The mission of Mary Jane’s People is to make work better by making people the highest priority.
We partner with leaders who understand the need to make work better. We make work better by building autonomously supportive foundations with well-being as the cornerstone. We do this because decades of research show a healthy and content workplace leads to positive financial results and engaged employees.
In every (work) environment you - the employee - are the highest priority and Mary Jane’s People wants to make work better for you using the following tenets - make people the highest priority, build the team you want to be on, and connect the community. Let’s look at different ways to make yourself the highest priority in and out of work.
Make yourself the highest priority
Making yourself a priority is the first and hardest step. I had to learn how to make myself the highest priority with practice. Before I founded Mary Jane’s People, I worked in some very challenging and dynamic environments. It was essential to have a plan that prioritized me before I could go in and do my best to serve others. My strategy was simple. I built 3 short breaks into my workday to give me the emotional, spiritual, and mental lift I needed. I called these my well-being breaks.
My first well-being break happened before I even walked into the office. I took about 8 minutes every morning to sit in the parking lot and set my intention for the day while listening to a specific song that left me empowered and excited for the work day. Do you have a favorite song that gets your day started and empowers you? Let that be the song to set the tone of the day and practice affirmations before walking in the door. Right now, one of my go-to morning songs is BREAK MY SOUL by Beyonce and I use the Self Love app for affirmations throughout the day.
My 2nd well-being break was during lunch. Once a week I used 20 minutes of my break to take advantage of a free company-sponsored virtual reality well-being program which kicked off my weight loss journey. On the days I didn’t have a well-being VR session, I walked around the office complex parking lot - not always exciting scenery but it allowed me to rest my brain and focus on my surroundings, and mental rest was my goal.
I got moving again during the 3rd break in the afternoon, which was usually walking with friends to wake us up when we really wanted a nap after lunch. I looked for other ways to be active such as walking in 15 minutes spurts several times a day, taking 5-minute dance breaks or yoga flows, and riding my bike during virtual meetings and training webinars (and all this activity helped me lose over 85 lbs. since 2020)!
Finally, I intentionally designed the HR office to be a well-being space for everyone by using soft cool colors, cozy seating, pillows, and throws, and covering the walls with art and affirmations. It felt welcoming, comforting, and warm and was the most popular spot in the office and HR never gets to say that. It just shows how with some curating and crafting an unusual space can provide a well-being experience.
Having a personal well-being practice at work might sound a little odd, but it will feel right once you do it for yourself.
And for the folks at workplaces where your basic needs aren’t met then it’s even more critical to focus on your well-being. And that is something you can do for yourself and do most of the time for free. Being intentional about your well-being is making yourself the highest priority.
Takeaways to making yourself the highest priority:
Plan your well-being breaks and then take them! Use our Make Life Better worksheet to get started on your planning. Start slowly giving yourself a few months of practice to discover what works best for you and what FEELS best to you.
Make those breaks work
Create a morning ritual or pre-work ritual to center and focus your intention
Make quiet time during the day to journal and self-reflect - Fabulous is a great app to build new habits with meditations
Walk around the block, parking lot, floor you work on, and even the stairs, and create a team challenge to make it a competition
Listen to Music - try the playlist for Mary Jane’s People
Move, stretch and dance to activate your endocannabinoid system
Learn more about your company's Employee Assistance Program provided through your company’s benefits plan. EAP often offers many free or low-cost services. BONUS: you do not need to have company benefits to access EAP resources
Establish healthy boundaries at work
Expectations: Know your daily job goals and achieve them (ask for them if you don’t have them)
Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
Drink at least ½ your body weight in water
Take interest in your personal development
Ask yourself what you want - personally and professionally, then set short and long-term SMART goals
Look at learning opportunities - internally at work and externally through volunteer opportunities, community activities, and online. LinkedIn often has part-time volunteer opportunities with esteemed organizations
Now it's your turn to take a few minutes to jot down some thoughts on how you’ll spend your own well-being breaks at work. The benefits of your time investment will flow through you and your work so give yourself the time because you deserve it.
After you get started, send a note to email@example.com and share how making yourself the highest priority is working out for you!