Welcome to Ayurveda in the Workplace, where we offer tips to help you meld the seemingly conflicting energy of your daily work life and your Ayurveda practice.
For some of us, work is a place that allows our creativity and spirit to soar. For others, work might be stressful, challenges our ability to eat healthy, leaves us limited time for workouts and gets in the way of our spirit—that thing we really should be doing in life. And for most of us, work is a combination of the "yay, awesome!" and the not-so-awesome.
In either scenario, work life needs to be balanced to allow creativity and problem-solving to come easily. Productivity and efficiency are at their best when we feel good, so how do we feel good when we spend all our time working?
The first step into bringing Ayurveda into work is to be grateful for the work you have, no matter what it is. Shift to a place of gratitude for what your job provides, which is, your livelihood. You could probably name all the great things your job gives you (hint: make a gratitude list about your job!). At the same time, if your work is not what you are destined to do in life—if it's not your dharma—that's fine. You can work on discovering that and working toward that goal. However, we all need to pay the bills. So...how do we use Ayurveda to our advantage especially in the workplace, where we need it the most!
- Take a 10 minute meditation break. Go in a conference room or private place. Block it on your calendar.
- Bring your lunch. Don't race around and spend $12 only to feel guilty about money spent and then eat food that doesn't make you feel awesome. Bring your beloved lunch filled with nutrients and save your money for better things...like cute shoes.
- Work in 90 minute increments and then take a break. Taken from the book The Power of Full Engagement, working long hours is taxing on our body-minds. Taking a 10 minute break every 90 minutes to walk around the block or play some music is nourishing so that we become more efficient and better performers when we are working...cause we know we have a break coming.
- Nobody else is like you. Treat others with compassion and understanding even if they have a "difficult" personality or work differently than you do. It is expected that we are all different, so use your Ayurvedic knowledge of the dosha personalities and begin to see others as whole people rather than just someone you "have to work with."
- Plan your day ahead of time. Kapha time is in the morning and kaphas are followers. At the end of the day write your to-do list so that it's waiting for you in the morning. You won't even have to think about what you are going to do next because it is there waiting for you.
- Move as much as you can. Small bursts of exercise are good for all our tissues and our agni. Get in as many stair climbs and walks as you can. If you drive to work be sure to use one of your breaks for a brisk walk. You can even get a standing desk!
- Equip with herbal teas at your desk. Have a nice variety and share them with others. A little tea offering goes a long way with interpersonal relationships at work! Don't forget the honey!
- Have a few Aromatherapies on hand. Aromatherapies can uplift a stagnant desk environment or calm your nerves after a stressful meeting. Try a spritz of rose water – it’s cooling and removes negative energies. Lavender relieves stress—put behind ears or on wrists. Grapefruit or citrus is uplifting—put on wrists or throat. And all of these are not stinky enough to offend your coworkers and they will probably ask if they can have some too!