Practical Self-Care Tips for Work

Work Hard, Play Hard is one of the most common phrases I’ve heard throughout my life. I’ve said it myself, but I think this mindset without self-care runs the risk of burn out. When we burn out, we can’t give our best at work. We spend the majority of our lives working, whether it’s at a corporate job or self-employment. To wrap up our WELLth series, I want to share some practical self-care tips for work.

Take Breaks

I honestly can’t stress this one enough. Self-care at work is essential for productivity and our mental health. Take breaks throughout the day to reset and regain clarity and focus. I have seen colleagues working through their lunch breaks to only find themselves feeling stressed and hangry. Take your lunch break— you deserve it, and you need it.  

During your lunch break, you can:

  • Mindfully eat your food
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Make a phone call to family or friends  
  • Take a break from technology (such as mindlessly scrolling through social media or catching up on voicemails)

A person sitting in a chair taking a work break for self-care

Say No   

Hear me out on this one! It’s ok to set boundaries. I was given fantastic advice by a mentor: when someone outside of your supervisor asks for something, you may have to say no. If you are asked to complete another project by your boss, it’s healthy to speak up when your workload or expectations become overwhelming. This is an opportunity to reprioritize tasks with your supervisor. When you do this, it increases the ability to provide quality work. If you are self-employed, this can look like having to say no to another request from a client that wasn’t previously agreed on.


Keep your area tidy

Clutter leads to stress, so keeping your area tidy can help with self-care. I have heard some people say that they work best with a busy desk, so do what works best for you. You can go the extra mile and create a “self-care kit” for your workspace. Coffee or tea are at the top of the list for most people, but you can bring other things like snacks, gum, and chocolate. Also, stress relief items such as a stress ball, calming room spray, mini diffusers or even headphones to listen to music without disturbing your office mates. Flowers, photos, and other decorations bring joy and happiness when you need a pick me up throughout the day.

Desk with laptop, coffee, water, iPhone, and other desk items for self-care at work 

Maintaining self-care in the workplace allows us to show up as our best selves. When we show up as our bests selves, we can provide quality work and maintain healthy relationships with our colleagues. Do you recognize any areas that you can improve on?

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