the B.Komplete Team.  Johari has an extensive background in dance. It was when she became injured that her doctor told her it was time to move her career in a new direction. Johari became a wellness professional when she became a personal trainer. While she still loves incorporating dance into her exercise regimen, she also enjoys weight training and is interested in learning more about parkour and powerlifting. For her, health has been a major priority in helping her to cope with and overcome substance abuse. She sees a Registered Dietitian to learn about what foods to incorporate into her lifestyle to make her feel like her best self. Never losing her love of dance, Johari has incorporated her own unique routines into her kitchen to make preparing food more satisfying.

You can try her specialty smoothie recipes yourself. She puts on her Prince T-shirt and “blueberry beret” to prepare one of her favorite smoothies consisting of blueberries, almond milk, chia seeds and banana. An alternative favorite is her “Moonwalker” special made with banana, unsweetened low-fat yogurt, pineapple, mango, and honey. While cooking is not her favorite hobby, Johari has found ways to make it a priority in her life as her health and nutrition regimen contributes to recovery and an unhealthy lifestyle makes relapse more possible. She has found her journey as a wellness professional to be both healing and rewarding through counseling other women struggling with recovery from substance abuse. Along with meditation, prayer and artwork, listening to others through counseling has been incredibly effective for stress management. If she could give one piece of advice toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it would be to “become your own hero.” Don’t be afraid to seek advice and utilize a health professional if you could use some guidance. Talk to people who have worked with different populations and use their expertise to your advantage.

Liz is a Registered Dietitian on the B.Komplete team and as a wellness professional, she loves leading by example and seeing other people take what she teaches them and make it work for their lifestyle. One of the techniques she has found most beneficial to alleviate stress has been making it a point to do a 10-minute meditation of complete silence when she wakes up every morning. This allows her to start with a clean slate before starting her day which is typically followed by a sweat session at the gym. As a former fitness instructor, Liz often switches up her routine between cardio, strength training and circuit training to keep her muscles working hard and boost her metabolism. Meditation and exercise are two things that are non-negotiable in the start to her day and scheduling them to be a priority allows her to stay consistent.

Meal preparation not for you? Liz takes an interesting approach to planning her meals. She starts by picking 2 to 3 breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week. Next, she makes a grocery list of all the ingredients she will need. As a fan of fresh-cooked food, Liz doesn’t make it a point to pick which meals she’ll eat when ahead of time or cook them all on one day. She picks which meal she makes based on what she’s feeling, makes double, and sets it aside. This way, she could have that meal again for lunch or dinner the next day or 2-3 days from then if desired. Extra veggies? No problem. Pre-cut or roasted vegetables are great to keep in the fridge for incorporating into future meals or snacks. Liz makes health a priority in her lifestyle because she never wants her body to be what slows her down. Living healthfully allows her to not feel so guilty about her favorite guilty pleasures, ice cream and chocolate. If she could give one piece of advice as a step toward living a healthier lifestyle, it would be make your life decisions based on the person that you want to be in the future, and enjoy each moment now.

Natalie is a Registered Dietitian in the B.Komplete community who has a very busy lifestyle, holding multiple jobs in various settings in the field. On top of that, Natalie is currently being a superwoman through maintaining her work load and living healthfully all with a baby on the way! She finds the most beneficial way for her to make health a priority is through scheduling it on her calendar. She schedules time every night to set up her morning coffee and make her lunch and snacks for the following day. This allows her to run out the door quickly in the morning and avoid less healthy options that she may grab out or in a cafeteria had she not planned ahead

Being pregnant, Natalie isn’t able to work out with the same intensity as she previously has, but this doesn’t stop her from finding the time to exercise. She tries her best to incorporate walking into her workday wherever possible whether it be getting up to walk to the bathroom, refilling her water bottle or saying hello to a coworker. She finds walking on her treadmill at home once a day to not only give her an opportunity to move, but time to decompress from her workday or call her friends and family. Taking the time to talk to your loved ones and catch up can be a great way to boost your mood and relieve stress at the same time. Natalie has found living healthfully to be most rewarding in allowing her body to carry her through a healthy pregnancy. Living a healthy lifestyle is one controllable factor in her life that she loves to take advantage of because it leaves her feeling great, positive and more friendly. When your health falls behind, your life falls behind. Prioritizing your health can allow you to prioritize what matters most to you. Natalie’s biggest piece of advice is to pick one or two areas in your life that you want to focus on whether it be an activity or a relationship and schedule them! Scheduling is the key to success.

So next time you’re thinking about making a change toward a healthy lifestyle, think less about how it will impact you now and more about how it can impact you in the future. Over time, these small changes can amount into a large one and you won’t be able to realize a time when these habits weren’t a part of your life. Living healthfully can have a positive impact on your body, mind and overall wellbeing. It can help to prevent and reduce your risk for chronic diseases later and help you to feel better in the now. To learn more about our B.Komplete team and how we can help you to crush your goals, reach out to us at info@bkomplete.com

B.Educated, B.Inspired, B.Komplete

Corporate Wellness

How to Inspire Healthy Habits in Your Workplace

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There are countless reasons to invest time and resources into creating a healthy work environment and workforce. Healthy employees contribute to their companies through increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and are less likely to quit. Reducing turnover and increasing productivity are excellent incentives for employers, and healthy minds and bodies – as well as incentives on insurance premiums or gym memberships – are great incentives for employees.  Wellness designed properly works.

If your company doesn’t currently have initiatives for improving employee health and wellness, here are some simple ways to get started:

  • Provide Healthy Food at the Office.  Improve food choices in simple ways, by providing access to fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables in the cafeteria or keeping a bowl of healthy snacks in the break room. Instead of a platter of donuts for employee morale on a Friday, consider bringing in some Greek yogurt with whole grain granola and fresh fruit slices for healthy parfaits.  By setting a healthy example of food served within the work environment, this will encourage employees to pick up their own healthy food habits at work and at home and promotes wellness success
  • Emphasize Movement Throughout the Work Day. Some offices host “walking clubs” as part of their lunch hour routine and to get employees up and moving during the day. This is one great way to incorporate more exercise, and there are plenty of other options. Consider hosting a workshop to teach employees different ways to get small exercises into their work day – like doing 5 “desk push ups” each time they get up to go to the break room or bathroom.  One effective way to show employees that you care about their fitness and their stress levels is to host an Office Yoga, Functional Training or Pilates Class. A B.Komplete Instructor will come to your work-site and lead your group in a customized workout!
  • Healthy Competitions. Health and weight loss or maintenance challenges that take place over discrete time periods (for example, 4 to 10 weeks) can motivate employees to take on new healthy habits in the spirit of a friendly competition. Challenges can be as simple as encouraging teams of employees to track their daily food intake each day, to more holistic challenges involving weight loss, minutes of exercise, mindfulness, and more.
  • Invest in a Comprehensive Corporate Wellness Program. In 2008, Johnson & Johnson published that implementing a corporate wellness program had saved them $250 million dollars in employee healthcare, a return on investment of $2.71 for every dollar spent. But implementing a healthy environment and getting these types of outcomes can be difficult without bringing an expert on board.

Expert corporate wellness vendors create wellness challenges, provide work-site nutrition and food, stress management, and exercise activities and track important health care benchmarks to let you know how your company stacks up when it comes to health and wellness. Unclear how to choose the right corporate wellness program for you? Click here and learn the best ways to identify how your company can incorporate corporate wellness.  B.Komplete is a best-in-class full-service corporate wellness vendor that will provide the most effective solutions for your organization.  Contact us now to learn more.

Savvy managers and business owners realize that happy, healthy employees create a more innovative work space and a more productive work environment. By considering the tips above, you will make your company more successful and a better place to work.