Self-Care 101: How to Practice Self-Care at Work

While we’ve been revamping our self-care routines just in time for the summer, let’s remember that our lifestyles have a huge impact on our overall health and wellness. Running on overdrive and working beyond what we’re able to manage creates the perfect equation for burnout, stress, and the list goes on.

We often try to find fixes for “personal” areas of our lives—these are the areas that we believe can be easily adjusted, because we feel we may have more control over what takes place in our personal lives.

But let’s not forget about the workplace! Whether it’s in-office, off-site, or remotely, here are a few self-care strategies you can use to prioritize yourself at work, starting with these 3 key areas:

1. Manage Your Workload

When it comes to tackling big projects, meeting tight deadlines, or multitasking, your workload can get overwhelming when you’re given or take on more than you’re able to manage. Stepping back and reassessing all that’s on your to-do list for the day, week, and month allows you to prioritize your tasks and position yourself to determine if you can add more to your workload or if you’ll need to cross out, outsource, or reject certain projects and tasks depending on your line of work.

Some people may also find themselves staying in these positions because they feel a need to hold onto it in order to get their bills paid or because they feel they won’t find their dream job if they let go of that position. If this is the case for you, ask yourself if you’re settling for less or if this is a pressure you’re willing manage.

2. Refresh Your Work Environment

Your workspace can affect your mood, behaviour, and health. Working in an environment that overwhelms you or one that’s toxic can cause you to develop a negative attitude toward how you approach your work.

Your mood may also be drastically affected by the condition of your workspace and the behaviours of your co-workers. And so, some effective self-care tips to help improve your work environment include keeping it organized; adding a personal touch to your work area so that it’s an enjoyable space for you to be in; and addressing any actions or behaviours of co-workers that affect you negatively.

3. Improve Your Work Structure  

As much as being flexible has benefits, a lack of structure at work can lead to poor management of your job duties, your work time, and your job role. When you’re not clear about what your position and responsibilities are, confusion, disorganization, mistakes, and conflict can arise in the workplace. List what you’re responsible for and know when those things must be completed.

Be intentional about setting healthy boundaries with your co-workers, have regular start and finish times for your workday, and make time for breaks to rest and have a meal or snack. Ignoring these areas can take a steady toll on your work performance, and more importantly, your wellbeing.

Being able to manage your workload, refresh your workspace, and improve your work structure can equip you to identify and apply practical steps to make improvements that lower and get rid of your work stressors, and ultimately, help you find a healthy balance between your job, your health and wellness.

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