In a few of our recent posts, we discussed the importance of happiness in the work place and different ways to attain it. Ideas mentioned included exercise, eating healthy, and giving time to help fellow coworkers, to name a few. With life’s daily struggles — and let’s face it, we all have them — it seems nearly impossible to accomplish even one of those ideas mentioned. So the question is, can we really be happy at work? Yes, we can.
Office Essentials’ Marketing Specialist and company cheerleader, Kristin Diering, decided the best way to get started on a happier and healthier lifestyle at work is to form a team of motivators to help kick-start a new movement called OE Health and Wellness. Curious to find out more about the OE Health and Wellness team, and to hear what motivated her to creating such a team, we sat down with Kristin for a one-on-one interview.
Walk me through what the OE Health and Wellness Team is.
Kristin: Sure! The OE Health and Wellness Team is a group of individuals who will help motivate and inspire, through personal stories and experiences, the health and well-being of our employees, customers and community, by promoting a positive mindset through life’s daily challenges at work and/or at home.
Hearing real stories from real people we interact with daily is a great motivator. What was your motivation or what inspired you to create this team?
Kristin: I’ve struggled with my health for a good majority of my life, which caused me a lot of stress in school and at home. It wasn’t until about 6 years ago that I finally realized that it was time to change. At that point in my life I was done with my first round of school, working part-time to pay the bills, and teaching dance 3 to 4 nights a week. I was constantly tired, would get sick a lot, and wasn’t truly happy. That’s when I decided enough was enough. My mother, an avid runner, finally convinced me to start running. Soon after reaching my goal of running 2 miles non-stop, I decided it was time to take the plunge and join Weight Watchers. Within 8 months, I lost 40 lbs and was on my way to completing my first half marathon! I started my second round of school later that year to accomplish a new goal of finding a full-time career that I truly enjoyed. Although school and two part-time jobs took a lot my time, I found a way to focus on myself and my well-being.
Five months after graduation, I landed my first “big-kid” job as a Marketing Associate. I was thrilled and ready to embark on this new, working-girl journey. Little did I know that the lifestyle that I was accustomed to for the last 5 years of constantly moving, working out daily, and eating healthier, would slowly fade away. Sitting down at a desk for 8 hours each day, 5 days a week, started to take a toll on my body and my mental focus. I became tired quickly, would get sick often, and running injuries would occur more frequent than I planned. My eating habits began to slip, as trips through drive-thrus were more convenient then packing a healthy lunch at home. I became disappointed in myself for allowing all my hard work to slowly go do the drain.
After a few years of roller-coaster weight loss and stress levels, I decided it was time to find something that worked, but not only for myself. Unhappiness at work and/or at home is a rather large issue in today’s working world and can be caused by a number of stressors. I want to target those stressors and find practical solutions for people. I want to find that work and life balance. However, doing it alone is never easy. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to create a team. Creative solutions and ideas are endless when we share our thoughts and feelings about topics we can all relate to.
I think a lot of people can relate to your story, but don’t necessarily know how to break away from their habits or are afraid to. Having someone to guide you or lead you in the right direction will provide needed assistance for those who do struggle or need a pick-me-up. Now that we know why, what are some topics you and your team will be discussing each week?
Kristin: Some topics to be discussed, either individually or as a team, include: how to handle stressful situations at work, exercises and stretches at your desk, tips for lunches on-the-go, how to sit properly in your chair, and much more. We plan on covering each topic in multiple ways by sharing facts and tips, providing demo video, or posting info-graphics. Again, the possibilities are endless.
They tend to be when you get a group of people who are passionate about leading a healthy life at work. It all sounds interesting. Will these be posted on a blog or social media?
Kristin: It is interesting, and will be very easy to access. Anyone can view the OE Health and Wellness topics by visiting the “Health and Wellness” tab under our Rethink the Essentials blog. The posts will also be shared on our social media outlets. New topics will be posted on Fridays. The OE Health and Wellness program is an outlet for our employees, and customers, to open up and share with each other their individual struggles and find practical solutions. Each person’s struggle may be different from the next person’s, but we are all aiming towards the same goal. To be happy and healthy, and to find that work/life balance.