The business world can be rush, rush, rush sometimes. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in deadlines, important deals, and putting in extra hours that you forget to take care of yourself. Burnout is no joke, and eventually, every person has a limit that can be reached if they don’t stop and take care of themselves in some way.
In a blog post last year, we talked about the importance of self-care, a few examples of self-care in the workplace, and what it could look like in your life. But self-care can look very different from person to person and there are different pillars of self-care we wanted to emphasize in this post. The University of Kansas lists seven categories of self-care(1), and the importance of each will vary from person to person.
Mental self-care involves creating a healthy mindset through mindfulness and curiosity. A lot is said about mental health these days, and for good reason. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy.
Some good ways to practice mental self-care include journaling, meditation, and taking intentional breaks from screen time. These are all things you can practice yourself, but you can also provide journals and pens to your employees, clients, and prospects to encourage them to take mental breaks. A business is truly firing on all cylinders when executives, employees, and clients are all taking time for self-care.
To practice emotional self-care, you want to create healthy coping strategies for any stresses that might occur in your daily life. Did you know that 70% of adults who said stress interferes with their work also reported that workplace stress affects their personal relationships, mainly with their spouses? In fact, 25% of people in a recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health survey said they view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.
Healthy coping strategies can include things like listening to music that makes you feel good, writing positive affirmations for yourself, and asking others for help when you need it. In the workplace, that can mean making sure employees and clients feel valued and are being built up rather than torn down. It also means that creating a collaborative environment at work where people are encouraged to work together can go a long way.
Physical self-care involves taking care of your body with rest, nutrition, and movement. Eating meals at regular times, drinking plenty of water, getting a good night’s sleep, and exercising are great ways to practice physical self-care!
It’s important to have boundaries in the workplace that allow for this type of physical self-care. Make it a point to allow lunch breaks at reasonable times, consider including a wellness stipend that employees can use on gym memberships or products that encourage healthy living, and don’t set unrealistic deadlines that have workers up against the clock and trying to finish projects late into the night.
Environmental self-care means taking care of the places around you and the places you love. If you have a remote job, this could mean decluttering your living space or working from outside on the patio every once in a while. If you’re in an office setting, make your desk a place that feels homey and comfortable. Put up fun decorations, pictures of your family, or anything that brings a little peace and joy to your workday.
Activities or practices that give you a sense of meaning provide you with spiritual self-care; this can be religious but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Spend time in nature connecting with the world around you, find a community, identify values that are most important to you, or volunteer.
This kind of self-care can be facilitated in a workplace by creating spaces for people with similar interests or values to connect. Intra-workplace groups, especially in big companies, can help workers find a sense of community and belonging. You can also incorporate company-wide volunteer events to show you care about worthy causes as well as your employees.
Recreational self-care means making time for hobbies and activities that interest you. This can mean things like playing sports, going to the movies, or even staying home to play your favorite game or watch your favorite show.
The best way to encourage this type of self-care is by not taking away employees’ free time and not asking for work to be done after office hours. But you can also help your employees and clients practice recreational self-care by providing them with the resources to do so (i.e., giving them branded pickleball paddles, popcorn gift baskets, etc.).
Building relationships and making connections with healthy boundaries is the best way to practice social self-care. Examples of this type of self-care include connecting with friends, calling relatives, writing letters to a pen pal, and other things of that nature.
The CDC says social isolation can lead to health risks like anxiety and depression, and even heart failure and dementia. It’s so important for you, your employees, and your clients to have someone to talk to. Workplace organizations can encourage this, as can making counseling and therapy resources available for workers to utilize.
A recent study found enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%), and happiness (71%) were all reported by people prioritizing self-care. What self-care looks like varies from person to person, and each individual may put different emphasis on each of the seven pillars. But these forms of self-care are all equally valid, and it’s important that employees and clients are encouraged to prioritize self-care while also seeing you practice it in your own life.
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Originally published on proformablog.com.
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