7 Tips for Practicing Self-Care at the Office
There is a wealth of information out there today about taking care of our bodies and practicing self-care. A good friend of mine and I were talking a few weeks ago and she shared a desire to learn how to apply these self-care practices to your work life. As I’ve been growing and learning more and more recently about self-care, this concept peaked my interest as well.
Many of us spend well over 40 hours/week at work, so there is no reason to compartmentalize self-care and keep it separate from the office! Not to mention, practicing self-care at work can actually increase your productivity and engagement in your job.
So, what are some practical ways you can implement self-care at the office?
Take a 10 minute break every 50 minutes
Research actually suggests that chunking your time at work into 50 minute blocks with breaks in between improves productivity. If you commit to working hard during those 50 minutes, then your mind and body has earned those 10 minutes to relax and recharge. Get up and walk away from your desk, stretch your legs, grab some water. Take a mind break for 5 – 10 minutes and then get back to it!
During your 10 minute breaks throughout the day, use one of them to meditate.
If you do not have a private work space available to you, find a quiet spot outside or reserve a meeting room and take a 10 minute break each day to meditate. Meditation reduces stress, improves concentration, increases self-awareness and acceptance which leads to happiness. Meditation is one of the BEST habits you can implement into your day. If you tend to get overly stressed while you’re at work, incorporating meditation while at the office is a great tool to calm your anxious mind!
Decorate your desk and office space in a way that makes you FEEL GOOD!
Your environment has a big impact on how you feel throughout the day. We like to say, your environment either inspires you or expires you! Fill your space with good-smelling candles, (if you’re allowed) diffuse essential oils, hang empowering quotes and pictures that make you smile on the wall, decorate with flowers or a plant, bring your own inspirational coffee mugs from home, get a comfortable blanket to throw over your lap when it’s chilly. I also like to buy motivational pens and notebooks to keep on my desk so this type of empowering energy is always around me while I work in my home office.
Avoid water-cooler gossip and complaining with co-workers.
It is incredibly easy to fall into venting about bosses or other co-workers at the office. Many co-workers believe this is a way to bond with their peers and “makes them feel better”. But in actuality, complaining accomplishes nothing except sucking the positive energy out of the room and yourself. Research actually suggests that complaining can make us feel more tired and lethargic. When we vent, we just re-live the negative experience over again and it does not change the outcome. Complaining keeps us stuck and feeling down, which is the exact opposite of taking care of ourselves.
Breathe deep through your nose and out through your mouth.
This type of deep breathing fills your lower lungs and helps slow your heart rate when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. During moments of stress, pausing and remembering to breathe can help calm us and make our minds more clear on how to move forward.
Replace your afternoon cup of coffee with a cup of herbal tea.
This is a tough one for many people and I get it – I am an obsessive coffee drinker too. While I love the benefits of coffee, too much caffeine can add to feelings of anxiousness. Not to mention, many claim that tea “boosts brain health” and can help you relax in the afternoon after a stressful day. Green tea especially is rich in antioxidants which boost the immune system.
Take care of your body…stretch & take a walk at lunch time, keep a water bottle at your desk, and bring healthy snacks.
This one is simple. Keep yourself energized with healthy snacks, stretch your muscles, get your body moving and stay hydrated during the day. If you can walk to a place with a beautiful view, do it!
Many people experience the majority of their daily stress at work. Implementing these strategies throughout the work-day will not only help you find more calm and clarity while at the office, but also create overall improvement in owning your authentic self all the time!