Creating a Healthy Work Environment by Theresa Gargala, PsyD, CDFW

Your Work Time

We spend a lot of our time and energy investing in our jobs/careers. From an emotional and practical standpoint, it makes sense to make the most of our time while we work.

A little thoughtfulness and common courtesy go a long way in the work place. Use these tips below to do your part in creating a healthy, happy work environment:

  • If you borrow anything, return it. If you borrow it more than twice, get your own.
  • If you have a problem with someone, talk to them about it, not everyone else.
  • Focus on your work, not what others are doing.
  • Be careful not to overstep your boundaries. Know where your au­thority begins and ends.
  • Remember your coworkers aren’t therapists.
  • Don’t date co-workers. It can get messy.
  • Try not to brag about personal achievements (i.e., your salary, pro­motions, etc.).
  • Refrain from spending time work­ing on personal items (i.e., personal calls, texting friends, writing personal notes, ordering online, Facebooking, etc.).
  • Don’t monopolize shared equipment (i.e., copiers, printers, etc.).

Your Co-Workers: Some co-workers are easier to get along with than others. Here is some advice that may help you deal with per­sonality types different from yours.

The Chatterbox: Put the blame on yourself and indicate how you’d love to hear what they have to say, just not while you’re working. If you truly enjoy their company, invite them to lunch.

The Gossip: Change the subject or say that you don’t feel right discussing someone behind their back.

The Complainer: Change the subject when they begin to complain. They should get the hint after you do this repeatedly.

The Delegator: If team work is encouraged and you have time to help, you should. Other­wise, tell your co-worker you have your own work.

The Credit Grabber: The first time this happens, consider it a mistake, but mention it to your colleague. If it occurs again, let the appropriate people know the role you played. Unless it is mandated for you to work with this person, refuse to help out again.

De-stress Yourself: Carrying anxiety from work raises the risk of numerous health problems (i.e., high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, headaches, etc.).

Here are some ways to de-stress:

  • Listen to music in your car.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Exercise.
  • Think positively!
  • Don’t bring work home.
  • Set appropriate boundaries.
  • Don’t rely on substances!
  • Eat only if you’re hungry.
  • Realize your limits.

None of these are easy; however, if you don’t learn how to de-stress, your work & health may suffer.


Blessed are those whose attitudes are shaped by their hopes, not their hurts.

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