Three Pillars of Health in the Workplace
By Courageous Being
January 23, 2024
According to Dr. Margaret Paul, there are three key factors contributing to our ability to thrive and embody wellness, including in the workplace.
Dr. Margaret refers to them as the Three Pillars of Health. Below we outline each factor as it relates to your holistic health and wellness and explain how these factors relate to your business day.
Three Pillars of Holistic Health
1. Nutrition Plus! = anything you ingest (so it will need to be digested)
Yes, this is about the ability to nourish your body with healthy, vibrant foods during the workday. But it extends beyond just good eating habits—it encompasses all elements you consume during your workday that may affect your well-being. What’s the quality of the air you’re breathing? Are you able to manage noise levels? How about monitoring excessive screen time? At some level, you’ll need to “digest” anything you take in during the day, with any of your senses. This is all crucial for your mental clarity and focus.
2. Balanced Movement = exercise and rest
This is about harmonious integration of both active motion and relaxation. Finding equilibrium between work and rest, sleep and exercise is fundamentally important for maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health. At work, make sure to stretch, regularly stand up and take a short walk, perhaps consider switching to a standing desk, and if your employer offers a relaxation space to support employees’ overall health, be sure to check it out.
3. Inner Work
This pillar involves doing inner work on a regular basis, to raise self-awareness, understand thoughts and emotions, identify limiting beliefs, and foster emotional and cultural intelligence. At work, activities like mindfulness sessions, emotional intelligence workshops, and conflict resolution training can help manage stress, improve communication, and nurture a more supportive corporate culture.
Note on sleep:
While we can consider sleep as part of the Second Pillar, integrated with balanced movement (as a combination of exercise and rest), Dr. Margaret says that in her observations of her numerous clients over the decades of her work, optimal, rejuvenating sleep begins to occur when we take good care of all three pillars of health. For more comments by Dr. Margaret on the importance of taking good care of our health, check out this article
You can use the Three Pillars model to take an honest inventory of your wellness at work.
Follow the prompts below and consider changes—what would support your wellness and thriving?
#1: Check Your Consumption
Do I mostly eat what’s good for me while I am at work, or do I cut too many corners?
What else am I ingesting beyond food that impacts my well-being?
How does my screen time, or environmental factors, like exposure to noise, affect my focus and mental clarity at work?
#2: Assess Your Movement
Am I striking a healthy balance between movement and rest throughout my workday?
How can I incorporate short breaks or wellness activities to avoid prolonged periods of sitting?
#3: Raise Self-Awareness
What thoughts, emotions, and reactions am I running in workplace scenarios?
How can I enhance my emotional intelligence to better manage stress and conflicts at work?
PS: Remember to engage in self-observation without judgment!