4 Tips For Self-care at Work

Being successful at work is more than just the skills you have, confidence, communication or how well you get on with the people you work with. While they are all useful factors its important to understand the importance of self-care. Ultimately, to be truly successful, you need to be in a good place mentally. Workplace stress is rife across the UK; and with one in three Brits admitting that they suffer from mental health issues, knowing how to look after your wellbeing is crucial. unemployable

So what is self-care?

Self-care is a popular topic these days, but it is often poorly explained. Perhaps you keep seeing it mentioned in self-help books or magazine articles and yet don’t have a clear sense of how your suppose to add it to your life. Simply put it just means taking care of yourself. Doing little things to ensure that you stay connected to yourself and keep your stress levels down. There’s no quick fix and what may work for one may not work for another, it is important to stay in tune with your thoughts and feelings to be truly healthy you need to recognise that your mental health and wellbeing is just as important as your physical health.

So, how does this apply to work?

On average, we spend about eight hours at work each day; that clocks up to a lot of time in the office. On the most part, work gives us a sense of purpose and (if you enjoy what you do) it can be incredibly rewarding.

But, if you find yourself becoming overly stressed or unhappy, day-to-day it can become a very lonely place.  It might seem daunting to think about adding self-care activities to your already long to-do list, but the intention is to help you prioritise yourself in your workday.

By consciously adding these routines into your day, you’re more likely to be happier within yourself; helping you to perform better at work as a result.

Try these four easy steps to practise self-care at work:

1. Assess your situation

How are you feeling regarding work at the moment? Are you happy, motivated stressed? It’s important to take a step back and assess what it is that is making you unhappy. Once you understand what your trigger point is, it’s easier to figure out the best ways to respond in certain situations; or to try and avoid triggering situations altogether.

2. Don’t bottle it up

Now that you know what’s causing your distress, it’s time to do something about it. If there is a certain individual who is causing you to be upset have a chat with your manager and try to come to a resolution. 

3. Fuel your body

It’s often easy to overlook what we’re putting in our bodies; especially when we’re busy with back-to-back meetings. We grab something because it’s quick, easy and will fill us up for a few hours. Or, we’ll skip a meal altogether in favour of a hot cup of caffeine.

But that’s not healthy or good for your self-care, and it won’t do any good in the long-run. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated.

Be sure to have a proper lunch break away from your desk and without thinking about your to-do list. This is your time to get out of the office, so don’t feel guilty. It doesn’t have to belong; even a short walk can relieve stress and refresh your mind.

4. Move your body

Get moving, we don’t mean becoming a full gym bunny self-care really is about listening to your body; so if you’re not able to complete an intense workout, don’t. Instead, consider other ways to get your body moving. Think about what you enjoy and incorporate this into your daily life; whether that is walking, yoga or even dancing.  Schedule exercise around your workday and see what time suits you best.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed!

We all want to do our best, but a huge to-do list or big expectations can cause us to feel overworked, and overwhelmed. However, this shouldn’t be a daily feeling at work, if it is you need to take a step back and make the relevant changes. Speak to your manager, someone in HR, or if it’s really too much.

It’s okay to ask for help!

While we usually get our support from talking to friends and family or simply taking a break, sometimes more is needed. Consider talking to a professional. Talking to a business or career coach is a great way to get the ball rolling; regardless of whether you want to leave or stay.

Not only can they help you to develop and hone your skills, but they can also help you in prioritising other aspects of your life, too; to encourage you to put yourself first.

As much as self-care is about looking after yourself, asking for further support may be what you need. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and caring for yourself should not make you feel guilty – it’s essential.