*Updated May 2020
The world as we know it has changed and most of us are stressed to the max. This COVID-19 crisis has totally altered the way our days look. For months many of us have been working from home. Not an easy thing to do with kids, partners, roommates, etc.
BUT with many States lifting the stay at home order, there will be a lot of you returning to the office (or whatever setting you work in). It’s more important than EVER to practice self-care during the workday. In fact, it’s CRUCIAL to our well-being!
Many of us have people counting on us right now and we can’t be there for others if we aren’t there for ourselves first. Keep your emotional cup full!
Here you will find 6 practical ways to fit self-care into your workday. Make it a priority because YOU MATTER!
Some of them might seem obvious and if so, let them serve as helpful reminders.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Let’s start by defining self-care. In short, it’s any activity that you do to improve and take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs.
Alright, let’s get to it. Here are 6 practical ways to fit self-care into your workday…
1. TAKE A 10-MINUTE WALK ON YOUR LUNCH BREAK
First and foremost, do this safely! Use good social distancing practices and any other precautions you can take.
A 10- minute walk can do wonders for all aspects of your well-being! If you can fit in more time, great! But even as little as 10-minutes can change the rest of your day.
Getting your blood and endorphins flowing during your lunch can help decrease stress, keep you physically healthy, and improve your mood.
There have been numerous studies demonstrating that even short, light activity can have a big impact on our physical health. We need to stay as healthy as possible, especially these days!
Consider walking to get lunch, scheduling a 10-minute walk during the day, or walk to work if possible.
2. USE A 5-10 MINUTE GUIDED MEDITATION
The benefits of these short meditations are MIGHTY!
If you have your own office, close the door, pop in some headphones, and turn on a guided meditation of your choice.
A shared workspace might make this challenging to do (even if you are spaced out from your coworkers these days) as it can be distracting.
As an alternative, you can try going outside if there is a safe place to go. Many parks are reopening and have social distancing guidelines. Find a comfy spot on the grass or a bench and try a meditation. As a bonus, you’ll also be getting fresh air!
If you drive to work, you can sit in your car and do it. I’ve worked in lots of shared office spaces and would use my car as my own little retreat. I would recline the seat, pop in my headphones, and walk out feeling more centered and ready to take on the rest of the day.
For those taking public transit, you can still do a guided meditation. Just throw in your headphones and close your eyes. Please don’t feel silly doing it because I guarantee nobody is paying attention to you – particularly these days. Everyone has bigger things to worry about.
There are a TON of great YouTube guided meditations. Here is one of my favorite body scan meditations for relaxation (it’s only 8 minutes!): Relaxing Body Scan Meditation
3. SAY NO!
These days it should be easy to say “no” so please do and conserve your energy for what matters most, which is staying mentally and physically healthy.
I’ve become good at this one (even before this crisis) and it’s made a huge difference in my life and mental health. It’s stressful when you over commit!
I’m guessing you’re already spread thin (aren’t we all?!). Saying yes to every request depletes what little energy you have left – especially when you’re saying yes to things you don’t actually want to do!
4. KEEP YOUR WORK AREA TIDY
Clutter can be completely distracting and contribute to feeling overwhelmed. When you have a clean workspace it is likely to increase your productivity, which in turn decreases stress. Anything you do to promote feelings of calm is practicing self-care.
5. USE YOUR COMMUTE FOR SELF-CARE
This suggestion is primarily for those of you who are still using public transit, which is a highly stressful thing to do these days! Practicing some self-care during the commute might be helpful in reducing the stress you feel (even if only a little!).
Whether you drive or take public transit it’s an opportunity to listen to motivational podcasts and inspiring audio books. If you take public transit you can also use the commute to fit in some reading. Or as previously mentioned, you can also try a guided meditation.
6. SET YOUR ALARM FOR 10 MINUTES EARLIER
I can hear some of you right now saying “NO WAY”! I get it – it’s hard to get up, especially if you aren’t passionate about what you do.
However, I can assure you that this is one of the best things you can do for yourself! Getting up just a smidge earlier to practice some self-care sets the tone for the rest of your day. Use that 10 minutes (or more if you can!) to have a cup of coffee in silence, meditate, read, or journal.
Choose whatever practice works for you and stick to it. Reaching for your phone as soon as you open your eyes is stressful. Try getting up early to practice self-care for even ONE day and I guarantee you’ll notice a big improvement in your day.
Until next time friends! Stay safe!
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy 25 Free Self-Care Ideas to Practice at Home