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6 Summer Wellness Challenges to Recharge Your Employees

6 Summer Wellness Challenges to Recharge Your Employees

It’s that time of year again when the warm weather reminds us how great it is to be alive. But this isn’t just any summer. We’re rolling into this one with a newfound appreciation for little things we sometimes take for granted, like spending time with friends, going to our favorite restaurant, or hitting a workout class.

As we emerge into the summer sunshine, your employees may find themselves struggling to get back into healthy habits after a year of Zoom calls, Netflix, and food delivery. How can you help them recharge and reengage with your wellness program?

We’ve got challenges for that.

Here are six fun summer wellness challenges to help your wellness program bloom.

Six Summer Wellness Challenges to Recharge Your Employees

1. Physical: Workout Buddy

2. Emotional: Write It

3. Financial: Good Plan

4. Social: Night In

5. Occupational: Mail Hold

6. Purpose: Priority Plan

Physical Challenge1. Physical: Workout Buddy

Getting back into a physical exercise routine after a long break is one of the toughest things to do. We’re talking about building habits again from scratch.

The Workout Buddy challenge is a great place to start for all employees—it involves working out with the same person 10 times in a month. They can choose a friend they haven’t seen in a while, a family member, or a co-worker who is equally motivated.

The key to success with this challenge is planning: It can be difficult for two people to find the same time to work out, let alone 10 times in a 30-day period.

Encourage employees to plan out the entire month of workouts in advance for this challenge. Have them compare schedules with their “workout buddy” and carve out time in their calendars. Maybe they can join a class or a series of classes together. Whatever they plan to do together, it should be scheduled, or it may not happen.

Emotional Challenge2. Emotional: Write It

If your employees are taking advantage of health coaching services or working with a mental health counselor, they may already keep a gratitude journal or have some way of writing down their thoughts. If not, summer is a great time to start.

Encourage employees to keep a journal for 20 days. If your employees are new to journaling, share resources like this list of journaling ideas from Psychology Today. Employees can head outside to write for a quick break during the day or make it part of their morning ritual. Either way, this is their time to reflect on their feelings so they can approach each new day with empathy and a sense of purpose.

Financial Challenge3. Financial: Good Plan

The good news is we now have a workforce that is more technologically up-to-date than ever before. The not-so-good news is your employees probably did a whole lot of internet surfing, online shopping, and wholesale opting in on subscription “deals.”

You can bet the buyers’/subscribers’ remorse is real.

The Good Plan challenge helps employees tighten their purse strings and make sure they’re spending money wisely. That includes reviewing utility bills, online subscriptions, and services they may not need. They may discover hundreds of dollars in savings every year—or more.

Social Challenge4. Social: Night In

While social distancing guidelines and mask mandates have been lifted for vaccinated people in the U.S., not all of your employees are ready to fully reemerge into crowds. At the same time, they crave and need social interaction for their well-being.

Create a challenge that lets employees decide how social they want to be. Some ideas include:

  • Have a game night with another couple or small group.
  • Host an invite-only wine or craft beer tasting.
  • Plan a backyard cookout with a neighbor or close family friend.
  • Set up a limited course potluck and invite one person per dish.

The point is, let’s get social again!

Occupational Challenge5. Occupational: Mail Hold

When you work from home, the office is always open. That perpetual accessibility to work, combined with a constantly escalating news feed has left employees overwhelmed and burned out.

With not much else to do for over a year, employees may have developed the bad habit of checking emails at all times of the night and day. So much so, it may have become a crutch or coping mechanism for them.

For this challenge, have employees set a cutoff time for checking emails. They can replace those evenings of email-reading with social get-togethers, physical exercise or just being outside. Their success should be based on how well they stick to it. It’s summer after all!

Make sure management is on board, so employees aren’t penalized for not being responsive 24/7. (The managers themselves would likely benefit from setting some email boundaries as well.)

Purpose Challenge6. Purpose: Priority Plan

As the sun comes out and the weather gets warmer, this is a perfect time to channel summer energy and set some personal goals. Your employees have emerged from the past year appreciating life, friendships, and family in a whole new way.

Encourage them to discover the why behind their wellness journey and determine the areas they want to focus on during this time.

The extra benefit for your company is you’ll get a clearer picture of what your wellness program should look like in the years to come.

Looking for more challenges? We’ve got you covered. Check out our free e-book, “104 Challenges: Become the Best You.”

Download the Best Practices for Workplace Wellness Program Success Guide

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