First off, let me just say, welcome to the new section! I won’t explain why I’ve changed it in this post, because this isn’t the post for it, but I will say that I will write about it soon. So, if you’re interested, stick around! Anyway, what am I going to talk about today? Why self-care of course! There are so many reasons why practising self-care is a good thing. No, it doesn’t mean being lazy, and no, it doesn’t mean you’re unproductive. It’s quite the opposite actually.
When we’re at school, teachers, counsellors, and many other people will tell you, when you study take a 20-minute break, between hours. That way, you don’t burn out. Why else, do you get those 20-minute recesses (or break times, as we call them here in the UK), between classes, and those 5-minute class changes, where you wait in line for the previous class to finish, so you can start yours (no?…is that just in the UK)? The same thing applies to us adults, in the working environment.
While we can’t repeat school practices, we can still take breaks throughout the day. This can be a form of self-care too. So, here are a few ways you can practice self-care, even at work.
1. Take Your Breaks
For many workplaces, you will get at least one 20-minute break, either in the morning or in the afternoon, or two 15-minute breaks throughout the day. Why? To help you de-stress of course! Taking a break between hours really helps you not to burn out. Not to mention, you have your lunch hour, or half-hour, depending on your job specification. And in all honesty, it’s so important that you take your breaks. Not only to de-stress but to reset your mind, so you can tackle whatever problem you’re facing at work with a refreshed perspective and attitude.
More often than not, we work through our breaks, even our lunch breaks (yes I've been guilty of that too!), just to get our work done, or because we have tight deadlines. While these deadlines are important, there is no shame in taking your lunch break to renew your energy. Of course, if you have been procrastinating, then that’s a different story, but if you’re making good progress, don’t forgo your lunch, just to get things finished. That will lead to burnout. Instead, find a good stopping point, make a note of what you’d like to achieve, after your lunch break, and then go have it.
When you come back, you’ll find yourself re-energised and ready to go. Taking your break is a form of self-care because you’re not going to be stressed at the end of the day because you didn’t finish a task. Instead, you’ll feel accomplished because you’ll realise just how much you’ve managed to do.
2. Make A 5-Minute Tea or Coffee
If the day you’re having is very stressful, sometimes working through that stress can be detrimental to our health. So instead, take 5 minutes to make your tea or coffee. That doesn’t mean scrolling through your emails in the kitchen, while you’re waiting for your tea or coffee to brew. It means spending 5 minutes just decompressing. Have a chat with your colleague about the weather, or how their day is going. Look out the window and clear your mind. Just spend 5 minutes away from work and your computer, and you’ll find yourself renewed, if not settled enough to get back to work.
Do this at least once or twice a day, to reset, so you don’t feel like your head will explode with all the things you need to do. Practice mindfulness if you can, and meditate for at least a minute or two, and you’ll find that whatever problems came up throughout the day are a little easier to deal with. By no means will it completely re-energise you, as an hour lunch break can, but it can replenish some of your energy, so you can focus on your next task, without wanting to punch the wall or scream at the next person to talk to you.
3. Take A Walk
If things are really bad, then take a walk. Go to the nearest café, order your favourite coffee or tea, and take a few moments outside the building, just to clear your head. Sometimes, taking a small break like this, outside of your actual breaks, can help you cool down if you’re experiencing a very tense situation. You can even do a coffee run if you really need more time.
By doing so, you’re giving yourself the chance to decompress and think things through clearly.
While you’re waiting for the coffee to be made, you can go over the situation in your head, try to see a different perspective, and maybe come to a solution or suggestion that might work in your favour. Taking a walk, especially in brisk weather can really help to release that stress or frustration because it transfers that tension you’ve been feeling into movement, instead of bottling it up inside and releasing it onto someone else.
4. Confide In Someone
Everyone should have a friend at work; someone they can confide in if things get too stressful. That doesn’t mean gossiping about someone or complaining to them about your boss (although sometimes it is a good way to release stress). It means, if you’re really struggling at work, then take some time with a colleague you can trust and tell them how you feel. Of course, make sure they know that what you’re telling them is confidential and that you just want to blow off some steam. More often than not, if you want to vent, your friends might think you want advice when, in reality, you just want to vent. So, before you do, tell them that you don’t really need their advice and that you just want someone to listen.
For many of us, blowing off some steam can be going on an hour-long rant, that circles back to the topic at hand, over and over again, because it’s the only way we can let the situation go. It doesn’t always mean we’re obsessed over the topic, but it does mean that we can get that built-up frustration off our chest. And if your friend is close enough to you, they’ll know to keep what you said to themselves. Of course, sometimes, it also means that they’ll take matters into their own hands, and help you with the situation, but that’s not always a bad thing. They may not be involved in your situation, and they’ll view your situation with fresh eyes. So, whatever they may do, might help you in the long run.
5. Have A Stress Ball At Your Desk
Sometimes, we can’t always leave our desks, especially if something is urgent. So, instead of dropping everything to clear your head, have a stress ball, or something similar at your desk. If you can, squeeze it as you work, or take a moment to squeeze it, in between tasks. Think about it this way, you’re like a laptop. Throughout the day and with a lot of use, your batteries will start to drain. So, you’ll need to recharge. Sometimes, you’ll be able to find a socket where you can spend time charging, other times, you’ll use a portable charger to help you maintain your battery levels until you can find a good power socket.
That’s what stress balls and fidget toys can do. They might not be as efficient or as effective as taking a break, but like a portable charger, it’ll keep your battery levels constant, until you can find a good time to recharge. So, have a stress ball at your desk, and allow it to distract you for a moment or two, before going back to work. It’ll help you keep your stress levels low enough that you don’t want to break your computer or workstation.
Have A Care
So, there you have it! 5 ways you can practice self-care at work. Of course, you might have heard this advice before, but it’s always good to reiterate it. We often forget, that taking breaks, decompressing, and keeping our stress levels down can really help us be more productive. Not to mention, having someone to talk to can really help, not only for our peace of mind but also in finding new ways to solve whatever problems we’re facing. So, take your breaks, squeeze that stress ball, and speak to someone you can really trust. You'll see what wonders it'll do, not just for your mental health, but also for your work and social balance too.
Well, that’s it from me today. I’ll see you guys next time! And as always, don’t forget to like, subscribe, comment, share and follow me for more updates and the latest posts here on Feather’s Charm and on my social media! Oh, and please share this with all your family and friends, who might be interested in my content! I’ll see you later!