It may seem nearly impossible to get a moment to yourself as an HR Professional when you have a non-stop revolving door of employees and managers seeking your guidance. Thinking of practicing self-care during these moments may seem selfish or like a far-off luxury, but it’s important for your overall well-being to take time for yourself to mentally re-charge. Below are some simple ways to fit self-care into even your most nightmare-ish of workdays.
Coffee has it’s place, but consuming too much caffeine throughout the day can lead to increased restlessness, rapid or increased heart rate, feelings of anxiety, and a variety of digestive issues. Brewing a mid-day cup of tea can be a great ritual to give you the extra oomph to knock out the rest of your day, with only a fraction of the caffeine vs. coffee. There are numerous benefits to regular tea drinking, including providing antioxidants, disease prevention, and aiding in weight loss. If you like your tea on the sweeter side, keep a small bottle of honey or agave on hand in your desk drawer.
Take a Walk
We’ve all been there: your inbox is piling up, your phone is ringing off the hook, and your blood pressure is steadily rising; take a few minutes to walk away from your work area to clear your head. These small walks can add up, and the numerous benefits of including short walks in your daily routine include an increase in mood and improved overall cardiovascular health. Once you return to your work area, you’ll be in a position to provide more level-headed responses.
I can hear my therapist nagging me, “Controlled Breathing only works if you PRACTICE,” meaning that if I didn’t regularly run through a series of breathing exercises, using controlled breathing exclusively during stressful situations would create an undesired association with negative emotions. Controlled breathing is something that you can easily practice at your desk, and if you’re not sure where to start there are a number of apps that can run you through guided exercises and provide you with daily practice reminders. Benefits of controlled breathing include: creating a calming effect on the brain, regulating your blood pressure, and improved memory.
Stretch it Out
Not all of us have the time to fit in a daily yoga session. Stretching at work allows you to skip the downward dog and still take advantage of the many of the benefits of yoga, which include an increase in energy, reduction in stress, and helping lower blood sugar. Stretching can also be a discreet exercise that you can do at your desk, in a break room, or even while walking (here is a simple “deskercise” routine to try out (with photos!)). If you’re looking for a deeper stretch, resistance bands are inexpensive, and can easily be stored in a desk drawer.
When I first heard of the concept of practicing gratitude I imagined walking around carrying a “gratitude journal” writing down all the things I was grateful for throughout the day—hard pass. After a while I realized that it didn’t need to be that complicated. Practicing gratitude in the workplace can be as simple as greeting employees throughout the day and giving active praise during meetings and through e-mail. Spreading workplace positivity can be contagious, resulting in a workplace that is more friendly, engaged, and collaborative.
Easy enough? What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate self-care into your work routine?