Work isn’t meant to be the place where you go to hustle to the point of burnout and overwhelm. Work can be a place that you go to be epic and get sh*t done AND feel good, energised and flippen happy in the process.
This can also apply even if you’re not in your dream job right now, you still get to choose how you act, feel and respond to what happens while you’re there.
Let me also say – self-care isn’t only massages, bubble baths and drinking tea by candle light – NO. It’s also the boundaries you put in place to protect your energy, the time out you take to do the things you KNOW make you feel good, and it’s in the commitments you honour that you make with yourself.
That’s self-care. And there’s a place for all of it at work!
Here are 5 easy ways you can start practicing self-care at work that will start to change your life!
1 – Arrival Routine
As soon as you get to work pop your stuff on your desk and then go make a cup of tea/coffee or grab a glass of water. Doing this helps you transition into the next segment of your day “I’ve finished commuting, now I’m starting work.”. This small little routine can create a little bit of mental space as you switch from one activity to another.
What I see and hear often with my clients (and what I did FOR YEARS) was jump straight into emails as soon as I sat down. Not even take a breath to acknowledge what I was about to get stuck into it.
2 – Take 3 deep breaths between tasks/activities
When you finish one thing, pause, take 3 deep breaths (right down into your belly), pause, then go about starting your next activity. Do this before you start any new piece of work, going into a meeting or even leaving a meeting.
This small ritual allows you to release any stress you’re holding onto by tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system and telling your body you’re safe, enables you to come back and be present to how you’re feeling and what you’re doing, and gives you a boost of clarity.
Don’t tell me you don’t have time for this – it will literally take you 30secs – less time than you’ll spend on Instagram during your work day… just sayin.
3 – Schedule your lunch break and micro pauses into your calendar
If they aren’t scheduled in it’s easy to forget that you need to do it. You know those days where it’s 3pm and you’re like “oh crap I forgot to have lunch” – well. That ain’t good for you! Period! Set time in your calendar for your lunch breaks and micro pauses. Block them out as busy so they can’t be booked over (unless you choose to accept a meeting over it).
If you choose not to take lunch or ignore the reminder when it pops up, that’s you making a conscious choice rather than hoping to take a lunch break today. You are NOT designed to stay focused for 8 hours straight. The brain needs food, air and space to function at a high level. Give yours what it needs.
4 – Say NO more often
Being successful in your role is not dependent on you saying yes to everything and everyone. Success is being able to do the work you have to a standard you’re happy with and not feeling overwhelmed while doing it.
Get really clear on what you have on your plate, what’s actually your job and what you can realistically get done – then say no to the rest. Yes, it will feel uncomfortable (I’ve been there), but the discomfort of severe stress, burnout, overwhelm and anxiety is worse.
Start with small things and as you build confidence, get to the bigger things. Have a catch up with your manager about how you’re feeling and what’s going on so you can get them on board with this as well.
5 – GO HOME ON TIME
There will ALWAYS be more work. Your workload will literally never ever stop, so don’t let it control you. Go home on time and spend your evenings doing things you love and enjoy. Spend time cooking and eating a good meal. Get to sleep on time.
When you honour yourself by going home on time it means that you reenergise and refresh to show up as your best tomorrow. Every time you stay at work late and miss doing the things that make you feel good you lose your enthusiasm, spark, and joy for what you’re doing. The later you stay the more energy you drain and the more unproductive you become.
So going home on time means you’ll do better work the next day and get through so much more!
+ Which one are you going to work on over the next month?
+ What do you believe will be your biggest challenge to implementing these changes?
+ How can you front foot them so you stay in control?
Comment below if these tips resonated with you! If you have any that you practice, please share them with me! I’d love to hear even more!
Remember, self-care isn’t selfish. It’s bloody necessary. End of story.