Self-care has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent times, particularly since COVID19 hit and almost everything we thought we knew about our lives has changed dramatically. As we navigate this new normal of a post pandemic world, it is important that we begin to understand the value of conscious, deliberate acts of nurturing ourselves. The psychology behind self-care is simple; when we do things to nurture ourselves, we are helping to produce positive feelings and boost our self-confidence.
We all love bubble baths, candles, and having a glass of wine, but self-care extends so much further than these activities. Did you know that there are different domains of self-care? One of the domains we don’t often consider is the professional domain. This area of self-care is about making mindful choices regarding what best serves you in your work. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a time at work where we’ve been feeling down or are struggling to manage stress. By having self-care in our professional space, we are more equipped to manage these emotions, reduce burnout, and maintain appropriate professional boundaries.
So, whether you are working from home or returned to work, here are my top three ways to self-care at work:
Take breaks away from screens – we are required to take breaks during our working day. Use this time to distance yourself from your desk or workspace. Avoid looking at screens during your breaks and try something else, like going for a short walk outside.
“HOT” time – HOT stands for Higher Order Thinking. This is allocated time in which you turn everything off. Distractions such as meetings, phone calls, and never-ending emails are constant within a work environment. By turning everything off, you avoid being pulled in by these tasks, and can focus on specific projects you need to complete.
Do a course – there are endless opportunities available for professional development. You can find these online, or within your professional network. Many professions require that a certain number of courses or hours be done each year to maintain registration. Make sure you know where you are at with your professional development, and plan ahead to avoid extra pressure or stress.
It is all too easy for us to be sucked in by the continuous grind of work activities, without stopping to consider our own mental health. Often this can result in feeling overwhelmed, with work bringing less enjoyment than it should. So, remember, take time to stop and implement self-care within each day to help maintain a healthy work-life balance.
If you would like further information about self-care in the workplace, or to organise a customised training session for professional development in Trauma Informed practices, head to our website www.cbe.net.au and register your interest.