It is no secret that mental health is essential to our overall well-being. Taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally is vital, especially in the workplace where mental health can easily take a back seat to work demands. However, taking the time to care for yourself enables you to stay healthy, focused, and productive both personally and professionally. It also means you are better equipped to face the challenges of everyday life. In this blog, we share some tips that could be incorporated into your routine to help improve your mental health and wellbeing inside and outside of the office.
Self-Care: In the Workplace
Traditionally when you think of self-care, you might picture a relaxing bubble bath or a weekend getaway; however, taking care of yourself should not be reserved only for outside of work hours. Finding ways to manage your physical and mental health in the workplace can help you feel more relaxed, focused, and productive throughout the day. The following are just a few examples you could incorporate into your normal routine to help create a more efficient and energetic day:
- Take breaks outdoors when possible. Consider going for a walk or doing some light stretches outside to get some fresh air and vitamin D from the sun! Getting your blood flowing and doing light movements can help clear your mind, rejuvenate your body, and create natural energy.
- Set your workspace up for success. Since you spend a lot of time at your desk, it’s important to make sure it works for you. This could include updating the ergonomics of your workspace by investing in a sit/stand desk, purchasing a calendar so you can track your to-do list and goals, or just simply keeping it clean, organized, and free of clutter to create less distractions and to allow you to focus on your tasks at hand.
- Build connections with your team. Taking small breaks to chat with your co-workers can not only provide a more positive working environment and workplace camaraderie, but also provides opportunities to support each other when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Conversation can provide insight about each other’s strengths as well as identify areas where you can encourage and uplift one another.
Recognizing self-care as a priority within your professional workday can make a big difference in building happier, more sustainable day-to-day routines.
Self-Care: Outside of the Workplace
Incorporating self-care into your life outside of the workplace is also vital to your physical and mental health. Much like the process of putting on your oxygen mask first on an airplane to better assist others, taking care of your mental health first and foremost is not only best for you, but for others around you. Self-care outside of the workplace can take many different forms, including:
- Take the time to enjoy your hobbies and interests. It can be easy to lose ourselves to work and taking care of those around us, but it is important to allow yourself time to enjoy your passions and hobbies. Doing so helps maintain a sense of sovereignty and self-confidence.
- Keep up with household chores. These tasks may also naturally take a backseat during busy times, but maintaining a clear and clean atmosphere can help prevent feelings of overwhelm. Ask for help when needed, enjoy music or a podcast while cleaning or even make chores a game for your children to help assist you.
- Get your thoughts out there and on paper. Speaking to a mental health professional or a friend can assist in organizing a chaotic mind and help you navigate through difficult situations or everyday life. Journaling and writing down your thoughts and feelings can create a structure to your mind, allowing you to recognize patterns and problem solve in an organized manner.
- Take care of your overall health. Physical health can dictate both your emotional and mental well-being. Eating healthy and nutritious meals, staying hydrated, moving your body and getting enough sleep can improve the way you feel physically and mentally. This also includes keeping up with your annual physical, dental and eye health.
- Stay social and nurture your relationships. Maintain healthy relationships with your friends and loved ones by taking time to call or have a video chat when meeting in person is not feasible. This allows them to find ways to support you in times of need and help prevent burnout.
- Maintain a calm and focused mind. Most of us have a list of to-do tasks each day, on top of taking care of ourselves, families, and pets. We can easily find ourselves overwhelmed, often leading to procrastination and burnout. Meditation is a practice you can use to calm your nervous system, sort out your thoughts and find your focus. There are even free apps that you can download to assist with meditation.
Taking care of your mental health is not only crucial for your personal well-being, but also for your work performance and productivity. By investing in yourself and prioritizing self-care both in and out of working hours, can lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.