Everywhere you look there are articles, books, and television segments focusing on self-care.
We are told we should meditate, eat well, write in our gratitude journals, sleep a full eight hours, exercise, and so on…
What these articles fail to tell us is how to engage in these practices while living in the real world.
Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours working, therefore the presumption is we will engage in self-care outside of work.
While self-care is great anytime, self-care at work can go a long way toward increased job satisfaction and reduced stress levels.
Before you enter the building
Arrive at work in time to sit in front of the building for at least 10 minutes before you have to go in.
Having this buffer will make you never have to do the shut off the engine and run, which invariably leads to a stressful start.
This short window can be used for prayer, listening to a short motivational podcast, or simply to just be. Quiet meditation can go a long way toward starting the workday with a clear mind.
Workstation Morning Routine
When you arrive at your workstation, take a few deep breaths. As you breathe let your shoulders drop and release any tension in your body.
Take a moment to write something you are grateful for about your job, even if it is just the paycheck. That paycheck ensures you have a roof over your head and food to eat.
The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one. -Oscar Wilde
Finally, take a few moments to write out your to-do list for the day. It helps to make 3 categories and label them: Today, This Week, This Month. Tasks can be shuffled from category to category each morning. Focusing on one day at a time can reduce overwhelm and lead to enhanced productivity.
Whether you have fifteen minutes or an hour, your lunch break is an ideal time to squeeze in self-care. Here are some ideas:
- read a section of a book
- take a 10-minute nap to recharge
- read an article on a topic you are interested in
- talk with a friend or colleague
- Listen to a podcast
The possibilities for self-care during your lunch break are endless. Instead of scarfing down fast-food, pack a healthy lunch, and engage in an activity that is going to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of the day.
Workstation Evening Routine
When you return from work, you are in the home stretch. Take a minute to do a self-check. How does your body feel? Do you feel tension in your neck? Shoulders? Jawline? If so, do a few quick stretches. The article below is an excellent resource for desk exercises.
The Ultimate 'Deskercise' Routine: Stretches for the Office
Work-related disorders aren't just limited to heavy manufacturing or construction. They can occur in all types of…
This is also a good time to review your to-do list. Have you made progress? If not, why? Do you need to move some things around? What can you do to make the home stretch productive?
Ending the day strong
As the clock ticks toward quitting time, take a moment to assess your day. You will notice adding self-care increases your sense of self-worth and ultimately makes you more productive.
Take a moment to reflect on your gratitude statement from the morning. Do you see it differently in the afternoon?
Take a few deep breaths and settle your mind. Allow yourself to feel peaceful and as you drive away, leave work at the office and shift your focus to what really matters.
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. -Dolly Parton