Self care at work might sound like a bit of an oxymoron. I wonder if we’ve been conditioned to think of things as self-care OR work? It’s not so often that we think of combining them.
It Starts With You
This new way of thinking, well, it starts with you. I want you to start owning your life, your moments, your experiences, your choices and your days. It’s an incredible responsibility and one, I don’t imagine, you’d really want to leave to anyone else. So, if everything is in your hands, I encourage to begin to think about how you can take exceptional care of yourself and, in doing so, poise yourself for positive experiences every where you go – including work.
In other words, I want you to take back control of of your time, your routines and the career you really want to create for yourself. Can you show up in a way that feels good to you boosting your confidence and improving your productivity.
What is Self Care
What is self care? Let’s not get bogged down in the specifics of what activities fall under “self care” as I’m not sure they can really be specified.
I simply want you to think about self care as anything (big or small) that looks and feels like taking care of yourself. Let’s begin to get into the habit of checking in with ourselves and asking, what would feel nourishing, supportive and aligned with my highest interests in this moment? What is a really healthy choice I could make in this moment?
This might feel uncomfortable at first and maybe you’re not used to it. It’s also possible that you’ve just been too busy to ask the question.
Keep it Simple
What cannot be underestimated is the value of a “keep it simple” approach. You will find that self-care at work will be most easily accessible to you and sustainable if you keep it simple and layer it into what you’re already doing.
This is one reason I created the Self Care Starter Kit deck. I feel like self-care can feel overwhelming and we may not always know where to start. Secondly, we may feel like it’s only for special occasions (like a day off or a vacation) as opposed to something we include in our everyday living.
Self Care At Work
Self-care at work is essential to your personal well-being, mental health and long-term success. When we incorporate self-care into our everyday lives, it becomes not only a habit but, a lifestyle. When we are taking care of ourselves, we handle stress better, have greater clarity and feel good about ourselves.
I want you to begin to check in with yourself at work and look for simple ways that you can take care of yourself and improve your overall well-being.
Self Care Suggestions
I have some self care suggestions for you to take to work with you. I like things simple and practical so, with that, let’s answer the question: how can we actually “do” this?
Here are some ways to get started:
Think about ways you could make your work environment feel nourishing. Let’s start with what feels nourishing to you. Some examples might be:
- Have a clean workspace
- Work close to natural light if you can
- Have items that inspire you where you can see them
- Listen to music that you enjoy
- Have water and healthy snacks close by
- Remove distractions
Create an intention for the day. You can use our intention cards for this or simply check-in with yourself and ask how you want to show up today. Create a visual reminder for yourself – this could be a card, a post-it note or wallpaper on your phone. When you can see your intention, that will help you come back to it when the day gets busy. You will find this a helpful way to get grounded.
Take breaks – getting up and away from your workspace will do you wonders. It is excellent for your physical, mental and emotional health. Go for a walk and remember that clearing your head will actually make you more productive.
Prioritize the top things that need to get done & set a time limit.
Listen to your body. If it’s a low-energy day, can you complete projects that demand less brain power but, help move projects forward. On high-energy days can you tackle bigger tasks or launch into creative problem solving?
Foster self-care amongst your colleagues. Their self-care practices might look very different from yours but, when we’re all taking care of ourselves, we all win.
Remember what you’re grateful for. It’s easy to fall into autopilot (especially at work) but, when we’re really present with our projects, our colleagues, our customers and our clients, what do you actually feel grateful for? This question may prompt you to see people and situations in a new perspective and encourage you to see the good in things and where there’s an opportunity to learn.
Create time in your schedule for things you love – people, activities, adventures – when we schedule time for the things that fulfill us, we will feel revitalized and energized.
How You Start Matters
How you start your day also matters. Self-care practices don’t need to be elaborate to be effective. In the morning, create a little time just for you. It could be as little as 1 minute – for real. Check in with yourself and become aware of how you’re doing today. What intention do you want to set for yourself? And, are there any tweaks you can make to make morning less stressful. Remember that you’re setting your GPS for the day and how you start matters.
Commitment to Long-Term Well-Being
Including mindful self-care practices into our work is a commitment to ourselves, our projects and our long-term well-being. When you begin including these practices, you may not instantly notice a big difference but, stick with it. If you just included one small self-care step each day, that would be an excellent place to start. As you proceed, add more. What I’ve experienced and what I consistently hear is that overtime people notice a significant shift. Consistent self-care has a profound effect over time. You may find your mood shifts, you’re more productive, you have greater clarity and you have a renewed interest in your work.
Remember that you chose your career for a reason and you can feel good and enjoy it at the same time. Essentially, we want to create work and life that we don’t need to escape from. That’s the beauty of taking exceptional care of yourself every step of the way.
Intention Cards for Self-Care
Our intention card decks can be a a great tool for self-care. They make a great desk accessory for you, your colleagues, your employees and your clients. Including self care in your work environment is not only healthy for you but, it’s also an awesome example to set. You can also specifically check out the Self Card Starter Kit Deck for inspiration.
We also work with a lot of corporations to share these cards with their employees and customers. If this is something you’re interested in, we’d welcome the opportunity to work with you. You can e-mail us at email@example.com
Wishing you great days, work you love, beautiful self-care practices that help you feel good and show up as the best version of you!