Opticians often juggle multiple roles — from attending to customers and managing inventories to running eye tests and performing fittings. The combination of client-facing tasks and behind-the-scenes work can create a high-stress environment. Consequently, personal wellness often takes a backseat.

However, prioritizing mental and physical well-being isn’t just a personal prerogative; it’s crucial for workplace productivity and customer service. Here’s how you and your staff can manage stress and maintain wellness in the opticianry workplace.

Take Short, Frequent Breaks

Being on your feet all day can take a toll on your body. Short, frequent breaks can help alleviate physical fatigue and mental exhaustion. For example, a five-minute break every hour to stretch and relax can make a significant difference. Use this time to step away from the workspace, do some light stretching, or even practice deep breathing.

Maintain Proper Posture

The nature of opticianry work often involves looking down, bending, and focusing on small details. These repeated actions can lead to poor posture, resulting in back and neck pain. Actively remind yourself to stand up straight, align your back, and make ergonomic adjustments to your workspace if possible. An ergonomically designed chair or anti-fatigue mat can offer crucial support.

Stress Management Techniques

Mental stress can arise from handling complex prescriptions, dealing with difficult customers, and/or managing a busy schedule. Techniques such as mindfulness and deep-breathing exercises can be helpful. Even during the busiest shifts, taking a few minutes to center yourself can improve your emotional resilience. Designate a small space in your practice where employees can clear their heads if possible.

Stay Hydrated and Eat Balanced Meals

It’s tempting to rush through or skip meals when working in a fast-paced environment. However, inadequate hydration and nutrition can lead to decreased energy levels and increased stress. Keep a water bottle at your workstation and prioritize eating balanced meals, even if they’re brief. Your body needs the right fuel to function effectively, which is even more critical in a physically and mentally demanding job.

Encourage a Supportive Atmosphere

Workplace culture plays a significant role in employee wellness. Open communication between staff and management can help address workplace stressors before they escalate. Regular team meetings to discuss challenges, celebrate achievements, and even partake in group wellness activities can go a long way in building a culture of support.

Promoting personal wellness in the workplace demands a holistic approach that integrates both mental and physical health strategies. By encouraging your staff to take time for short breaks, practice stress management, maintain good posture, stay hydrated, eat balanced meals, and communicate openly, your team can look after their well-being while still providing exceptional service. After all, a well-cared-for employee is often the first step in caring for customers.

Provided by the Opticians Association of Canada – opticians.ca