Think about a moment you gave yourself time for some self-care.
Most likely, it didn’t take place at work.
Self-care time is usually reserved for outside of work hours, things like a morning jog, a yoga class or a hot bath.
However, the self-care culture is adapting. It’s becoming clear that adding moments of self-care throughout your day is more beneficial than grinding through the day and leaving the self-care time for later.
This can help with both your mental and physical health, and will help you better manage your stress and build up resilience… not wait until your bodies response to dealing with stress starts to malfunction.
Because, let’s face it.. work is very much intertwined with our life routines. We spend roughly a third of our lives at work, so postponing self-care for ‘later’ just won’t cut it anymore.
Burnout is becoming more and more common. And we know self-care alone won’t solve burnout, but prioritising it throughout the day can make a huge difference when it comes to building more sustainable and less stressful workdays.
Here are some tips to help expand your self-care routines into your workday:
- Make your desk a zen space
You’ll be amazed at how much an organized and tidy working space can reduce stress, and help put you in a good working headspace. Getting unnecessary clutter out of your line of vision can help you focus and be more productive. Add a plant, candle and anything that will help make your desk a more relaxing space.
- Take walking breaks
This is especially important if you work all day at a desk. Being deskbound can actually increase your stress levels, as well as other health issues like back pain and digestive issues. If you can, schedule little breaks to get up and walk around. Set reminders to make sure that you don’t forget. This will even help with creativity and ideas, as you get your energy flowing.
- Add a 15min meditation to your lunch break
Finding time for a quick 15 minute meditation will really help you recharge for the afternoon. It will help you relax, ground yourself, and structure and organize your thoughts for staying productive for the rest of the day. There are many apps that you can download like Headspace, Calm & Waking up. And there are also many 15 minute meditations you can find on youtube.
- Stay hydrated and eat nourishing food
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, and feed our bodies nourishing food. Using a water bottle can help with keeping hydrated. Add a squeeze of lemon in there if it will help you drink more. And food prep is key to making sure you are feeding yourself nourishing food at work, and not grabbing the first easy option (that is usually not nourishing at all).
It’s so important to stretch your body frequently, especially if you work at a desk for long hours. Take a few minutes throughout your day to stretch your legs, arms and neck while sitting at or standing near your desk.
- Ditch the coffee, replace with herbal tea
Avoid those sluggish feelings after your caffeine boost has worn off, by replacing coffee with a herbal tea. There are so many benefits of good quality herbal teas as they are loaded with powerful antioxidants. Like changing any habit, completely ditching it all together won’t work. Start by decreasing your current intake, and start introducing a herbal tea once or twice a day into your regular routine. Begin with teas that have similar tastes to coffee like full bodied black teas.
- Set challenges for yourself
Boredom and lack of motivation are causes of increased stress and anxiety. Regularly setting realistic challenges for yourself can really help to keep you focused, engaged and productive. Whether it’s learning a new skill or setting new goals for yourself, it’s important to keep motivated and happy.
- Be self-compassionate
We are often hard on ourselves at work when we don’t manage to get through all our to do lists, when we let ourselves or others down, and feel like we don’t measure up. But this is just counter-productive, because self-criticism will just cause more stress and anxiety, while if we practice self-compassion we will be more motivated to do better. Speak to yourself with kindness, and move away from aiming to be perfect all the time.
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