Bringing Self-Care To Work In Today’s Context
With the onset of social media, we become increasingly aware of the ill-effects of the lack of exercise. People are taking higher initiatives to be healthy by eating nutritious food, and exercising. However, many are neglecting another part of their health – their mental health. Having a positive mental health tremendously improves our immune system and helps us achieve wholesome improvement. In addition, it increases our general well being and productivity.
Practicing yoga, applying skincare products religiously, going to the spa, or going the park on weekends, going for a nice meal, etc. Most of which are practiced after work or during weekends. However, one of the best ways to practice self-care is at work. Work can be stressful, with constant deadlines, heavy workload and targets which can lead to us being overwhelmed. In such a high-pressure environment we often forget to take a moment to relax and rejuvenate our brain. You can partake in several simple self-care practices even at work that will have significant positive effects and improve you both personally and professionally. Practicing self-care at work during Coronavirus along with strategies to cope with stress at the workplace can additionally equip you with methods to maximize your productivity even during tumultuous times.
Remember to take a break after 25 minutes for at least 5 minutes to prevent monotonousness and tiredness. Engaging in calming mechanisms such as short meditation or breathing exercises will help in calming the mind and recharge your batteries. We can take the example of a similar procedure developed for the French Military. It is called “techniques d’optimisation du potential” (potential optimization techniques) or “TOP” where they alternate between muscle relaxation techniques like stretching or breathing exercises and psychological projections like thinking about a ‘safe space’ or a loved one. Such simple practices of self-care at work during coronavirus is crucial and nutritious for your brain and will be like armour for mental stress.
The second step is to establish an inviting office station. Personalising your workspace will cause positive distractions and improve your mood by allowing you to have a better mindset during work. This can be done by keeping a photo of your loved ones on the desk, soft cushion on your chair, a nice potted plant or humidifiers and relaxants. If you work from home, you have the freedom to do this to any extent you wish. However, try have a separate workstation from your place of relaxation to prevent the two from being blurred. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, where most businesses are practicing remote work, this could be a great initiative to improve your mental health.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. As previously stated, work can be taxing at times, and our determination and confidence can take a hit. During such a time, positive affirmations can massively help. After work, or a job well done give yourself a pat on the back. Another way is to have incentives, for example, having a healthy snack-box at work, cooking your favourite meal after a particularly hard day. Do not forget to take time to indulge in a proper lunch or to stay hydrated. This attitude makes you be positive, inspiring and compassionate to yourself and your colleagues especially in times of distress. Give yourself credit for success and pay it off by being kinder to others, as the best self-care practice is to help others.
- 3 Essential Self-Care Tactics To Get Through The Coronavirus Pandemic, April 1, 2020. Forbes.com
- Self-care | Working During Covid-19 – University of Washington