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Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Writer's pictureTerri K. Lankford, LPCS

Holistic Health: What is Occupational Wellness?

If you’ve been following along with our Holistic Health blog post series, you’ll have learned about four aspects of holistic health: sleep, movement, diet, and finances. You would have learned that:

  • Holistic health means looking at a person as a whole being, not just a part of a being.

  • Sleep is tied intimately with both physical and mental health.

  • Joyful movement releases those feel-good chemicals that help our mood.

  • Intuitive eating can be better for your mental health than rigid, inflexible diets.

  • Financial wellness is tied to our mental health (financial trauma) and physical health (think housing, meal stability, healthcare).

In the fifth part of this series, we’ll be talking about occupations: jobs, careers, vocations … you get the picture.

Our jobs play a significant role in our lives, and it's important to recognize the impact they can have on our mental health. The nature of our work, the work environment, and the demands placed upon us can all contribute to our overall well-being.

How closely are our occupations tied with our mental and physical health? What can we do to improve our occupational wellness? We’re glad you asked!

The Impacts of Our Occupation on Physical Health:

Our occupation has a profound influence on our physical health, and understanding its impact is crucial for maintaining overall well-being. Consider the following ways our occupation impacts our physical health:

  1. Physical Workload: Certain jobs, like jobs that involve manual labor, involve exposure to physical exertion and demanding tasks that may lead to fatigue and physical exhaustion. On the other hand, sedentary jobs that involve a Lack of physical activity during work hours can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle and associated health risks such as cardiovascular issues.

  2. Work Environment: Exposure to harmful substances, noise, or radiation can pose health hazards and long-term health effects. Additionally, poor ventilation or air quality can contribute to respiratory problems and allergies.

  3. Irregular Work Schedules: Shift work or night shifts can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to sleep disorders and increased risk of chronic conditions. Inconsistent schedules can interfere with establishing healthy routines, including exercise and meal planning.

The Impacts of our Occupation on Mental Health:

Our job can have a profound impact on mental health, influencing various aspects of well-being. Here are several ways in which our occupation can affect mental health:

  1. Work-Related Stress: High workloads, tight deadlines, and pressure to perform can lead to chronic stress and anxiety. Job insecurity or fear of job loss can contribute to increased stress levels and feelings of uncertainty.

  2. Burnout: Prolonged and excessive work-related stress can lead to burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion, detachment, and reduced job satisfaction. Lack of control over workload, long working hours, and a lack of work-life balance can contribute to burnout.

  3. Work-Life Imbalance: Long working hours and a lack of time for personal life and self-care can disrupt work-life balance, leading to increased stress and reduced well-being. Inability to disconnect from work, such as constant connectivity to work emails and demands, can prevent relaxation and negatively impact mental health.

  4. Occupational Identity and Dissatisfaction: A lack of fulfillment or meaning in one's job can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration.Inability to align personal values and goals with the nature of the work can contribute to a sense of disconnect and unhappiness.

How to Cultivate Occupational Wellness:

Occupational wellness involves finding fulfillment, satisfaction, and balance in your work life. By implementing these strategies, you can cultivate a healthier and more rewarding professional journey.

  1. Prioritize Work-Life Balance: Establish boundaries between work and personal life, ensuring time for rest, relaxation, hobbies, and quality time with loved ones.

  2. Develop Time Management Skills: Learn effective time management techniques to increase productivity, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

  3. Seek Growth Opportunities: Continuously pursue professional development opportunities, such as workshops, courses, or certifications, to enhance skills and knowledge in your field.

  4. Establish Healthy Boundaries: Learn to say "no" when necessary and set realistic expectations to prevent overcommitment and burnout.

  5. Advocate for Your Needs: Communicate openly with supervisors or managers about your needs, including workload, resources, or necessary accommodations.

  6. Take Regular Breaks: Incorporate short breaks throughout the workday to recharge, clear your mind, and maintain focus and productivity.

  7. Create an Ergonomic Workspace: Ensure your workspace is ergonomically designed to promote comfort, proper posture, and reduce the risk of physical strain or injuries.

We hope this blog post helped inform you about holistic health, and just one element of it: occupational wellness! If you want more holistic help, look no further than Rise and Thrive Counseling. Our holistic counselors can help address all areas of life - occupational wellness. Reach out today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!




Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.


I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.


I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 


Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.


Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)


All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

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