You’re the most important person in the world.
Okay – maybe this isn’t true when it comes to your co-workers, neighbors, some friends, or who you’re dating. We hope you are, but that’s not really the point. Because you’re human, we know it’s inevitable that you may not agree with our first statement from time to time – but that’s why it’s so important to understand your need for self-care, especially self care in the workplace.
Because it’s true
You’re the most important person in the world to yourself, because that hunk of meat processing the words you’re reading is what you’re jamming with in any and all occasions. Which makes it (and by it we mean said hunk of meat) super important, because people being happy makes the world a better place. When you’re in a good mood, you gain that impossible-to-resist gravitational pull that brings other people up to those contagious high levels, too. Even when – or rather, especially when – they feel overwhelmed. At the end of the day, we all need those happy people to step into our lives. The best case scenario: we all fall into that category.
Well duh, everybody wants to be happy
Yep, and we want to try to give you a few ways to get there. It all comes down to self-care in the workplace.
Now, don’t take it as advocating for being selfish or even narcissistic. But it’s important to consciously care for yourself – if you can’t do that how can you look out for the loved ones in your life?
There’s not one simple, universal, way to get into that baseline of happiness. If there is, somebody or thing please let us and the rest of the world know, stat. In the meantime, we’ll share what we know: be kind to body and mind.
When you’re happy with yourself, you’re more likely to be able to help others get in that same oh-so-damn-beautiful headspace. Alright. Enough with the platitudes. If you’re already in that mental space, you’re just sitting there nodding. (Congrats by the way). If not, you’re thinking “Yea, cool Chewse. How do I get there?”.
There’s no one catch-all answer
It all comes down to treating yourself right – keeping your body healthy and your mind clear. Obviously, different things work for different people. But the root of it all is finding the things that move you and letting them pull you forward.
Here are a few ways to practice self-care in the workplace, letting you become the best version of you and leading to a more fulfilling life. A few we’re sure you’re well aware of, others may be less so. Some of these may work for you, some may not. It’s all about trying different things and seeing what works. Speaking of…
Try new things
It’s easy to get into a routine. Routines can even be beneficial – checking that to do list off and knowing how you’re going to accomplish certain goals is great! But it’s also easy to fall into a rut, turning work into a Groundhog Day type experience. No one wants to wake up at X age and think “What have I been doing for the last 10 years?”.
So, switch it up from time to time! Try a new restaurant for lunch, say hi to a coworker you don’t know, or frequent a happy hour that might be a little outside your comfort zone. New experiences, no matter how “big” or “small” help broaden your worldview.
After all, you can’t ever find a new favorite without giving it a try.
If you sit behind a desk all day (we do), stand up! Go for a walk, grab some coffee, stretch those legs! We weren’t made to sit down all day, so try to avoid it if you can.
It doesn’t have to be a long walk either. Take a five minute break, listen to a song, call your mom (she misses you). Giving yourself permission to take a physical break will make you feel more engaged when you come back to work, and it’ll be better for your health down the line.
Better yet, see if you can get a standing desk, or a balance board for your feet. You could even try persuading your office to invest in some treadmill desks to get you slowly moving as you work!
A bit counterintuitive coming from a blog, and it’s something we’ve all heard or thought about. But some things are just true, which is why we recommend taking some time every day to ignore those never-ending notifications and incessant emails.
We’re not saying you should neglect your inbox. But taking a break from staring at screens can actually make you more creative when you get back to work. When to take the break? Maybe on a coffee walk (see: above!), or during lunch.
In fact, unplugging and eating lunch with your coworkers has huge benefits. If you take the time to chat face-to-face instead of eating with one hand on the keyboard, you’re more likely to like where you work, and want to come back the next day (and the next, and the next… you get it). Making friends at the office is good for your mind (and for your soul) – so try it!
Sleep it off
Yep, this is a tough one sometimes. We get it – in today’s office, this is one of the hardest ones to do. But give it a go. Try to stick to a schedule – late nights are inevitable and should be had whether it’s cranking on an important deadline or having a bit too much fun. Don’t let that be a routine though. The right amount of sleep improves mood and productivity, and there are plenty of apps and programs out there to help you get in a better routine. You can also try adjusting night time screen settings before trying to find the cool side of the pillow. Either way, feeling refreshed leads to a better day.
Pay it forward
Help out. Give back. Wait… wasn’t this post about self-care in the workplace? Well, yea. But there’s a huge gaping chasm between growing your personal self-worth, and those nasty words of selfishness or narcissism. Think about Christmas time. No, not when you were a little kid. Now, as an adult.
What’s better, getting gifts or giving the perfect gift?
Well, to be honest, receiving is pretty sweet. But it’s hard to deny that feeling of seeing somebody overjoyed, surprised and naturally happy for something you did for them. So don’t wait for a birthday or special occasion, help out where you can.
You also don’t have to help out just with gifts. Notice a coworker looking down? Ask them how their day is, invite them for a walk (we like walks, can you tell?) or ask them to sit with you at lunch. Making space for other people’s emotions will create a more holistic company culture, which will in turn be better for you if you ever need some help on a bad day.
You do you.
At the end of the day, or article you’re reading, the person who knows how to best care for you is you. Maybe self-care in the workplace, for you, means talking with somebody else to figure things out, maybe it’s eating alone because you’re tired and overwhemled, maybe it means something totally different. It’s impossible to make an all-encompassing list.
The only way to find out is to take the time to pause and listen to what your soul is telling you. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy. But when we all devote ourselves to self-care, we’re all happier with our lives. And that seems like a pretty rad world to live in.