7 Ways to Weave Self-Care Into Your Work Day
We all have goals and, in order to make things happen, we've got to do the work.
However, while "doing the work" is important for our professional and personal progress, it can often prohibit us from taking care of ourselves. We get so caught up in producing, moving, directing, facilitating, delegating and creating that we often forget to slow down long enough to check in with ourselves.
Whether you work a conventional 9 to 5, work remotely, work-from-home or your work is taking care of your home--you have to make space for yourself. Point, blank, period. It is literally impossible to perform well when you are not well cared for.
Being someone who easily gets caught up in the madness that is my unpredictable work-life and forgets to take care of herself...I sat down and thought of a few ways to stay sane & self-cared-up while literally, doing the most.
Here are my 7 tips for creating work-life balance now…
1. Practice self-compassion throughout the day. Be kind and forgiving to yourself. How many times have you become frustrated with yourself at work? You're behind on a deadline, your inbox is a little more crowded than you'd like and its 2pm and you still haven't eaten. Times like this, I often begin negative self-talk, "Seriously, what the f%$! are you doing? Could you be any more slow-moving or incapable?" It get's real. When you start becoming impatient, frustrated or annoyed with yourself, remember that you are human and practice a little compassion. Speak kindly to yourself. Give yourself the space and time to make mistakes and recover. You've got this.
2. Create and maintain boundaries. Whether you are working in an office, on-location or from home, its important to set limits when it comes to your time, energy and personal space. “Boundaries serve many functions. They help to protect us, to clarify what is our responsibility and what is another’s, to preserve our physical and emotional energy, to stay focused on ourselves, to live our values and standards, and to identify our personal limits.” [Dana Gionta & Dan Guerra, From Stressed to Centered]
3. Drink water, please. Would you believe me if I told you the reason you can't focus on that pitch or are having trouble paying attention during a meeting is because you're dehydrated? Well, its true--the symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, headache and inability to concentrate or think clearly. Drink up!
4. Take time to breathe. A physical therapist once told me, if you're ever feeling stressed, pay attention to your breathing, you're probably not taking full, deep breaths. One of the easiest ways to calm and reset your mind and body is to BREATHE. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, you can practice deep breathing. Find more information on the power of deep-breathing, here.
5. Manage your time well. In order to keep yourself from rushing, running out of time, or even having too much time, create a time management practice. It's less about scheduling and more about maximizing the time you have in the ways that work best for you and your work style. Find more tips, time management guides and strategies, here.
6. Create your space. To me, this is one of the most important elements of self-care for work. IMO, creating a space that is welcoming and comfortable can do wonders for your productivity and stress levels. I find that work feels less like "work" and more like creativity and contribution (to something larger) when I am surrounded by things that make me feel centered. In my work space(s), I often keep a scented candle, notebooks, affirmation cards and items in colors and textures that make me feel good.
7. Make a "done" list. Acknowledge (all of) your accomplishments. Give yourself a confidence-boost (and instant-gratification) by marking down all of the things you've done during your work hours. Sometimes my "done list" looks like: "2 hours of consistent work with no breaks, inbox sorted, schedule updated" *shrug*, but it reminds me that I am on task and, most importantly, that everything is alright.
How are you taking care of yourself? We’d love to know! Leave a comment, maybe we’ll feature your quote in a upcoming story!