By: Kristin Bugden
Many of us practice a bit of self-care after work hours or on the weekends, but you deserve — and frankly need— time to take care of yourself and recharge even during your 9-to-5. Below, find 8 simple practices that can be done in your office to contribute to a happier, healthier and more productive version of yourself in the work world.
1. Take Short Breaks
One of the simplest things you can do to look after yourself at work is to just step away and take five. As Suzie DeVaughn, LMSW, Owner of Self-Care Specialists and Blossoming Heart Center, tells Livelyall too often we plow through the workday without so much as taking a simple break. “It doesn’t make you less productive to skip lunch — in reality it can make us more productive when we step away and allow ourselves to clear the slate and get refreshed,” she says. Grab a coffee and add Vital Proteins Mocha Collagen Creamer™ supplement, call a friend, take a brisk walk or do whatever works for you to recharge and feel ready to take on the next challenge.
It’s no secret that spending several hours a day hunched over a computer screen can wreak havoc on the body. DeVaughn suggests stashing a yoga mat in the office and getting up to do some gentle stretching whenever possible. If you have access to a space where you can close the door, you might even want to try the “Legs-Up-The-Wall” pose which is thought to help ease stress and fatigue.
3. Indulge in Quick Pampering
Stash a few beauty or wellness products at your desk and whip them out when you might be in need of a little pick-me-up throughout the day. If you’re in the market for something new, there are a number of scents out there known for their calming and soothing properties like lavender, rose and jasmine. Also, since that stale office air can cause our skin to be a bit dehydrated, Olivia Clementine, herbalist and holistic well-being expert, recommends applying something like her Elemental Face Balm which is not only grounding, but also rich in vitamins and fatty acids. “Simply apply the balm to the lips, hands, under the eyes and any dry spots on the body whenever you need a moisture (or mood) boost,” she says.
Another effective and easy way to practice self-care in the workplace is to give your brain a reboot via meditation. Since it’s incredibly easy to just let the day fly by, Clementine, who also offers guidance through her relationship and meditation sessions, recommends setting a timer every hour or so on your phone as a reminder to come back to your breath and body. “Whenever possible, use a few minutes each hour to do a quick meditation — during this time, place all your attention on your breath and relax your body. Inhale through the nose for 5 seconds, exhale through the nose for 8 seconds and repeat 5-10 times, or more if you are inspired or have the time.”
5. Remember to Breathe
One of the most effective (and often overlooked) ways you can calm your nerves is to take several restorative deep breaths. As DeVaughn notes, deep breathing also doesn’t have to be done behind closed doors or when you’re alone. “Breathwork is something that can be done while you’re on the phone, in a meeting, or working with clients without everyone else needing to know — all you need to do is intentionally focus on taking a few deep breaths that are even on the inhale and exhale,” she explains.
6. Banish Negative Energy
If you’re feeling as though there’s a buildup of negative or stagnant energy in your workspace, you can even consider doing a bit of office-friendly saging (if you’re not familiar with the term, burning sage is an ancient practice that was used to cleanse a person of negativity). Since burning sage is a no-go in an office setting, there are a number of sprays available that are meant to have a similar effect such as this Clear Cleansing Therapy Spray. “This smoke-free, smudging alternative rids negative energy in an environment and transforms bad vibes on the spot,” says Giselle Wasfie, Doctor of Chinese Medicine, and Founder of REMIX Acupuncture and Integrative Health in Chicago, adding that it’s hand-blended with organic or wild-harvested essential oils of sage, rose and eucalyptus.
7. Keep a Journal
If you’re going through a difficult time, or need an outlet to express feelings in general, try keeping a journal in your desk and jotting down your thoughts as needed. DeVaughn tells us that doing so can increase mindfulness and promote healing.
Finally, if your workspace is untidy and littered with various objects, it can lead to feelings of stress and make it difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. Take a few moments each day to toss what you don’t need and make your area organized—you’ll probably notice that it feels good to come back to a nice, clean space.
We hope you’re inspired to try incorporating a few of these practices into your workday routines — after all, what do you have to lose besides feeling happier, healthier and overall on top of your game?!