Tuesday, October 31, 2017

5 Ways to Self-Care at Work

1. Plant.

Stuck under the buzz of fluorescent lights for 8 hours a day? Fear not. Having greenery around your office/cubicle is a nice way to counter being stuck inside. Try something low-maintenance (think succulents, cacti) especially if you're not a plant expert. They thrive with minimum water and light - even indoor light. As time goes by and with a little research, you'll get more familiar with how to care for your plants. I keep a little spray bottle tucked away in my drawer, and give them a quick spritz each day in the office, focusing on the soil. For flowers, I snip the stems and switch out the vase water. Interacting with a living thing at work that can't argue with you is a nice distraction to have. Try starting or ending the work day by tending to your plant friends - this way you have a consistent, pleasant start and/or end to your day.

2. Go outside.

Or look outside. Whatever you can manage, even if it's walking outside from one building to another instead of taking the indoor route. It's easy to get sucked into the flow at work and completely forget what time/day/year it is - especially if you work in a windowless environment. The benefits fresh air and natural light have on your body are numerous.

3. Take your whole lunch break.

If you're a fast eater like me, that half hour lunch break has a tendency of turning into a 15 minute lunch break. But this is your time. Take it! If you finish eating before break ends, stay put. Whether you're in the break room, your car, your office, or the coffee shop, don't return to work until that allotted break time is up. Fill up that time with anything you want - deep breathing, dawdling on your phone, catching up with a friend - anything that helps you recharge before returning to the madness.

4. Single-task.

Multi-tasking is great when you're in a pinch, but a key part of mindfulness and stress reduction is focusing on what you're doing right this minute. Stay in the now. The more tasks you try to do at once, the less space your brain has to devote to doing each task effectively.

5. Leave on time.

When did leaving on time start being viewed as leaving early? It's hard to say, but the pressure to stay late even if you arrived on time has definitely become more prominent in the workforce. Clocking out at 5:30 on the dot is now a task that's often met with thinly veiled shade. While being dedicated and staying late occasionally to finish an important job is admirable, it's important to weigh when it's necessary to stay late, and when it's not.

Remember - even if you love your job, work is a part of your life - not the whole thing!