13 Subtle Ways to Practice Self-Care at Work (And Why You Should)
I’ve met many people who believe that self-care activities work like a miracle. At first, I was skeptical, but as I slowly developed the practice myself, I realized that there might be some truth in what others preached.
Self-care, in my eyes, is something that you engage in to restore and recharge your physical, mental, and emotional health. It involves doing things and engaging in activities that you love to do in your spare time. Yet, knowing this, I found myself struggling to maintain a healthy self-care routine.
Between work and home life, I barely had the time to pay attention to myself. Working almost 40 hours a week, I couldn’t find the time (and later) the energy to engage in self-care. Maintaining a self-care routine between working (sometimes more than) 40 hours a week can be challenging, for lack of a better word.
So, I have a solution! Why not get your self-care done during work hours? Fortunately, I found subtle and simple self-care activities that anyone can do while at work. The self-care at work activities I’ll be listing in this article are simple ones that you can practice during your break time at work.
Cool, isn’t it?
Before I get to the amazing self-care at work ideas and activities, I want you to understand the importance of practicing self-care at work.
Why Should You Practice Self-Care at Work?
There are times when you feel too tired or too listless to continue working. This can eventually affect your productivity and put you behind on all the progress you need to make at work. Practicing simple self-care at work is a great way to refresh your mind and recharge your energy.
When you allow yourself to have some time apart for yourself, you don’t let the stress of work get to you. This can also help you prevent job burnout. When you find the right way to care for yourself at work (where you spend most of your time), you allow yourself to feel relaxed and focused on your work.
Self-care in the workplace is also a good way to remind yourself that you’re more than just an employee, manager, or coworker. It reminds you that you are an individual who proudly puts yourself first. Self-care at work can make you feel more confident and happier with the rest of your work day.
13 Ways To Self-Care in The Workplace
1. Start by Packing a Healthy Lunch
Instead of buying lunch at a fast-food restaurant, try to get a healthy home-cooked lunch. Pack something that you enjoy eating and something that will keep you energized for the rest of the day. Packing yourself a lunch also means that you can add a little treat for yourself that you look forward to at the end of your break.
2. Take Quick Outdoor Breaks
When the motivation to work seems to have gone missing, try to look for it by taking a stroll outdoors. Some fresh air and sunlight can help you clear your mind and energize you enough to get back to work with a smile on your face. If you can, then you can also try some light stretches to feel better, physically.
3. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Well, this is just the basic thing you need to do. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This activity will keep you refreshed and energized when you’re working. You can keep a special bottle for work if you want. Something personalized or with a motivating quote always does wonders.
4. Set Some Goals For Yourself
Working without purpose is no fun, so try to set some goals for your workday. You can choose to set a goal for your professional or personal life. It is believed that when we have goals to focus on, then we feel motivated and inspired. Although, make sure that the goals you set are SMART goals that align with your personal and professional growth.
5. Wear What You Love
If your workplace has no dress code, then try to wear something that you makes you feel confident and comfortable. Even if you are bound by a dress code, try to wear any accessory that makes you feel good about yourself. This will make you feel confident and allow you to present your personality to the world.
6. Work on Your Boundaries
Working on your boundaries is also a form of self-care. What I want you to do is practice saying “NO”, especially when a coworker comes up to you pleading to help with their workload, even when you’re swamped. It can be challenging in the beginning, but in the end, this practice will be good for you and your well-being.
7. Hang Out With Your Coworkers
If it is your thing, then I urge you to socialize with others. Try to hang out with your coworkers, go out for a cup of afternoon tea or coffee, or just take a stroll with them during your break time. Surrounding yourself with people who enjoy your company and vice versa can also be great for your motivation, energy, and well-being.
8. Seek Feedback
If you can ask for feedback from your managers or colleagues. This activity will help you increase your emotional well-being. You’ll not be left wondering if your efforts are paying off but rather, you’ll be able to see where you’re lacking and where you need to improve. This step will also help you improve your performance.
9. Take a Mental Health Day Off
Maybe you’re just mentally exhausted and need a day off to recharge away from the workplace. If this is the case, then apply for some time off and take care of yourself. A mental health day can help you work on yourself, what you like doing, and what you can do to improve your health in a professional setting.
10. Personalize Your Workspace
Again, if your workplace allows it, try to personalize your workstation. Add something that will make you instantly smile. You can add some pictures of loved ones, a flower pot, or even something that reminds you of your happy place. Anything that will lift your mood and will add a personal touch to your desk.
11. Listen to Your Favorite Tunes
Music can be a savior. When work becomes tedious, plug in your headphones and tune in to your favorite songs. There’s nothing more refreshing and energizing than listening to my favorite songs. If music makes you lose focus, try to listen to some instrumental music. Anything that lifts your spirits and boosts your mood.
12. Learn From Your Mistakes
Making mistakes at work is a part of learning but treating them as failures can be harmful to your motivation. Try to look at mistakes as opportunities to do better. You can treat this activity as self-care in the workplace. Once you do this, see how you improve your problem-solving skills and work performance.
13. Practice Being “In The Moment”
Practicing mindfulness or the art of being present in the moment is one of my favorite ways to practice self-care at work. When you’re working, you can keep your attention on the task you’re doing by practicing mindfulness. This is another self-care activity that will help you set intentions and work towards them. An added benefit of mindfulness is that it helps reduce stress, making it an ideal workplace self-care practice.
Taking care of yourself – mind, soul, and body – can be tough when you don’t seem to have the time or the energy. But, worry not! With the above-listed self-care at work activities, you’ll find yourself feeling mentally and physically healthy in no time. Even with your busy schedules!
I hope you will find these 13 ways to practice self-care at work interesting, invigorating, and refreshing. Let me know how these self-care activities for your work worked for you in the comments below.
You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re still finding it hard to take care of yourself – mind or body – then it is recommended that you speak to a counselor or a professional therapist. A professional can help you understand what’s holding you back and how you can cope with it.