If there was ever a day to help your employees to take control of their health and wellbeing, it’s Global Wellness Day (GWD)! This international social project, celebrated on the second Saturday of June, helps people around the world find the time and tools they need to take care of themselves.
Every celebration looks different — after all, there are as many ways to take care of yourself as there are people on the planet! Some people dance, others eat healthy food. Some organizations host meditation workshops, others facilitate wellbeing fairs. There’s no one way to live well, so your organization is spoiled for choice when it comes to supporting employee wellness.
We’ve gathered several ideas to get you started. Whichever options you choose, consider scheduling them in the week running up to Global wellness Day. You can make employee wellness visible on the day-of by sharing images or stories about your celebrations on social media with the hashtag #GlobalWellnessDay. The world needs more wellness in the workplace and this is a great way for your organization to lead by example.
- Facilitate Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is the practice of paying close attention to one’s food — what it is, where it comes from, how it makes you feel while eating it and after you’re done. When people slow down while eating, actually thinking about their food while they eat it, people become more aware of their body’s reaction to food. It helps them savor the meal and notice when they get full.
To foster mindful eating in honor of GWD, consider hosting a lunch-and-learn with a dietitian to discuss healthful cooking techniques and mindful eating. This can be livestreamed for remote employees, who can even make a meal in their home kitchens alongside the demonstration. You could also host a potluck lunch where employees bring in healthy snacks and meals to share with colleagues. To include distance employees, your organization can send them gift cards to healthy food chains or send them a special lunch.
- Host a Fitness Competition
Not only is a fitness challenge a fun and engaging way to stay healthy, it can also help foster team camaraderie. There are so many options for workplace fitness challenges you can host in honor of GWD. You could have different departments or project teams compete in a relay race or obstacle course. Or you could host a tournament for classic ball games like basketball, softball, or soccer. Then there’s the classic field day so many people remember from elementary school — this is a great time to bust out the flag football, dodgeball, and hopscotch!
If you have a remote staff, you can create challenges that employees can do separately while keeping score. A Work Week Walk challenge is one option, in which employees use a Fitbit or other steps device to record how many steps they take during the week. The person with the most steps by, say, Friday’s close of business is declared the winner. You can reward this quick-stepper with wellness-focused prizes like fresh fruit baskets or nutritional meal delivery services.
- Provide Group Fitness Activities
A little friendly competition is great, but moving is also its own reward. You can honor GWD with fitness classes for your staff, like renting out a local cycling studio or bringing a yoga teacher into the office. Streaming the class on a Zoom call makes this accessible to remote employees, but you can also advertise the opportunities ahead of time so local remote employees can choose to make a special trip if they want to take part.
An even more low-key option to get everyone’s blood pumping is to organize a group walk or hike. This gives people the chance to get away from their desk even if they don’t want to get sweaty mid-work day. If you send a calendar invite for the group walk to the whole organization, remote employees can take advantage of the designated time to step away from their desk too.
- Offer Meditation Workshops
Meditation has so many benefits — it can increase somebody’s ability to handle stress, lower resting heart rate, improve sleep, and increase self-awareness, to name a few. These effects help employees thrive as workers and people.
You can help employees access all of these upsides with guided meditation sessions throughout the work week. You can arrange for a professional meditation coach to host a guided meditation, which can be hosted in a quiet office space while being live streamed to remote employees. Seminars exploring the different types of meditation — like mindfulness, guided, or loving-kindness meditation — can also introduce your team to new tools they can use to care for themselves longterm.
- Organize Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer opportunities are a chance for employees to take care of themselves by taking care of their community. Giving feels good!
You can tailor the volunteer activity to fit the interests of your team or align with your organization’s mission. For example, if you have staff members passionate about nutrition and health, you could partner with local food banks or pantries to help package meals. Alternatively, if you work at, say, a residential construction company, you could schedule time for your staff to help at the local homeless shelter to support the goal of everyone in your commuting having access to shelter.
- Put on a Health and Wellness Fair
A wellness fair is a great way to introduce employees to new ideas and information they can use to support their long term wellbeing. You can bring in vendors that will help your staff sample products like protein bars or new running shoes, or get a 10-minute shoulder massage. You can also bring in researchers or industry professionals to give talks about their area of expertise, whether that’s nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, stress management, or mental health.
A virtual health and wellness fair is also completely possible for distributed organizations. Seminars can become webinars, which also give remote staffers the opportunity to become wellness leaders at your organization. You can leave slots throughout the week for your team members to teach colleagues about whatever tactics they use to take care of their wellbeing, whether that’s painting, journaling, or cooking.
- Give out Gifts that Promote Wellbeing
Giving out goodies that enable wellness lets employees know the organization values their wellbeing. After all, a yoga class during the workday is great, but gifting an employee a yoga mat empowers them to practice anytime.
Wellness gift ideas include:
- Aromatherapy diffusers or natural essential oils to boost relaxation, reduce stress, and stimulate creativity.
- Fitness trackers and activity monitors to track their health progress.
- Workout gear to feel good and motivate them to reach their health and fitness goals.
- Water bottles to replace wasteful plastic bottles and stay hydrated during the workday.
- Luxurious bath salts for pampering during a self-care day.
- Herbal teas to aid digestion, unwind, and improve sleep quality.
Keep Up Employee Wellbeing All Year
The slogan for Global Wellness Day is ‘One day can change your whole life!’ And isn’t changing lives what wellness activities are really all about? The lessons, tips, and systems you highlight for GWD are most powerful if they are incorporated into employee’s daily lives for years to come.
A great way to systematize these supports year-round is through an employee wellness program. These initiatives help employees thrive, which comes right back around to benefit your organization — research from Brigham Young University shows employees who exercise or eat healthy foods are more likely to have better job performance. Wellness programs have also been shown to make it easier to both retain existing employees and recruit new talent.
If you want to offer your employees more ways to keep up with their health and wellness goals, reach out to a Gympass wellbeing specialist today!
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.