January 31, 2019
Every day our primary focus is on getting the best possible PR results and opportunities for our clients; but we make sure to build in various perks, special events, and other activities to help us reach the “Triple Aim of Aria” – increased productivity, improved health and wellness, and reduced stress levels.
Enter Aria’s newest committee: The Wellness Committee. The Wellness Committee – focused on mind, body, and environmental wellness – organizes quarterly events to educate the team about ways to improve their own health and wellbeing. Across the country, wellness initiatives in the workplace are a growing trend, from things as simple as installing standing desks and allowing pets in the office (both of which are already Aria staples), to larger initiatives like hosting a weekly farmers’ market in the company parking lot.
Here’s a taste of the activities The Wellness Committee has brought to Aria so far.
Chair Massages for All
Imagine this: You’re in the middle of a very busy day, your shoulders are tight and you’ve been sitting at a computer for hours crossing things off of your to-do list. Then someone calls your name and says, “It’s time for your massage.” That was Aria’s reality the day we brought Watertown Massage Associates to the office. Christina Paquette, the massage therapist and owner of Watertown Massage, set up in a conference room and provided wonderful 15-minute chair massages to soothe our tense upper bodies and bring some relaxation to a very busy time. Based on the expressions on everyone’s faces right after their massages, taking a quick break for a massage was a game-changer.
In January, we were graced with a visit from Dr. William Jackson, a clinical health psychologist at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, who also teaches meditation and mindfulness via his Skillful Means business, based right here in Newton. For our session, we started with a quick breakdown of meditation and its benefits, such as reducing stress, increasing perspective and clarity in daily tasks, etc. William debunked the myth that meditation is as simple as “clearing your mind” and instead encouraged us to focus our attention on specific senses – what we saw, what we heard, and how we felt – as he led us through the meditation. Our meditation culminated in focusing on the rhythm of our breathing as we relaxed and tuned out the outside world. If our minds wandered, William encouraged us to gently bring our attention back to our breath. One of the best takeaways from this session was learning how William approaches meditation: meditation is a practice; if you get distracted it’s not a meditation “fail.” What’s important is just trying to focus on bringing your attention back and building the meditation muscle in your brain, which is ultimately what meditation is about.
The Wellness Committee encapsulates Aria’s commitment to making every work day more enjoyable. While The Wellness Committee has more plans up its sleeve, wellness is also an important part of daily life that extends far beyond quarterly planned activities. If wellness is something you want to emphasize in your life or your workplace, there are so many easy places to start. Some of us are working on practicing meditation just through the act of “noticing;” we keep the office kitchen stocked with healthy snacks (and also not-so-healthy, but it’s all about moderation!); we’ve started a causal workout group on Wednesday evenings; and we even have a “tea of the week” series (more on that for another post). For me, I’ve found that taking time out of my day for a quick walk around the block – or a longer walk along the nearby Charles River, when time and weather allow – makes me a more productive worker and a happier person all around. Many of our team members do the same. Ultimately, your wellness practice should be something that resonates with you. If you’re looking for some wellness inspiration, give us a follow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see our latest activities. We invite you to get well with us!