Work-Life Balance & Healthy Active Living

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Work-Life Balance & Healthy Active Living

Is there such a thing as a true work-life balance?

At Innovate By Day we often work on campaigns and projects that require us to be available and responsive 24-7. Social media emergencies are real – when it hits the fan, we have to hit the ground running to clean up the mess, answer questions, and manage our communities. Online campaigns have to be flexible, and when a last minute change or a brand-new initiative is called for, we have to get the work done pronto! Our office is (thankfully) very busy and our days are filled to the brim with meetings, calls, proposals and projects. And while this doesn’t mean that we’re constantly tethered to our iPhones (okay, we kind of are), it does create a work environment that is not naturally conducive to putting down our devices and getting up from our desks.

Counteracting that Computer Posture

Like many offices, we work at our computers for prolonged periods of time. We can definitely feel the strain and tension in our neck, shoulder and back muscles. This tension can cause headaches and pain, and it generally makes us feel icky. So after a (very) long winter and a lot of hibernating, we decided that this year our office’s Spring Resolution (that’s a thing, right?) would be to get more active as a company. We wanted to feel more connected to ourselves. Our physical, mental and spiritual (whatever that means to each of us) wellbeing needed to be a priority.

Springing into Action

I am what many people call a “doer”. So, when the team started talking about what we could do to become a fitter office, I began scheming and planning. Luckily we have an amazing boss – Deb – who is very supportive of making IBD a healthy place to work. We all felt that we needed a group activity that could accommodate our various fitness levels and interests, and we decided to try yoga. After some research and review-reading, I reached out to local yoga studio, the Leslieville Sanctuary and, after discussing our wants and needs, we had our first office yoga class with the co-owner of the studio, Emily Delea, exactly one month ago.

Getting to the Mat

Although I don’t get to the mat as often as I would like, I have been practicing yoga for many years, so I couldn’t wait for our first Wednesday office yoga class. But, then the anxiety crept in. I had never done any type of group exercise in a work-place setting before. Would it be weird? Would we truly be able to focus? Would our office environment be conducive to a good mind-body-soul workout? All of these questions raced through my mind in the days leading up to and the (sleepless) night before our first class. I felt worried. What if everyone hated the plan and was only going along with it to be nice?

Creating the Space

It turns out that our first class was the first of many. Our instructor Emily is a pro and wonderfully integrates options to suit our differing ability and experience levels with ease. I love the feeling of moving the furniture and rolling out our mats on Wednesday afternoons. I love turning the ringers down on our phones and having a chance to stretch and strengthen as a group every week. I love when Emily puts on her moody, mystic yoga music and we can all let go of our deadlines and focus on ourselves for an hour. I love our office yoga.

Yoga Mat Gratitude

But, I’m only one member of the team. So, I thought it made sense for everyone to have the chance to weigh in and here’s what they have to say:

 

I really like the mental and physical break from the office chair. Being able to reset mid-week makes it a perfect hump-day activity. – Chloe

 

Having wanted to try yoga for years and coming from a family where almost everyone practiced it except me, it’s been a very good experience and made me really appreciate how you can improve your bodily condition. – Mark

 

For years, I’ve been talking about going to yoga classes, but I’ve been self-conscious of being the only overweight middle-aged dude in the class. Having Emily come in to teach the group helped me to overcome that negative self-talk and get my butt (and my dusty yoga mat) to class. In the first week, I took 5 classes at my local gym and now I’m embarking on a home practice with Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga challenge: http://bit.ly/30DaysOfYogaJames  

 

I had done a couple of classes before doing yoga at work, but it always seemed too intimidating. Getting to do it in our own space and with a great teacher has made me want to continue not only with yoga, but a healthier lifestyle outside of work. It’s a great way to end a day! – Drew

 

I hate just running on a treadmill or lifting weights, but coordinating my schedule with class schedules at a gym is difficult and expensive. Having yoga in the office has been great, not just for my (terrible) posture, but as a way to de-stress and relax. – Sarah

Looking Inward and Forward

Making time to get healthier is super tough and I won’t pretend that there are days when I wonder if we really can afford to “shut down” for an hour of yoga. But week after week, we make it work. And based on how good we all feel after, maybe we can’t afford not to. And while yoga might not make sense for every office, it is a good fit for us. We’re looking forward to a future of hump-day downward dogs and crow poses. And who knows? Maybe our work-life balance will one day include a few handstands. Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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