94% of workers report feeling stress at work, and almost a third say their stress level is high to unsustainably high.¹ On top of that, 90% of people experience elevated stress around the holiday season.⁷ One of the greatest things we can do for our co-workers and employees during this extra busy time of year is support them in living healthy, balanced lives.
A survey of over 2200 workers revealed that 72% cite work-life balance as the most important factor in a job opportunity.⁸ By providing mindfulness, connection building, and personal development opportunities for our employees we can show them we care about what matters most to them. Not to mention, it’s good for business! When people are more mindful they feel connected to themselves and their co-workers, and as a result, they’re happier and healthier. They also have more energy, are more efficient, resolve conflicts more effectively, and approach their daily tasks with more enthusiasm, and a level head.²︲³
As business owners and managers, holiday season is a perfect (and very popular) time to give back to our teams. Sweet and booze filled parties have long been a norm. But in today’s world, where people are evermore interested in wellness, we have other options. Instead of “gifting” our employees hangovers (of multiple kinds!), we can use holiday season as an opportunity to offer them experiences that cultivate mindfulness, self confidence, and improve their overall wellbeing.
Here are some activities to incorporate into your Holiday wellness event (and the benefits of each):
Meditation & Mindfulness Training has been clinically shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain (both physical and psychological). It’s also been linked to increased gray matter in the brain (in the areas associated with logic & reason), improved sleep (off the job of course!), improved memory, increased work efficiency (meditators are faster on all tasks), decreased urges to smoke (aka take extra breaks!), dramatically improved conflict resolution skills, and stronger interpersonal skills (leading to stronger professional and personal relationships).²︲⁶
Sound Therapy uses aspects of music to improve your physical and emotional health and well-being. In a session, commonly referred to as a “Sound Bath,” instruments like singing bowls, drums, gongs and chimes are often accompanied by guided meditation. Sound Therapy has proven in studies to positively affect our neurochemistry, promote feelings of well-being, and reduce stress, anger, depression, and fatigue.³
Aromatherapy is defined by Webster as “inhalation or bodily application (as by massage) of fragrant essential oils (as from flowers and fruits) for therapeutic purposes.” It’s been clinically shown to relieve anxiety and depression, improve quality of life, particularly for people with chronic health conditions, elevated stress, and insomnia.⁴
Communal Eating - those who eat socially (or communally) have been shown to feel happier and are more satisfied with life. They’re also more trusting of others, are more engaged with their local communities (both inside and outside the workplace), and have feel they have more people that they can depend on for support.⁵
The benefits of replacing your traditional holiday party with a wellness event are endless. Maybe you even take an ‘and’ approach and do both. The option is yours!
From in-office meditation & sound baths, to fully-produced and catered events, LAGL works with our extended team of wellness experts to custom create a wellness package for your team or community. Designed to provide an energizing & uplifting experience for all, our events have been called “amazing,” “of another world,” “sensational,” “just what I needed” and more.
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1) Wrike, Brianna Hansen, “Crash and Burnout: Is Workplace Stress the New Normal?” (2018). Link: https://www.wrike.com/blog/stress-epidemic-report-announcement/
2) National Institutes of Health, Hari Sharma “Meditation: Process and effects” (2015) Jul-Sep; 36(3): 233–237. doi: [10.4103/0974-8520.182756] Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4895748/#ref7
3) Goldsby TL, et al. Effects of singing bowl sound meditation on mood, tension, and well-being: An observational study (2016) Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27694559
4) Mayo Clinic Report, Brent A. Bauer, M.D “What are the benefits of aromatherapy?” (2017), Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566
5) Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, Dunbar, R.I.M. “Breaking Bread: the Functions of Social Eating” (2017) 3: 198. Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-017-0061-4
6) Institute for Employment Studies, Andrea Broughton “The Benefits of Using Meditation to Resolve Workplace Conflict” (2014). Link: https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/news/benefits-using-mediation-resolve-workplace-conflict
7) Healthline, Poll: “What Stresses Us Most at the Holidays” (2015), Link: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-stresses-us-most-at-the-holidays-113015
8) Flexjobs, Rachel Jay, Poll: “FlexJobs Survey Finds People Without Kids Want Work Flexibility, Too” (2017), Link: https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/flexjobs-survey-finds-people-without-kids-want-work-flexibility/