It happens to the best of us. You start to slip up a little at work. You’re tired all the time. You aren’t being your most productive self. You’ve missed a few days due to illness. You’re having trouble staying focused. You’ve just lost your motivation.

Does any of that sound familiar?

A common explanation for this feeling is that you’re burnt out and need to take a step back to relax. And honestly, there’s a lot of truth to that. So ask yourself: Have I been spending enough time taking care of me?

Getting into a rut at work can actually be a pretty good indicator that you’re not putting enough time and energy into yourself. Finding ways to de-stress and focus more on your personal health and wellness can greatly benefit you in many ways, especially in your success and productivity at work.

Stress in the Workplace

Stress is wreaking havoc on the business world.

The World Health Organization ( found that stress costs American businesses around $300 billion a year, and two-thirds ( of doctor’s visits are for stress-related conditions. Stress is a leading cause of many health problems — like high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor weight management — which, in turn, cause company healthcare costs to increase.

Indirectly, stress adds to business costs through lost productivity, absenteeism, and diminished motivation. Three professors reported ( that U.S. employers spend 200-300 percent more on the indirect cost of healthcare than they do on actual healthcare payments.

Businesses are starting to recognize the effects of stress on the workforce and make changes.

A movement to focus on personal wellness — decreasing stress and increasing healthy eating, exercise, and relaxation — is starting to spread through many businesses. More employers are recognizing that improved personal wellness ( for themselves and employees can lower the risk of health issues, raise and sustain energy levels, decrease the frequency of sick days, reduce employee turnover, and increase job performance and productivity.

Benefits of Improving Personal Wellness

Beyond the benefits in the workplace, putting more focus on your personal health and wellness will have lasting effects in other parts of your life. Improving your diet, getting regular exercise, taking time to relax, staying socially engaged, and keeping up your hobbies can all benefit you in the following ways:

• Less stress: Spending more time caring for yourself and doing things you enjoy will bring happiness and peace, which will help lower your stress level considerably. When you’re less stressed, you typically have more energy. More energy results in doing more of what you enjoy, which creates a positive feedback loop of motivation. Just remember to start small and keep challenging yourself.

• A self-image boost: Spending more time on yourself can change the way you see and feel about yourself. Investing time in your body, mind, and spirit will tell your brain that you’re important, shifting your attitude and mood to a happier state. At the same time, you’ll gain more self-confidence, allowing you to do things that you normally wouldn’t. A boost of self-confidence can help you personally and professionally.

• A longer life: Investing in your personal health and wellness can help you live longer and improve your quality of life. It truly is a great investment in the future.

Steps to Improving Personal Wellness

Taking steps to improve your personal wellness doesn’t have to mean a complete life overhaul. Instead, try starting small and building upon your improvements gradually. Consider these easy changes:

1. Move more. Try to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Whether it’s getting up from your desk to stretch and walk around or going for a walk during your lunch break, just moving and standing more will do wonders for your wellness.

2. Drink more water. Drinking water regularly is a great way to stay healthy, regulate your weight, keep energy levels high, and stave off hunger. Keep a bottle of water at your desk to help you avoid soda or other sugary drinks. If you want a little flavor, add some lemon; the antioxidants in lemons also help with inflammation and support your immune system.

3. Practice meditation. Stress causes an array of health problems and has one of the biggest effects on your long-term health, so taking time out of your day to de-stress is vital. Start meditating in the morning or just closing your eyes at your desk and doing some deep breathing during the workday. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

4. Organize your activities. Another simple thing you can do to reduce stress is to create to-do lists. Make a list of your tasks for the week and then break them down into daily activities. It will get the information out of your mind, allow you to be more productive, and make you feel accomplished when you cross items off each day.

5. Alter your food environment. A big part of improving personal wellness is improving your eating habits. If your company only keeps junk food on hand for snacks, bring in fresh fruit, granola bars, or mixed nuts as healthier options. Opt for healthy, homemade lunches instead of heading out to the nearest fast-food joint. Eliminating unhealthy food temptations from the workplace will help you make better choices.

6. Cut out the sugar. Tweaking your sugar levels throughout the day with sugary coffee or soft drinks will make your energy levels spike and plummet, decreasing your focus, motivation, and productivity. Don’t snack on processed foods or fill your coffee with sugar. Instead, eat whole foods that fill you up and give you more energy.

If you find yourself falling behind, losing motivation, or struggling at work, it might mean you need to spend more time focusing on yourself. Decreasing your stress and improving your personal wellness will have lasting effects on your life at home and in the workplace. So what’s stopping you?

Author's Bio: 

Veer Gidwaney is the CEO and co-founder of Maxwell Health. Maxwell Health provides a SaaS platform through health insurance brokers that drastically reduces the headaches associated with employee benefit systems. Tech Cocktail recently named Maxwell Health the “Hottest Startup in the Nation” in 2013.

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