Businesses are at their best when their employees are at their best. Including a wellness message in your employee newsletter can be a useful way to encourage your employees to keep themselves at their peak physical, mental, and emotional shape.
Not only does this improve current employee morale and productivity, but it also improves your company’s reputation by creating a caring culture for workers. It can also reduce healthcare costs for both workers and organizations. This article lists the most useful messages for promoting wellness in workplace newsletters from across the web so you can quickly find the ones that best fit your company’s needs.
- Make time for exercise. If you find it difficult to begin a whole fitness regimen, start with adding simple, manageable changes to your daily routine. Park on the far side of the lot so you have to walk farther inside. Walk as many flights of stairs as you can before you switch to the elevator. Take a lap outside the building during your break. Try shoulder shrugs, arm swings, knee raises, or any other cubicle-friendly workouts you can think of during your work day. Dance to your favorite music when you get home. Add more difficult tasks as you become comfortable.
- Start a garden. This benefits every part of the self. The labor involved is fantastic exercise, and fruits and vegetables provide excellent nutrition. It’s also a hobby that requires thought and dedication, keeping the mind sharp and providing and emotional outlet.
If many of your employees’ homes do not have good gardening territory, provide information on local community gardens that they may join or other organizations that may need volunteer gardeners.
- Disinfect your workspace once a week. Include your keyboard, mouse, phone, and anything else you touch regularly. You may not be sick, but someone close to you might have a bug they don’t even know about yet.
- Drink water. It’s a classic because it’s a necessity, and we all forget our H20 every now and then. Depending on each individual’s body, adults need nine to thirteen cups of water per day.
Use this message as an opportunity to generate interest among your employees in quality, reusable water bottles with the company logo that you can sell them.
- Make sure your employee health benefits are up to date and that you’re using them as best you can. The company provides these benefits to keep you at your best, so you should be sure you are getting your yearly health exams to detect any risks and prevent whatever issues you can. Don’t forget vision and dental!
- Plan ahead for when you or a family member becomes sick or hurt. Know what situations warrant an emergency room visit, when to go to your nearest in-network urgent care facility, and when you can wait for an appointment with your regular doctor. Have some money set aside to take care of any deductibles or other expenses that insurance may not cover.
- Eat breakfast and pack your lunches. Yes, breakfast is as important as they say, but empty calories (*cough cough* doughnuts *cough*) don’t count. Try fresh fruit or something packed with protein. Take time Sunday to plan flavorful lunches for your week that you’ll enjoy and that will help you stave off your junk food cravings. A few nuts can be a quick, easy replacement for unhealthy salty snacks. Avoid processed or frozen lunches whenever possible. Find fun new salad, soup, and whole grain sandwich recipes to keep your lunches fresh.
- Handwashing habits are important all the time—not just during flu season, and not just in the bathroom. Start today. Scrub for a full 20 seconds and use the hottest water you can stand. Remember to wash before you eat and after you leave shared spaces like the break room.
- Keep your kitchen clean. Avoid cross contamination by washing your knives and cutting boards immediately after raw meat touches them, without cutting any other meat or food. Clean your reusable dishes, especially water bottle mouth pieces, at least once a week to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
- Oral hygiene affects your whole body because of the bacteria in your mouth. Make sure you brush twice daily and floss daily (yes, you really need to floss—cavities between your teeth are no fun). If you can’t make the recommended visit to your dentist every six months for a cleaning, try to go at least once a year for a full checkup and keep those pearly whites safe well into old age.
- Sun safety is important year round, especially in warmer climates. If you’re spending more than half an hour outdoors, preparing for a vacation, or even just driving with your arm exposed through the car window, don’t forget the SPF 30 or higher to prevent skin conditions like discoloration, wrinkles, lesions, and cancer. Otherwise, be sure your skin is covered with clothing or shade.
- A full night’s sleep doesn’t just feel good; it’s necessary for our minds and bodies to function. Try as we might, we can’t entirely replace the effects of sleep with coffee. If you have trouble sleeping, try creating a routine to get ready for bed in the same order every night. Include turning off electronics twenty or thirty minutes before bedtime and drinking a nice cup of caffeine free herbal tea. There are also smartphone or tablet apps available with adult bedtime stories and nighttime meditations.
- Remember that beverages have calories, too. Most popular 20 oz sodas have about 250 calories, and a 16 oz mocha latte has about 260. That is more than most candy bars. Even “healthy” drinks like juice can contain a lot of sugar. Make drinks like these occasional treats, and try not to add too much sugar or cream to your naturally-low-cal coffee and tea.
- Stretching is just as important as the workout itself. Skipping a stretch session before your fitness routine could mean a permanent injury. Even if you’ve been working out your whole life without stretching and you’ve never had a problem, start right now. The older you get, the more your body needs it. And if you don’t work out, stretching in the morning or at your desk as a quick workflow break is a great way to wake you up and keep you focused and energized without too much physical strain.
- Find a nutrition or fitness buddy at work and keep each other accountable. It’s easier to stick to healthy habits when you know someone else cares whether or not you slip up, and a coworker is more likely to have a similar schedule to yours so you can go to the gym together.
- Remember that physical activity only becomes more important as you age so that bones and muscles can resist deterioration. Just because it’s getting harder doesn’t mean it’s time to give up!
- Have employees volunteer to share their favorite healthy recipes. Ask for meals, snacks, and desserts that meet a variety of health needs. Share one per newsletter or a few at once.
- Choose a monthly, quarterly, or yearly theme for your wellness messages. Many newsletters already exist that publish health and wellness information based on a monthly schedule. You can use a schedule from one of them and publish content based on their theme. Here are a couple of examples:
- As an alternative, you could base you schedule on the national health awareness month schedule, such as breast cancer in October and heart health in February. Here is the full schedule:
More information and toolkits for each month can be found at https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/default.aspx.
Emotional and Mental Wellness
- Walk to other employees’ desks to ask quick questions or deliver messages instead of sending emails. This builds community and has the added benefit of getting you and your coworkers out of your seats for some mild physical activity throughout your daily routines.
- What are you doing to cope with your stress? For some people, hobbies or relaxing after work is enough. Others need to make sure their support system—friends and family with whom they talk through their problems—is intact and active. Take a minutes to examine whether your coping skills are keeping up with your stress level. If not, decide whether you need to reduce your stressors, improve your management techniques, or both.
- Take planned breaks. For every hour you work, take five minutes to do something relaxing, distracting, or physically engaging. If you prefer longer breaks after a few hours, pencil them into your schedule or set reminders on your phone or computer to make sure your brain gets the rest it needs. Either way, you will be more productive with this intentional downtime as a part of your day than with a nonstop steam of halfhearted effort.
- Integrate yoga into your routine for mindfulness that is also physically challenging. Even if you only spend five or ten minutes in the mornings and/or evenings with a mild practice, yoga provides time to disengage from the rest of the world and focus on nothing but being in your body. Try taking a class or two, especially if you can find a free sample class offered at a local gym. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can use one of many smartphone apps to continue your practice.
- Make mealtimes connection times. Especially if you have a family with differing, hectic schedules, it can be impossible to sit down together and have 1950s style meals at the table every night. It doesn’t have to be as formal as that, but at least try to be in the same room without distractions like phones and TV.
- Volunteer to take shelter dogs for walks, pet the cats, or play with any other animals they may have. It’s an emotional win-win.
- Listen to classical music, jazz, electronica, or anything else without lyrics to keep you relaxed and focused while you’re in your workflow.
- Try to stimulate your mind outside of work with engaging hobbies. Movies, TV, and social media are perfectly fine, but they may not be fulfilling if they are all you do. Try reading, writing, audiobooks, podcasts, drawing, painting, adult coloring, jigsaw puzzles, or logic games.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a good book. Many people enjoy reading while they are in school but fall out of the habit after they graduate. Others may not discover the joy of literature until they grow up. Either way, most city’s libraries now offer digital library cards so you can read online or even borrow audiobooks without leaving your home or spending a dime. Of course, if you like the feeling of the pages in your hands, visits to libraries or book stores can be cathartic.
- If your workspace is disorganized, you might feel disorganized too. Feel free to take the time to straighten up so you can feel more at ease and be more productive.
- Post your favorite encouraging and inspirational quotes or images near your desk. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to read one and really focus on what it means and how it can help you in your situation at that particular moment.
- Remember that everyone needs help. Asking for it shows strength. Needing support from coworkers, supervisors, a therapist, family, or friends does not mean you are weak or incapable.
- Make a list of reasons you are proud of yourself. This could include past accomplishments, formal recognitions, personal improvements, even social and relationship achievements. Just try not to compare yourself to others’ success or failure. Look at the list whenever you need a confidence boost.
Besides the messages on this list, your employees are a great resource for wellness tips. Ask them to share their favorite ways of keeping themselves happy and healthy and publish one or two of their comments per issue. Doing so is a simple way to help build a sense of community and start conversations in addition to helping you find new and relevant wellness content for your newsletter.