I’ve been reflecting on the last year or so of my life, and what it was like to balance going to school full time, working full time, interning, and trying to keep up with all the things I love (including my partner). I thought this was a great time to talk about what I find to be great self-care, especially in the workplace.
Practicing self-care isn’t easy, especially when it comes to balancing and managing your work life with your home and social life. The reality is, you need to find ways to keep yourself healthy and happy and focus on those things outside of work. The key word here: Focus.
- Stop checking your email when you’re not at work. Unless you’re getting paid to do so, it can wait. Yes, I promise it can wait. It can wait until 8:30 am tomorrow morning. It can wait until you finish your lunch break.. You can wait until the weekend is over. I realize this sounds hard to do (or maybe, it sounds easier than it will end up being), but I challenge you make it part of your self-care.
- On the same note, absolutely check yourself out of work when you’re on vacation. I promise you, it can wait.
- Don’t befriend all of your work friends on Facebook. Sounds weird, right? Well, this is a boundary you’ll be glad you set. You have to be able to separate work life from your social life. You spend 40 hours a week with your co-workers and unless you are great and oh-so-close outside of work, cut the social media strings. It may feel uncomfortable doing this, but you can simply say that its isn’t personal against them, you just prefer to keep the two worlds separate. I promise, people will understand.
- Remember that you do not owe anyone an explanation. Are you too tired for a double date dinner obligation or game night with friends? Maybe you’d rather cuddle up with a good book, watch a movie with your partner, or spend that beautiful and empty Saturday binge watching Netflix. Well guess what, when someone asks you to do something, you don’t owe them anything! A simple no is all you have to say and you’re not obligated to explain yourself. In fact, you don’t even owe them a response. We live in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world that people forget there was a time when you had to wait to get home to check your voicemail on your home phone. Now, there is an expectation of an instant response via text or an immediate call back. You do NOT owe anyone this, but you do owe YOURSELF the freedom to binge watch Netflix without judgement!
- Get plenty of sleep. Once you start working on the other self-care practices, sleep might come a little easier without so much work and worry on your mind, but sleep is by far important for your mind and body to re-set.
- Find something ACTIVE that you love, and take time to do it. Something that keeps you moving whether its walking, biking, running, crossfitting, skiing, hiking or anything else.
- Find something relaxing that you love, and take time to do it. Where I live, you can’t always get outdoors, and something might happen that keeps you from doing the active thing that you love. Find something creative and peaceful to keep you centered. Yoga, knitting, reading, making jewelry, or something else. The list here is seriously endless.
Practicing self-care is so very important, especially when you work in the human services field.