Self-care has been a hot topic in recent years. In fact, according to Shape, 72% of millennial women are moving away from solely physical and financial goals to make self-care and mental health their priority.
Typically, when we think of self-care, we think of activities such as taking a bubble bath, going on a mini-vacation, treating yourself to a massage, and so on. All of which are the types of activities that you have to do on your free time. But, what about practicing self-care at work?
Even if you love your job, you’ll still have stressful days at work from time to time. Because of these stressful days at work, you’ll go home feeling drained. To avoid feeling this way, instead of waiting for the weekend to fit in time for self-care, find time for it at work.
Here’s how to add more self-care to your work day.
Decorate your workspace
One of the easiest ways to add more self-care to your work day is to surround yourself with things that bring a smile to your face. Your workspace should bring you joy; nobody wants to look around their office or cubicle and only see gray walls and filing cabinets. During stressful times, you should be able to sit down at your desk, take a look around, and remember the good things in life. So, make sure to decorate your workspace.
Add photos of your family and friends, post up some inspiring quotes, or change your desktop background to a scenic image of your dream vacation spot. It’s also recommended that you bring in some plants. Plants don’t only look beautiful, according to NBC, indoor plants make people feel better. Studies have proven that indoor plants improve productivity and concentration by up to 15%! They also reduce stress levels and boost your mood.
Move around more
When you work in an office, you’re probably doing a lot of sitting, A LOT. You sit down to read your emails, you sit during meetings, you sit to complete all of your daily tasks, you probably even sit during your breaks. And you may have heard lately that all of that sitting can do a number on your physical and mental health. In fact, according to WebMD, sitting too much can cause a number of issues, including:
- Higher risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of dementia
- Weight gain
- Spikes in anxiety
So, it’s important to incorporate more movement into your day. Moving around more and sitting less will make you feel better all around. To add more movement to your day, you could consider getting a standing desk, if that’s an option for you. Alternatively, you could just download an app. There are a number of free mobile apps on the market that send you a reminder to stand up every 30 minutes. Standing up, stretching, and wiggling your toes periodically throughout the day will boost your mood and improve your health.
Do more during your lunch break
Around mid-morning, you’re probably counting down the minutes to lunch time. But, what do you do on your lunch break? Just eat? If you want to add more self-care into your work day, you need to do more than eat during your lunch break. It doesn’t matter if your lunch break is 1 hour long or 30 minutes, you should take some of that time to do something that brings you joy or makes you feel good.
For instance, you could take a walk outside. Spending time outdoors can boost your mood instantly. According to Premier Health, breathing fresh air can raise levels of oxygen in your brain, which in turn boosts the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that alters your mood. If you’re unable to get outside during your lunch break, do another activity that makes you feel happy. You could read a book, chat with your best friend, listen to a podcast, or do a little yoga in your office. Have a side hustle like a personal blog? You could even work on that during your lunch break if it brings you joy.
Make time for work friendships
People typically tend to wait until after they’ve finished the work day to spend time socializing. But, spending your entire day at the office working by yourself, can really put a damper on your mood. That’s why it’s so important to make time for work friendships. These friendships don’t have to be anything serious. Just focus on making more of an effort to chat with others at work. You could ask someone to grab coffee with you in the morning, sit together at lunch, or even take 5 minutes each morning to say “hi”.
Take note of which of your coworkers have positive outlooks and focus on building relationships with them. After all, you don’t want to spend your time hanging out with negative people. When you surround yourself with good people, you’ll feel good too.
Practice self-care everyday
You shouldn’t have to wait for the weekend to practice self-care. With these tips for how to add more self-care to your work day, you’ll be able to become a more productive employee and be more fulfilled in your job. Plus, when you make time to practice self-care everyday, you’ll be less likely to burn out. So, instead of using evenings and weekends to recover, you’ll be able to enjoy them to the fullest.