Self-care at work

Suzi Chaemchaeng
Written by Suzi Chaemchaeng

I don’t have time, I don’t have time “I’m late” said the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

It does seem to be a badge of honour, being busy, having no time. I hear it a lot as a reason to neglect Self Care.

This busyness can be a detriment to ourselves and how we treat and prioritise ourselves. 

The White Rabbit also said, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get”. A good reminder to take it slow and complete one task at a time, but what about how we do Self Care at work? Is it something you have even considered and if you haven’t try counting up the number of hours you spend at work?

There is a way forward…

These are my tips to take better care of yourself at work

Screen free time:

Set an alarm to get up and have a walk about or stick a note in your eye line to remind you to take a break, stretch and walk around. This is also important for posture and making sure your shoulders and back stay flexible.

According to the UK Gov website, 5 to 10 minutes every hour is better than 20 minutes every 2 hours

Stretch at your desk : 

  • Place your hands on the sides of the chair. Gently lean you ear to your shoulder, repeat on both sides, breathe deeply and move slowly. 
  • Hands up over your head, reach hands around in a circle, and roll shoulder back.

Drink coffee and tea in the morning herbal tea in the afternoon:

Peppermint is great for digestion, Fennel and Nettle are fantastic for their cleansing properties. 

According to the ‘Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine’ caffeine should not be consumed 6 hours prior to bedtime or it will have significant effects on sleep disturbance.

Fill a water bottle and drink it all by end of the day:

Even if it makes you use the bathroom, that is a good reason to get up and walk.

“The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.”

Lunch break; Never at your desk!

Photo by Oleg Larkin on Unsplash

Go outside and walk around the block. Not only will it energise you for the afternoon but it will also give you a Vitamin D boost; a vitamin the body is able to produce naturally via skin exposure to sunlight and many studies support the disease fighting powers of Vitamin D.

Research conducted by the University of Rochester found that 90% of people experience an increase in energy by taking part in outdoor activities.

Eat a balanced lunch:

Look for the right combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in your lunch. For example chicken or fish with salad, which could include a couple of small potatoes or brown rice. For a veggie version: Lentil Dahl with vegetables packs a good nutritional punch with coconut milk for extra good fats.

Plants:

Plants at your desk not only look nice but can increase feelings of wellbeing and have air purifying properties. 

Pictures of loved ones and dreams/goals:

To keep your spirits high and help release oxytocin the feel good hormone. The goals keep you focussed, print out your next fantasy location, home or car etc.

Essential oils:

These can be put in small roller ball applicators and rubbed on pulse points. Use lemon for focus, lavender for stress and anxiety and peppermint for headaches and a pick me up. 

Pampering Essentials

Such as mints, tooth floss brush and paste, spare clothing, a book for break times, lip balm, and moisturising or hand cream. All of these can give you that little boost when needed.    

To quote the Rabbit again when asked how long is forever?
“Sometimes just one second” 

Just one second can help you feel more connected to yourself and give you a well-deserved break or boost when needed. 


Main photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

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