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Practicing self care at work
It’s easy to believe that self-care is something we do at the weekends. When we have time to enjoy ourselves and do what we want. Not so. It’s important to practice self-care throughout the week especially when we’re at work when we’re most likely to be busy. Mental health is something that is spoken about a lot in my job and we have weekly mindfulness sessions. This may not be something that’s offered in your workplace but there’s simple things you can do to ensure you’re looking after yourself properly while you’re working hard!
1. Don’t take your lunch break at your desk
Seems simple but so many people forget to do it. If you’re having one of those days where you’ve been non stop since you started working. You’re at the point where you want to throw your freshly brewed mug of tea over someones head cause you keep getting stupid emails. Stop. Don’t get an assault charge, take a break instead. If you sit at your desk all day without moving your body is going to be crying. Seriously. Physically and mentally you need to take regular breaks. Your lunch break doesn’t necessarily have to be about eating. See it as a break for you to do whatever you want to do to help you be less stressed whilst at work. If you want to go and do a gym class in your lunch break or go and sit in the local park then do that. You can eat during or after back at your desk if that’s what works for you. Just make sure you take that break. You’re not paid for it after all!
2. Make an effort to build relationships with your co-workers
Your co-workers are important. You spend more time with them in a week than anyone else. So try and build good relationships with them. When you’re stressed about something you’ve been asked to do or if you don’t cope well with constant change at work your co-workers are the people that understand that stress. You can complain to your family and friends all you want but they don’t fully get it. Your co-workers do. They’re on your side and probably feel exactly the same. Even if they don’t, having someone to vent to and get an opinion on a situation is so helpful. Granted, we all have that arsehole at work who isn’t our cup of tea. But you’ll usually find at least 1 person you click well with. Grab that work friend and keep them close.
3. Keep yourself well fed and hydrated throughout the day
Now this isn’t something I struggle with, my whole day is based around food LOL. But I have co-workers who eat their lunch at 4pm and never finish the tea they made first thing. Not good guys. Carry a cute bottle round with you and come prepared with snacks that you pre packed. It makes it so much easier when you have nice stuff to prep into! Just do whatever you need to do to make sure you are energised throughout the day. You can’t keep working if your tired and you’re way more likely to reach for the ‘shitty snack’ table filled with chocolate and doughnuts when you hit that mid afternoon slump. Not that i’m against eating yummy treats at work. If you’ve had a really crap day you treat yourself to that choccy bar girl, just don’t rely on it everyday!
4. Keep your desk looking nice
It doesn’t matter whether you have a little desk in the corner of the office, you work from home or you have a whole office to yourself. If you keep your desk nice it makes you feel better. Fact. Put pictures up, leave empowering notes for yourself or buy a pot plant. Whatever works for you. Try and keep your desk as clutter free as possible, it makes it so much easier to concentrate on what you’re doing. And if your desk looks nice it makes it a tiiiiny bit easier to sit there for 8 hours! Even if you’re a hot desker you can bring your own mug in and have some stationary with you so it at least feels like your desk for the day.
5. Prioritise your work and don’t take it home
If you’ve got a lot of stuff going on at once it’s easy to become overwhelmed and panic about what you have to complete. I list what I need to do each day in order of most important then give myself blocks of time to get it done. As long as I get the important stuff finished then the rest can wait til tomorrow! It’s ok if you need to stay late on the odd occasion but don’t let it become a regular thing so that your personal life is being affected.
5 simple and easy changes that you can make to ensure you’re looking after yourself at work! If you find that your work is becoming too stressful and it’s affecting your life make sure you speak with your manager. See if there’s a counselling service offered to staff and utilise free apps such as Headspace. Mindfulness and breathing techniques can be massively supportive if you are suffering with stress and anxiety.
Let me know if any of these work for you, or if there’s other things that you do at work!