How To Practice Self Care At Work By Allowing Yourself To Do These 7 Little Things
You know you've been there: the work week that refuses to quit. Sometimes, when you're coming up on the end of the week, it can feel like you and your computer are fusing into one being, and you can't remember the last time you weren't looking at a screen of some kind. Learning how to practice self-care at work is key, not only for maintaining your sanity, but also for ensuring you do your best work all the time.
Despite the fact that you're often hit, subtly or not so subtly, with societal messages about being productive, and always #KillinIt, treating yourself with kindness and respect day in and day out is really where it's at. After all, if you don't stop to take a little time for yourself each day, no one else is going to do it for you — know what I mean?
So, my friends, start considering how you can make more time for you. Rest assured, this doesn't have to equate to a total change in lifestyle, or even the way you work. These seven habits can easily be incorporated into your daily work schedule, and once you make these changes, it's all uphill from there.
1. Intentionally Schedule Little Breaks In Your Day
New York-based therapist Julia Colangelo, LCSW recommends setting up literal reminders for yourself to take breaks, even if it's just during those few short minutes between an important phone call and that one assignment you're working to finish up.
"This means setting an alert twice per day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, where you allow yourself to remember to take care of yourself," Colangelo tells Elite Daily.
Whether you've got a restaurant full of customers, or someone waiting on a deadline, remember that you deserve the occasional breather during your day.
2. Write A List Of Little Things That Make You Happy
"Make a list of what would bring you a smile or joy during those five or 10 minutes when you take your break," says Colangelo. "Is it getting a snack? Texting a friend? Writing in your journal? Unplugging and looking away from the screen? Reading a few pages in a book?"
Jot this list down somewhere, and always keep it nearby. These should all be easily accessible activities that won't add more stress to your day, and that can act as an easy pick-me-up when you need one.
3. Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
Stretching is so important for all aspects of your health, not just for improving your flexibility.
In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine showed that consistently sitting or being sedentary for long periods of time (like you might do in a typical office job) is legitimately bad for your health. But this research also showed that getting up to move and stretch every 30 minutes or so can greatly reduce the toll that sitting can take on your health.
So, pop out of that chair and touch your toes! Maybe add some jumping jacks while you're at it.
4. Remember, It's Called A Lunch Break For A Reason
Seriously guys, take your freaking lunch break. You do not need to shove a sandwich down your throat while simultaneously answering emails, or eat your salad clandestinely behind the shop counter.
Remember that taking time to recharge actually helps you become more productive, not to mention the fact that you deserve to spend time enjoying that coconut curry you spent hours making last night.
5. Take A Minute To Plan What You're Going To Do Outside Of Work
When you have a little downtime at work, or even during that lunch break, think about planning some relaxing and recharging activities you can look forward to on the weekend or after work.
"Perhaps it's doing some research on a craft activity you're interested in [trying], or reading about travel destinations," Colangelo tells Elite Daily.
If it's something that brings you more self-love and less stress, it's absolutely worth doing.
6. Get Some Sunshine
Aubrey Marcus, founder and CEO of holistic health and wellness company, Onnit, says you need get some freakin' sun during the day, because it's going to give you a much-needed burst of energy and warmth when you need it most.
"Blast yourself with five to 10 minutes of light," Marcus tells Elite Daily. "Ideally, you’ll be able to do this by stepping outside and exposing as much of your skin as possible to that giant yellow orb in the sky, basking in its bright, warm blueness, like a cat with less body hair."
7. Keep Things Around You That Make You Smile
For example, I have this little recording of my niece, Evie, on my phone, in which she tells me, "Wake up!" It's short and simple, but it makes me so, so happy, no matter what kind of mood I'm in.
Whether it's a picture of your pup, a gem stone in your pocket, or a book of poems, keep something nearby that can give you just a little more pep in your step.
Take good care, my friends, because you deserve it.