In a previous post, we discussed free mental health apps as well as the value of prioritizing self care. This post focuses on ways to incorporate self care into employees’ work lives. Doing so becomes an important aspect of their overall performance just as one wouldn’t try to keep driving a car with a flat tire, a broken muffler, or engine trouble.
What exactly is Self Care?
By definition, it is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. Self care falls into three main categories: mental, emotional and physical health. Practicing good self care is integral to improved mood, reduced stress, and the health of the relationship with oneself and others.
Consequences of Not Practicing Self Care?
Not practicing self-care manifests itself in the following observable ways:
Self care is a relationship and a connection to self and requires a level of self awareness whereby the person understands what they need to achieve their overall well-being from a mind, body and spirit perspective. When employees don’t make self care a priority, it negativity affects the quality of their projects, work relationships, creativity, adaptability, and resilience.
Tips to Incorporate Self Care into the Work Day
A common response to the challenge of introducing self care habits is a lack of time. “When could I possibly fit in exercise or meditation or more sleep?” The answer isn’t simple, but there are easy ways to integrate self care as a process not “outside” of work.
One. Practice self compassion = “cut yourself some slack”. We are our toughest critics and we would never give feedback to a colleague the way we mentally address our own perceived shortcomings. Research reveals that employee performance is optimized when we feel safe and supported. Pay attention to your negative inner thoughts and self doubt. This is where access to free mental health apps like Moodfit, Mindshift CBT and Insight Timer are helpful.
Two. Set healthy boundaries. Now, more than ever, it is important to consider your time and resources. It is easy to get distracted from priorities or get caught up in a colleague’s sudden work crisis. By introducing the self care habit of taking 10 minutes each morning to capture your top 3 priorities of the day, it then becomes easier to consider the impact of other’s demands on your time before jumping in and saving the day while your priority list remains untouched.
Three. Update your Workspace. Particularly with so many working remotely or with makeshift home office workspaces, there is a greater propensity for clutter and disarray to bleed into the space you call your office. A quick self care practice here involves cleaning up the workspace to garner greater mental clarity, confidence and the ability to concentrate. The workspace, now that it might be seen by many others via virtual meetings, should reflect one’s best self.
Four. Celebrate mini milestones. Self care in this form includes reflecting on what you did yesterday and last week that demonstrates what you’ve been able to accomplish. It could be the smallest achievement, but taking a moment to recognize it and think a positive thought about yourself promotes self efficiency and the confidence to keep moving forward.
Five. Seek feedback. Be aware of your brand and how you’re observed by others. This involves asking for feedback regularly — tough, but critically important — in order to ensure that how you wish to be perceived is, in fact, how you come across. When you’re not practicing self care, it is easy to become more impatient and emotionally triggered.
We want you to be able to share these tips easily and in an engaging way with your employees.
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Not an Overnight Fix
Integrating the habits of good self care isn’t an overnight fix. These suggestions don’t require employees to take time out of their work day. They do require that the suggestions remain top of mind. That’s why we’ve created this poster for your reference. Feel free to download it and make it available to your team.
We know there is a great deal to consider. Please contact us with your questions and let’s work together and create solutions that work best for you and your organization.