Summer is just around the corner. The summer months can be extremely slow for nonprofits. Working in the nonprofit industry can be grueling. The industry is about giving and sometimes it can be at a fault. Between being underpaid (if you are being paid at all), the stress of the job can really get to people which is why it is important to incorporate a system of rest and reset.
Summer or not, here are some tips to promote a healthy work environment.
1. Stroll the stress away
Taking walks throughout the day helps promote physical and mental well-being. Walks help relieve the stress that comes with working in an industry that is so personal. A 30-minute lunch time walk can help improve focus and mood, not to mention the physical benefits. A study conducted by Scandinavian Journal of Medicine in Science and Sports, found that “lunchtime walks improved enthusiasm, relaxation, and nervousness at work”.
Getting out in the fresh air can give your brain a reboot. So, get outside an take a stroll.
2. Provide vacation time and encourage your team to use it
We live in a go-go environment. While many dream of taking a beautiful trip to Tahiti, only half of the U.S. work force is using its vacation time, according to the Job Network. There is a lot of fear from employees about taking a vacation. Here is a list of the top reasons why employees are not taking vacation:
- Afraid of being replaced
- Fear of resentment from your team
- Inability to delegate
- An organizational culture that promotes burnout
This mentality is a major contributing factor for burnout which hurts the employee and the business. It is important to analyze each of these points and offer solutions so that your employees (and you!) are comfortable with a little time away. An example of a solution would be clearly establishing who will handle the responsibilities while the employee is away.
3. Create a space for meditation, reflection, and prayer
Developing a meditation practice can be one of the most grounding things in life.
It helps people pause and take a moment to just be. Having a place where you can meditate, reflect, and/or pray can be helpful to dealing with a difficult day or a challenging work environment.
According to a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University, meditation plays a role in managing cortisol levels, the hormone that creates responses such as disrupted sleep, impaired judgment, and a rise in depressive thoughts and anxiety.
4. Bring in a massage therapist (and other perks)
Bringing in a massage therapist once a month, quarterly, or after a big event can be a great way to recharge. Offering 15-minute messages in the office may help take the edge off or relax. Other perks like catered lunches or organization-sponsored intermural teams can help you feel more connected to your team. Perks like these show your team how much their hard work means to you.