We need a complete change in how we think about health and success. Self-care is promoted as something you do outside of work and as the exception to your routine. We think of it as something “special we do” when we’re tired and feeling the effects of overworking. People often think of it as a response to being close to burn out. There’s a better way. True self-care lies in the habits we create DAILY. Self-care should be the rule, not the exception. Some work places support this, others don’t. Either way, there are ways to create opportunities for self-care in either of those work environments. It is up to us to create a life where self-care is not the exception. This is how we maintain mental and physical health. It is in the practice we engage in regularly, not in the exceptions that “give us a break.” Self-care culture is about a shift in mindset. To increase the amount of self-care in your work day independent of whether your workplace supports it or not, three essential strategies are key:
Maximize your self-care during your actual breaks, like lunch time. Your real breaks are real opportunities. Make a commitment to yourself to make at least part of your official break time an act of self-care.
Minimize the amount of stress you go into work with and leave work with. There are a ton of quick self-care strategies like deep breathing.
Mindfully practice things that you have to do anyway to turn any regular activity into self-care. Drinking water? Do it mindfully. Engage all of your 5 senses. Increasing your mindfulness is an act of self-care that can be built into your day, even if you can’t carve out additional time.
If you want more concrete ways and a step-by-step guide to making these three key strategies work, check out my eBook "Build More Self-Care into Your Work Day."
This work book is designed to help you activate some creative problem solving and come up with a plan to create more space for self-care into your work day. When you create a culture of self-care for yourself, you can take care of your mental and emotional needs regularly. The goal of the strategy I developed is not to react to stressful situations all of the time, but instead to create a life where stress doesn’t build up as much.