We’ve all heard that we should be practicing better self care, but what exactly it? According to the World Health Organisation, self care is defined as What people do for themselves to establish and prevent disease and illness.
Which is true, but self care can also have a profound effect on the way we’re able to show up at work, the energy we bring into our day, and the overall quality of our time spent in the workplace.
When I speak to my clients, most of them are familiar with the concept of self care, and for a great number of them struggle to find them time for it at home, let alone in the workplace. And for a lot of people, this in itself is an issue. We tend to think of self care being something we do at home. And when I discuss self care with clients they often refer to the idea of pampering themselves, a bath, doing their nails, but self care can in fact be so much simpler than that.
Changing our thoughts around self care can really make it so much easier for us to achieve. One of the key changes is shifting the way we think about situations, and becoming aware of the simple changes we can make to improve the quality of our day. Giving yourself a moment of mindfulness during the day to clear your mind can have significant impact on your day (no sitting cross-legged on the desk required!), and give you better clarity and focus as you take on the rest of your day. Getting a little fresh air, even for a few minutes, can also be a huge benefit in helping to clear your thoughts and avoid you feeling groggy as the day progresses.
There are a variety of different stressors that can be encountered in the workplace, and their affect on people can be very different depending on who you are as an individual. Some people thrive on the noise and busyness of a crowded office, while others need personal space and peace and quiet. To a large extent, simply being aware of the things that can cause you stress is half the battle.
Consider your workspace and make adjustments where you can. Do have a cluttered desk that’s driving you to distraction and making it hard to work efficiently? Could you do with more light, an open window, or time for yourself periodically throughout the day?
Fortunately, many employers are acknowledging the importance of health and wellness in the workplace, but this can often overlook the specific needs of an individual. Consider whether making small adjustments to your working environment can enrich your day, reduce stress, and create a better, more productive environment for you to work in.
And if, like many people right now, you’re currently adjusting to a mixture of working from home and working in the office, make sure to apply these same principles to your home working environment too,. If you have kids or other family members at home, set the same boundaries you would if you were in the office, and make them aware that you can’t be disturbed, (as much as possible!). Give yourself regular breaks to get up and move around, and set a deadline for when the work day finally finishes and home life starts!