Meditation

10 Stress-Busting Wellness Habits to Add to Your Work Day

You’re nailing work-life balance now.

By: Emma Lunsford

Work! Work! Work! It’s all you can think about as to-do’s constantly stare you down in the face. Whether you work from home or are back in the office, we could all use a little more work-life balance. These wellness habits for your workday are perfect for not only feeling better but being more productive in the process. Let’s get to it! 

RELATED: 15 Life-Changing Productivity Boosters

10 Wellness Habits to Add to Your Workday 

We tend to only use stress-busting hacks on stressful days. But here’s a secret trick: the more you use these tips, even on the more relaxed days, the less stress you experience overall. Integrate these tips into your daily routine and watch the magic happen! 

#1 Start Your Day With A Morning Routine 

If you work from home, it’s super easy to turn on your laptop right after you wake up to hit the grindstone running. But, this tends to turn out poorly: you might forget to eat breakfast, leaving you with less energy, and you don’t give your nervous system a chance to recalibrate from the spike of cortisol that woke you up in the first place. (Your circadian rhythm naturally uses cortisol, a stress hormone, to get rid of morning sleepiness —it comes down with time.) This means you’re probably starting work in a really stressed state when your cortisol levels are the highest.

To top it off, you now associate waking up with instantly working, which can lead to major anxiety and feeling like your work owns your life. Not cool! The good news? It’s a simple fix! Use a morning routine to buffer between when you wake up and start working. Fill it with things like a healthy breakfast, journaling, listening to calming music, or going for a walk. A morning routine is seriously a small (but mighty way!) to turn your whole day around.

#2 Have Something to Look Forward to After Work

Oftentimes we can feel like we’re in the same, neverending rut: wake up, work, go to sleep. Repeat. It’s really important to break the cycle as often as you can by doing things that make you happy, too. For instance, try to have something to look forward to after work, like a workout class, having a drink with a friend, or exploring a new part of town. It can boost both your mood and productivity. Win! 

#3 Have a Dedicated Lunch Hour (or however long you have) 

It may seem like an efficient idea to eat lunch at your desk while responding to emails, but it can actually lower your productivity overall. Distracted eating usually leads to either undereating or overeating since you’re not paying attention to your hunger cues. 

Even just taking five minutes aside to mindfully enjoy your lunch gives you a much-needed work break and promotes a healthy digestive system, one that gives you lots of energy to get stuff done. 

#4 Take a 5 Minute Meditation Break Each Day

In today’s hustle culture society, we often think it’s better to push through the day and work as hard as possible. But this isn’t a sustainable approach. You’ll be way more productive if you take regular breaks. And what better way to make the most of your breaks than with meditation? Browse the meditation category in the FitOn app for free meditations that are perfect for a mid-day work break. 

#5 Repeat an Affirmation 

Wellness habits for your workday aren’t about going from super stressed to totally zen in 0.3 seconds. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get it right and focus on how we “should” be feeling or how we “should” be taking care of ourselves. This only makes us more stressed with unrealistic expectations. Allow yourself to feel stressed. And when you’re ready, slowly direct your thoughts to something that feels even just a little bit better. 

You can use affirmations like:

I am allowed to feel my feelings, for that’s how I remind myself I’m human.

I am allowed to make mistakes, for that’s how I learn.

I am allowed to have wants & needs, for that’s what makes me who I am.

I am allowed to take breaks, for that’s what makes me productive & happy.

#6 Spruce Up Your Workspace 

Bye, same old thing! It only takes a little bit of change to make your whole world feel different. And when you’re stuck in a stressful work cycle, sprucing up your workspace can energize things in a totally different way. Maybe add some plants to your desk, a picture of your favorite thing, organize those files that keep bogging you down or buy an ergonomic chair that feels better on your back. 

#7 Check-in With Your Breathe Throughout The Day

Our breath is one of the greatest indicators of stress, and it’s also one of the easiest ways to relax. Every hour or so, set reminders to come back to your body and notice how you’re breathing. Is it quick and shallow? (stress alert!) Or full and deep? If you’re stressed, allow yourself to take 5 minutes to focus on your breath: inhale deeply through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale out your mouth for 4 seconds. Repeat until you feel your breathing relax.  

#8 Keep Blood Sugar Balanced With Nourishing Snacks

Blood sugar may seem like a trivial thing, but it’s a huge part of staying energized and productive. Blood sugar spikes and dips often lead to extra stress — not to mention needing to take a nap during every afternoon meeting. Take care of your body by eating nourishing, blood sugar-balancing snacks like nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, eggs, guacamole, or hummus. 

#9 Get Outside For a Break When You Can

Sometimes a bit of fresh air is just what you need. It’s easy to feel cooped up next to your laptop all day, and every once in a while, it’s nice to remind yourself that the world is actually a lot bigger than your office. The sky is gorgeous. The sun feels amazing. And the ground is here to support you. So if you have 10 minutes, take it outside! 

#10 Establish Work Boundaries & Stick to Them

This is especially important if you work from home, where you’re constantly remembering work to-dos. You want your home to be cozy and safe — not a source of constant stress. Thankfully, you can use boundaries to maintain some balance. You can decide not to check your email after a certain time or turn off your notifications. You can also create no-work zones to keep some spaces free of work stress. For instance, don’t work in bed, on the couch, or in the kitchen. 

The More You Take Care of Yourself, The More Productive You Are

Wellness habits for your workday are about putting yourself first. And the beauty of putting yourself first? You have more to give. The more you fill up your cup with positive work habits, the more productive you can be. Remember, it’s better to take a quick break than to push through!