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Learn & Practice

Workplace Wellness: Reflecting During Seasonal Shifts

By The Healthy Minds Team

In this week’s Workplace Wellness we explore how seasonal shifts can bring about reflection, renewal, and inspiration.

Photo by Yasmina H on Unsplash 

Fall is here, and with it the feeling of transition is so often brought about – both physically and mentally – by seasonal change. While spring cleaning may be the more flashy and well-known of these transitions – any seasonal shift can bring about reflection, renewal, and inspiration. You can lean into these transitions and approach fall with an eye toward resetting your work – in both your physical space and your emotional perspective.

As the leaves change, kids go back to school, and cooler weather drives cravings for coziness and home – this is the perfect opportunity to declutter your space. You can imbue the decluttering and cleaning of your work space with awareness, connection, insight and purpose and leverage this activity as a support for a growth mindset. Here’s how:

  • Schedule a block of time solely for cleaning your workspace. If you run a department or lead a team, you can invite everyone to block this time as well – it’s a great way to model well-being behavior. Don’t just remember that you plan to clean on X date, actually block your calendar and title the appointment, “Declutter Session.”

  • You may not notice it yourself, but a cluttered desktop (both literally and digitally) does have an effect on your brain and your work. Starting with awareness for your space can help you reset for the season. Direct your attention to your physical space – notice the colors, the height of papers, the smells and sounds that surround you. Focus your attention on the details – avoid rapidly tossing items.

  • Use insight to reflect on these items while you clean. What project was that post-it note in reference to? Can you reflect on that project and how it turned out? What did you learn from that experience? When it comes to your digital space – you can do the same thing – what has changed since you last worked on these items? Were your assumptions challenged at all?

  • As your space begins to clear up – can you bring appreciation into the practice? What has gone well over the past season in your work? Whom of your colleagues supported you? Celebrate connection – your teamwork, collaboration, and completion of goals before immediately turning toward a new season. Then can you bring appreciation and gratitude toward everything fall has to offer and the new projects that lie ahead this season? If it helps, you can say a small phrase silently like, “May this fall bring happiness and peace to my team.”

  • Lastly, bring purpose into your cleaning. Cleaning and decluttering may feel like a mundane task, but applying your deepest motivations to these types of activities can help keep your purpose front and center. Why are you spending the time decluttering and cleaning your work space? What aspect of your personal values is reflected in this task? Are you supporting your mental health? Making it easier for yourself to find files in the future and thus reducing your stress? Are you making your space open and clean for others around you because you value kindness? Just reflect on what’s driving this activity – AND how it all ties back to your work in general. (This 10 minute meditation, Purpose in Daily Life, can guide you through this process.)

Transitions, like the transition from summer to fall, are a great opportunity to pause, reflect, and turn forward in a positive manner. Getting a little cleaning done while you’re at it can give you a physical fresh start and a feeling of clarity and peace. Have fun, and happy fall!

Learn more about how the Healthy Minds Framework can support your workplace well-being with our Healthy Minds @Work program. Dive deeper into the scientific framework for well-being by registering for our Healthy Minds Masterclass: Founders Edition.

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