You probably know the feeling – you walk into work, and the tension is palpable. Between a lack of appreciation for employees and the high-stress environment, it’s no wonder you don’t want to be there. It seems like everyone is trying to make a hasty exit, and you just don’t know what to do. High profile examples of toxic work cultures have made headlines recently, and while pretty much everyone has a story about having a terrible boss or a poor morale at work, signs of a toxic work culture often go unnoticed.

We, at Peerfit, are blessed to have a warm and supportive culture that looks and feels more like family than anything else. We understand the value and uniqueness of what we have, especially since, once upon a time, we all worked somewhere else. We also understand that many times, leaving a less-than-ideal workplace is often easier said than done, for a variety of reasons. We’ve written about how to reduce stress within the workplace, but finding ways to reduce stress outside of it is important, too. Unsurprisingly, we believe that fitness is a cure for most things, including a great way to cope with a toxic work culture. Here’s why.

Refresh, Recharge, Refocus

You’re stressed, you’re frustrated, you’re burnt out – we get it. Why not channel all of that into something healthy and productive? Use the gym or your favorite workout class as a way to redirect your focus. Don’t have a favorite workout class? Use this as an opportunity to find a new one. Give yourself a new kind of “happy hour”, solely dedicated to focusing on yourself. Endorphins are your friend – you’re only one workout away from a good mood.

Change of P(l)ace

Break up your routine! If you’re unhappy at work, it’s easier than ever to take that home with you, impacting relationships with family and friends. Don’t fall into the trap of going straight home from work or vice versa because you’re “too tired” to do anything else. Something as simple as taking a walk outside and getting some fresh air can make a world of difference – you can even make it a family outing. In the end, you’ll feel better, we promise.

Community Over Competition

Chances are, if you’re unhappy with your corporate culture, you aren’t the only one. Grab your best work pal, or a few of them, and go workout together. Think of this as a chance to build team morale and, if need be, vent outside of the office. Improve your culture from the inside out, and form a community out of an environment that is probably too focused on competition.

Expand Your Circle

We’re big fans of using group fitness as a way to meet new people. Friends are our chosen family, and, often times, the first people we go to when we’re stressed or upset. Using your workouts to expand your circle will not only help you forget about your work woes, but it will also help bring a fresh and positive perspective to the mix. We all need outlets, and bonding over an early morning yoga class or post-work sweat sesh is an easy step in the right direction. Networking is never a bad thing, especially if you’re looking to make a change sooner rather than later.

We all know stress has negative side effects on our mental, physical and emotional well-being, and while we can’t control everything that’s thrown our way, we can control how we respond to it. Remember – focusing on your wellbeing is an investment, not an expense.

Author

Anna is Peerfit's Digital Content Strategist and resident Instagram addict. When she's not planning her next trip or wandering around the farmer's market, you can catch her finding her breath at Searchlight Yoga in Gainesville, Florida.

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