Learn about occupational wellness at SOU

Occupational Wellness

Part of Campus Recreation’s mission is to create a culture of wellness in the Student Recreation Center and our campus community. Over the next few months, we’ll be examining eight different wellness dimensions and giving you some tips on how to incorporate holistic wellness into your daily life. Our second dimension of focus is occupational wellness.

What is occupational wellness?
Occupational wellness is about focusing on your ability to balance work and play. To do this, you have to address the stress you experience at your workplace and your relationships with your coworkers. The average person spends most of their week at the workplace, and it is vital that while you are there, you are in the best mental state possible. If you achieve good occupational wellness, you will enrich your life with close relationships and self-satisfaction.

Tips for working on your occupational wellness:

  • Find a career that fits your skillset, goals, and interests. This is easier said than done, but if you are patient and seek out a job that will fit the criteria you are searching for, the results will be worth it. Even if you have to get a mediocre job just to pay the bills, continue looking for a different position. If you look forward to working and find joy in your career, it will make your everyday life go much smoother.
  • Create healthy relationships with your coworkers. Put yourself out there and reach out to others in your workplace, even if it is just a simple “hello.” If you feel nervous around or judged by a coworker, you need to address this situation and reach out to those who can help.
  • Find ways to reduce stress at work. This can entail many things and will look different for every person. It can mean finding cubicle de-stressors: quiet little gadgets at your desk that help calm you down. Some people may take short moments out of their day to pray, meditate, or take some time to walk outside.
  • Make it a priority to find times for friends and family outside of work. You need to work AND play to maintain your mental wellbeing. Spending time with friends and family outside of work will help relieve the stress during your workday.
  • Enjoy your job! Again, this is easier said than done, but we cannot stress this enough. Enjoying your job will help boost every area of your life. If you aren’t in the best job right now, try to find little things that make you joyful while you have to be there. Instead of putting energy into dreading work, try and focus on evaluating your strengths, and look ahead to a new position.

Occupational wellness and working from home

Working (and learning) from home
In 2020, most of us have had to adjust to a new way of working and learning remotely. Here are some ways to make sure you’re staying productive at home.

  • Stick to a schedule. Remote learning and working are often much more unstructured than the traditional model, and the distractions and relaxed nature of your home environment can be challenging to overcome. Try sticking to a similar schedule you followed while going to campus. Even something small, like changing into fresh clothes in the morning or breaking for lunch at your usual time, can help your brain switch on and stay in “work mode.”
  • Set up a dedicated workspace. If possible, avoid working or studying from your bed. Keep your space stocked with all your work essentials – water, pens, notepads, chargers, headphones, and anything else you would typically have in your backpack or the office.
  • Make sure to take breaks. Think about your typical day of class or work – you’re probably taking more breaks than you might think. Those small breaks that come with walking to class, chatting with coworkers or classmates, and waiting in line to grab food can be lost when you work from home. If you have trouble scheduling breaks for yourself, try using the Pomodoro method.
  • Pay attention to ergonomics. Your adjustable office chair and your dining table chair are likely not created equal. If you can’t afford some new, ergonomically-correct furniture, you can still undo bad posture. Make sure you stand, stretch, and take a little walk during your breaks. Try and attend Zoom meetings or lectures while standing. Ensure you’re exercising regularly – do some yoga, cardio, or lift weights at the Student Recreation Center.

How can SOU help you improve your occupational wellness?

  • SOU uses Handshake as our central job advertisement platform. Handshake is an online network that helps college students find jobs and internships. As an SOU student, you have an account through Handshake. On Handshake, you can find on-campus job and internship opportunities, and you can also find other jobs in the area. Plus, look out for jobs from Campus Recreation – we are one of the biggest employers on campus!
  • The office of Career Connections has staff that will help you identify and achieve your career goals! Whether you need them to help you find a job now or after you graduate, they will work with you in any way possible.