Weekday Warrior: 6 Essential Self-Care Tips For Your Workday
Success starts from the inside.
You may have mastered Sunday hangover pampering but you know as well as us that self-care isn't just for lazy days in your jammies. It's a 24/7 deal, and it ain't just avocado face masks and hot cocoa. So what can you do when being in work feels like stepping into a self-care vacuum? Up to 40 intense hours per week putting all your resources into productivity. First off, incorporating self-care into your working life is actually a key component of your overall performance – self-care is part of your job. Self-care at work means being attuned to what you need to be your most constructive, effective, authentic and happy. Let your responsibilities come at the expense of your health and well-being and you can't be any of these things. We've said it enough times here at Fizzy, but you gotta look out for number one – SIMPLEZ.
We know what you're thinking: You try keeping your sanity when you've got 666 urgent emails in your inbox. But, truth is, weaving self-care into your workday is actually pretty easy when you know how, and it can make a huge impact. Get yourself in gear with these six essential tips.
Cut yourself some slack
“FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. I'm such a stupid bitch,” said you about a hundred times on Monday. Yeah, you might be having a shit day but that doesn't mean it's your fault. We can often be our own harshest critics, judging ourselves and putting ourselves down for even the tiniest of things. When you notice this happening, or you start feeling like you're a slave to your own perfectionism, ask yourself: “what would I say to a colleague in the same situation?” We bet you wouldn't be saying such a thing to sweet, lovely Sally from Marketing. In order to create the right psychological conditions to storm through self-doubts and optimize your performance, you need to keep your internal critic at bay – because, just like all those times it beat you up for not getting that perfect selfie, its only job is to make you feel shit by perpetuating negativity. Check out this awesome TED Talk by Human Behavioral Sciences professor Amy Edmondson for more on the science.
Know your value
If you're a creative, it's quite likely you really struggle with this one – especially if you've fallen victim to the classic payment-in-exposure trope and drained all of your resources catering to your client's lack of budget. Whatever the job, employed or freelance, having little confidence in your own abilities can make you a slave to other people's priorities, until your own needs find themselves entirely out of the picture. In order to combat this, you need to take a step back and consider the value, impact and contribution you bring to your work. Value your own time and resources and make yourself a priority. An easy way to start: Set aside 15 minutes at the start of each day to note three things you wish to accomplish, then as requests come in, consider that list of priorities before offering an automatic yes. If you're self-employed, realistically assess how much money your work is worth and don't go below that amount, especially if that “golden opportunity” comes at the cost of your standard of living. That unpaid job might be great exposure, but is it really worth living on beans on toast for the next few weeks? Probably not.
Give yourself a pat on the back
The working week can feel like a blur at the best of times. Even if you've achieved great things, it's likely you didn't stop for pause before moving onto the next thing, especially if you didn't receive any praise from your boss. Giving yourself a window at the end of each week or month to write down what went well can give you a well-deserved boost and reinforce your value. It also helps you assess your personal progress so that you can keep on taking your work to the next level. Think of it as your own personal debrief.
Check your work relationships
Just like in all other aspects of your life, healthy and supportive relationships are essential to your well-being. Unfortunately, in some working environments, relationships with colleagues can be pretty toxic – especially when there are individuals who don't appreciate your value. Consider whether your team is giving you enough support, and if they're not, there is no harm in being assertive and bringing up your concerns. In the same way, if there is somebody constantly bringing you down, choose to invest your energy in those who bring you up instead (if you have that luxury). And ultimately, if you feel that your working environment is negatively impacting your mental health, despite your efforts to resolve the situation, perhaps it's time to reconsider your options and move onto something better.
Update your workspace
How much shit do you have on your desk right now? If your workspace is basically the place organization goes to die, a chaotic clutter of curios and half-eaten bags of M&Ms, it could definitely do with a good clean up. Organizing your workspace provides the perfect environment for mental clarity. Since your workspace is as good as your second home, “tidy house, tidy mind” also applies here – and adding some homely personal touches like some nice stationary or a bit of artwork can put you at ease too.
It might not be possible to make it to eight hours of sleep every night, but at least give it a try a couple of times a week – say Tuesday and Thursday – to recharge your energy. Chugging down a crazy amount of coffee to make up for a lack of sleep isn't the answer. Taking breaks during your workday is equally important, and although having lunch at your desk might be the easy option, you're gonna feel much more refreshed in the afternoon if you head out for an hour or so.
Whatever you do, however demanding your work life gets, remember: do not let the self-care slip. Push yourself, but don't push yourself too far. Be productive, not busy. Always keep your needs, priorities and well-being in mind, because success comes from the inside.