One of the biggest weaknesses that people have can be so detrimental that it can greatly affect not only your productivity but also your work ethic. This weakness affects several different companies and employees, regardless of their title. Whether you are an intern or a CEO, failure to pay attention to this can affect your health, so make sure you take notes! That weakness is the failure to practice effective self-care.
Self-care is the act of taking time out of your day to evaluate your mental and emotional status. If you are displeased with your status, you then perform tasks that will improve your status to get where you want to be. While it is noble to put everything else before yourself, not practicing self-care can counter the work you do. The truth is that if you do not think or feel well, you are not going to perform well.
But life doesn’t always allow people to have the free time necessary to practice self-care on a regular basis. So how can you practice self-care in the office without spending a lot of time on it? Here are just a few ways to practice self-care in a realistic, yet fun way:
1) Prepare a ‘Feel Good’ Playlist
If you like music, something as simple as having a playlist comprised of the songs that bring you the most joy can be a great way to practice self-care. Use the playlist on your way to and from work, or if your company allows it, while you are at your desk. Try to limit how often you listen to it so it can be more effective when you need a pick me up.
2) The Hands-On Approach
If you are the type of person that likes to do handy work or create, store some putty or play-doh in your office space! In-between email responses, roll it around, bounce it, and make mini snakes. Even focusing on the putty or play-doh for 5 minutes can easily clear your mind and bring you joy.
3) Bring Your Favorites
If you have a particular interest in food, treat yourself to your favorites for lunch or snacks. This will give you something to look forward to! Things like tea are especially great to use because they can also calm and soothe as you take care of yourself.
4) Eat Lunch Outside
Should the weather permit it, eating outside can bring great calm to someone’s day? If you are outdoorsy, this will especially be good for you to practice without sacrificing anything from your work schedule. If you really want to disconnect, even for just a moment, avoid bringing your phone. Take the time to eat and walk around or talk to someone you’ve wanted to get to know better.
5) Jump Around
Yes we know what you’re thinking, and no, we don’t mean the song (although if you like it, refer to #1). If you’re the type of person that likes physical activity, take 5 minutes to walk around the building, spin around in your chair, do jumping jacks, or do push-ups. As silly as it may feel, doing physical activity has been proven to increase focus and energy throughout the day.
If you can take at least an hour of your day where you do things that make you feel good, by all means, take advantage of that time. However, not everyone has an hour in the day. Some don’t even have ten minutes. If you are one of the people who fall in the latter category, practice small things throughout the day to balance stress levels. By doing this, you are more likely to feel better and therefore perform better.