What comes to mind when you hear the words; self-care? A spa date? Expensive dinner? Vacation on the beach? All these examples include spending money and that can quickly distract us from taking any action. Luckily, not everything pertaining to self-care needs to be commodified. You can easily take care of yourself by taking up simple zero cost habits that can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Given we spend most of our lives at work, it makes sense to weave in self-care habits and practices that make our lives easier.
We’ve thus put together a few habits you can pick up, that can boost your overall wellness at work.
1. Establishing boundaries – A major way of doing this, is ensuring you’re not letting work spill over into your personal life, at least not to the extent where 99% of your life is work. As much as you can, don’t be pressured to respond to work emails or answer work phone calls when you’re taking time off for yourself. There’ll of course always be the super urgent moments, but it’s important to ensure that this does not become a constant in your life. If it’s absolutely urgent that you work outside working hours, set aside a time slot where you can do everything expected of you. If this is something you’d prefer not doing at all, it’s important that you communicate it to your supervisor, peers or clients as early on as possible.
2. Take small breaks – Most of us are expected to work 40 or so hours a week, which means we’re required to be productive for at least 8 hours a day. Maintaining a constant state of productivity for 8 hours straight can be difficult, which is why we advocate that you take periodic breaks. If you feel like you’ve been doing something for too long and you’re starting to become unproductive, taking a 10-15 minute break may help rejuvenate your energy and concentration level. You can also decide to switch tasks after the break unless you’re on a really tight deadline.
3. Acknowledge your wins – Patting yourself on the back whenever you achieve something is a form of self-care. Recognizing that your contributions add value and that you matter in the large scheme of things can affirm your sense of self and worth. So don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself, even for the small wins. We encourage you to check in with yourself every once in a while and evaluate your successes.
If you’re reading this as a manager, here is an article we wrote last year highlighting the importance of prioritizing your employee’s mental health and how you can create a conducive culture that ensures their well-being.