You landed your first job! Oh boy, college was a whole lot of stress, but once you really hit the "real world," you realized it's not all so bad. All of those late nights on the train coming back from your internship were so worth it, and now your planner is packed with your passions. On the weekends, you might detox yourself of all the new stress with bath bombs, good books, and much-needed adventures. But, when the work week comes around, you can't leave self-care just to Sundays. The self-care tips to never forget will keep you bright and doing your best, because this new life can be a bit draining at times, and it's easy to overlook what we really need.
Coffee isn't always the answer, believe it or not. The real world does very much run on caffeine and caramel macchiatos, but your body needs a whole lot more than that to survive and thrive at your first job. Maybe you totally made your passion your paycheck, or aren't living the dream quite yet and are using this spot as a stepping stone. Either is just fine, and it's important not to compare yourself to others -- whether it be your college friends, or even just people around the office.
Spa days are pretty sweet, but you might not have a vacation day to spare. So, when you're sitting at your desk, remember one of these eight self-care tips. Your mind and body will work better with a little bit of love.
1. Make A Work Friend
We all need a work wife. Our work pals are seriously what get us through the week. They're somebody to share our lunch with, and are likely going through all the same feels. Sometimes they distract us with memes and other nonsense that wasn't on the original schedule. Whoops! That's OK, your brain needed a break, anyway.
It's important that you establish at least one work friend in the name of self-care. A first job can be intimidating, especially when you're just getting into the industry and learning all the ropes. Maybe this person will be your mentor, or just a colleague that is brand new, too. Like anything else in life, it's always better to know you're not facing it all alone.
2. Drink Lots Of Water
There's a reason why there's a water cooler in your office. Yes, it makes a great place to meet up with your new work besties, but it's also the hydration station you should always stop at. According to WaterBenefitsHealth.com, our bodies and minds need water to function at their best. Even just taking a moment to get up from your desk to fill your reusable water bottle can be a mindful break and easy way to squeeze in some self-care.
Truth is, especially when we're so zoned into our projects and passions, it's easy to forget during the day to do something as simple as drink a cup of water. When everything gets super stressful, we might even work through lunch. Don't let your job dehydrate you, and you'll find that everything will go quite swimmingly.
3. Get Some Sleep
Rest and relaxation are crucial in the real world. Whoever thought nap time was only for kindergarten needs to seriously reconsider, because at the end of a long day, there's nothing that we appreciate more. Where our favorite coffee order can help make a morning more manageable, we can't depend on caffeine to carry our weight throughout the entire day.
Like drinking water, getting enough sleep seems simple, but can be easily overlooked. Maybe you had to take some work home, or got totally caught up during that dinner out with friends. Make sure you find a good balance, so that when you wake up it's not such a struggle.
If you're anything like me, you like to take your mornings slow and sip on your hot drink while aimlessly scrolling through social media. Some quality sleep will allow you to easily get up early, and won't leave you rushing through your routine, too.
4. Disconnect At Home
When five o'clock comes around, you just need to disconnect. It's so easy to let your personal life and work life combine, but take the self-care step of separating the two. Stop checking your email the moment you leave the office, and let your commute be your time to unwind from the work day.
Now that you're adulting, you'll go home to other chores and commitments. But, our brains aren't always supposed to be so busy. Especially when you want to get some good sleep (like I mentioned before), it's important to calm your mind down. Maybe you'll try some meditation, or get a gym membership. Even watching Food Network without a care in the world for hours like you would in college is socially acceptable.
5. Get Active
Work hard, play hard. Fitness might not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to self-care. I mean, isn't it all about soaking in bubble baths and online shopping? That's not totally true.
Getting active is always a good idea because, according to MayoClinic.org, it makes you feel so much better. Maybe you try a class at SoulCycle, or just do your own thing with a trainer. I personally love group fitness classes because they motivate me to push myself -- and actually show up.
When you can get active, but also get outside, that's when you'll find this self-care tip to really work. Your first job might not necessarily have you stuck at a cubicle or sitting behind a desk. But, that inside air gets old after awhile, and it's refreshing to change up your surroundings. Take a walk with your work pals to the coffee shop down the street, or plan a hike instead of happy hour. It will do you wonders.
6. Plan A Weekend Adventure
Let that Friday feeling come to you a little bit early sometimes. Your week is ruled by work, but how you choose to spend your weekend is totally up to you. You might not stay out dancing until dawn like you used to in college, but maybe you'll spend a day adventuring with your besties or hitting up the best brunch spots. Especially in the summertime when there's seemingly unlimited amounts of sunshine, use your days off to check out the beach scene or try something totally new.
Once again, it's so easy to get caught up in your first job and think that the real world can't be fun. But, adults are honestly just big kids, and nobody really wants life to be boring. Letting yourself live it up will keep life feeling oh-so-sweet.
7. Know Your Worth
Odds are, you aren't the CEO. It's your first job, so you're likely at the bottom of the totem pole and still have so much to learn. However, you've also been a lot of places and done a lot of work to get this far. Don't let anyone take that fact away from you.
In your new workplace, you should most definitely find a person or two who you look up to. Maybe their job is one you want to land someday, or they just carry themselves so well around the office. Be sure to mirror your actions off of theirs, but also know that you bring your own amazing talents to the table.
Truth is, you got hired for a reason. Somebody saw something in you that made them think you were just the right fit for this job. You'll run into challenges and constructive criticism along the way. But, especially if you're in a creative field, don't be afraid to stand up for your thoughts and ideas just the same. Sometimes you'll be wrong and make mistakes, but everybody loves somebody with a little bit of confidence and a lot of integrity.
8. Try Your Best
Not every day is going to be a good day. And that's not something that's new to the real world. In college, you probably had some exams that you didn't do the best on, and moments when you weren't the best friend. As life goes on, you'll make the same sort of mistakes, but they are all learning experiences.
The important part is that you learn from them, pick yourself up, and continue to try your best. Nobody's number one, and our only competition is truly ourselves. Pat yourself on the back and be gracious with your accomplishments, and don't be too hard on yourself if you find yourself failing. It happens, and tomorrow is always a new day at your first job.