September 14, 2023
Analysis & Commentary

Finding Zen at the Office: Mindfulness Activities You Can Do at Work

September 14, 2023
Analysis & Commentary
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From our decades of experience working within the recruitment industry, we can safely say that workplace stress is a huge problem. The world of Facilities Management is certainly no stranger to this, with FM professionals often having to shoulder a lot of responsibility. The constant demands and pressures can very easily lead to stress, anxiety, and decreased productivity. Mindfulness, the practice of being fully present and aware in the moment, offers a powerful antidote to these workplace challenges, however in a hectic workplace it may seem impossible to practice and mindfulness activities – very few of us can take an hour out for a nice relaxing meditation session. Fortunately, there are numerous small ways in which we can practice mindfulness that you can integrate into your workday. Here we'll explore some of these mindfulness activities that can help you stay centred, focused, and calm during your busy work hours.

Mindful Breathing

One of the simplest and most effective mindfulness exercises is mindful breathing. Take a few minutes to focus on your breath. Close your eyes, if possible, and pay attention to the sensation of each breath as it enters and leaves your body. Count your breaths or simply observe without judgment. This quick exercise can help reduce stress and increase mental clarity very quickly.

Desk Yoga Stretches

Sitting at a desk for extended periods can lead to tension and discomfort. Incorporate short desk yoga stretches into your routine. You can do seated stretches for your neck, shoulders, and back. Simple movements like neck rolls, shoulder shrugs, and seated twists can alleviate physical tension and promote relaxation.

Mindful Eating

Lunch breaks are an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness. Instead of rushing through your meal while checking emails or scrolling through your phone, savour each bite. Pay attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of your food. Eating mindfully can improve digestion and enhance your overall eating experience, in addition to providing an enjoyable way to focus you mind on something other than work!

Guided Meditation

Consider using your break time to engage in a short guided meditation session. There are many mobile apps and online resources that offer guided meditation tracks specifically designed for the workplace. These sessions can help you refocus, reduce stress, and boost your mental clarity.

Five Senses Exercise

Engage your senses to ground yourself in the present moment. Take a few minutes to identify five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This activity can quickly bring your attention back to the present and reduce stress.

Gratitude Journaling

Before you start your workday or during a break, jot down a few things you're grateful for. It could be the support of a coworker, a good cup of coffee, or a sunny day. Gratitude journaling can shift your focus from stressors to positive aspects of your work environment.

Walking Meditation

If your workplace allows it, take a mindful walk during breaks. Focus on each step, the sensation of your feet touching the ground, and the rhythm of your walking. Walking meditation can clear your mind and provide a fresh perspective on challenges.

Mindful Emails and Meetings

Approach your emails and meetings with mindfulness. Take a moment to breathe and centre yourself before responding to an email or entering a meeting room. Listen actively during meetings without immediately formulating your response. This can lead to better communication, reduced stress, and improved workplace performance.

Mindfulness activities at work can significantly improve your well-being and productivity. Incorporating these practices into your daily routine doesn't require much time or effort, but the benefits can be profound. By cultivating mindfulness, you can enhance your ability to stay present, reduce stress, and approach your work with greater clarity and calmness. Remember that mindfulness is a skill that improves with practice, so be patient and consistent in your efforts to integrate these activities into your workday.