When you think of self-care, you think of a walk in the park on the weekends, doing a facial after work, having a bubble bath or a cup of good wine while watching Netflix at the end of a tiring day.
Chances are, you probably do all your self-care rituals after a hard day at work.
But here’s the problem: We spend one third to half our life at work. That’s a lot of time you spend grinding and getting stressed. Burnout and depression are becoming more and more prevalent amongst the working population.
Clearly, our self-care methods are not working.
Instead of leaving self-care to the end of a hard week of work, weaving self-care habits into your daily work schedule can help you manage stress and boost your mental health.
Here are some mental health self-care tips you can inculcate into your daily working routine!
- Work standing up for 1 hour
Sitting for 8 hours a day increases your risk of chronic diseases by up to 20%. Try adding a standing desk convertor and work standing up for 1 hour a day to switch up your posture and improve your blood circulation.
It’ll help you to make your sedentary working hours more active!
- Take 15 minute breaks between appointments
Squeezing in as much work as possible into your schedule might sound productive but actually, human concentration drops after 45 minutes of focusing on a task. Thus, forcing your brain to work at full speed for hours on end without any down time will wear you out faster.
Give yourself buffer time to stare into space, eat a fruit or tell a joke.
In the long run, you’ll be healthier, happier and more productive!
- Set an alarm on your devices to remind you to take water breaks
Water is a panacea for good mental health. Not only does it hydrate you, it oxygenates your blood, cleanses your body of toxins and helps you to relax.
We should all be drinking 2 litres of water each day but let’s be real, very few of us actually meet that target. It’s easy to forget all about hydration when you’re busy and faced with a looming deadline.
Set an alarm on your phone or computer to buzz/vibrate every two hours to remind you to drink water. It’ll increase your water intake to more optimal levels!
- Put a plant at your workstation
Your mother has probably told you that looking at green things is good for the eyes. But in all likelihood, your workspace is an enclosed urban space full of to-do lists and screens.
Add a small plant to the corner of your desk or a beautiful flower so you have something green to stare at or admire while you work. Plus, it’ll increase the oxygen around you and improve your mood!
- Don’t eat at your workstation, get a change of scenery
In those busy periods, eating at your workstation sounds like a good time-saving solution. But over time, it becomes a habit. After all, you can watch YouTube videos at your desk while enjoying fast food, that counts as self-care…right?
Not really. Sure, it might be a way to help you relax. But it also means higher stress levels because you’ll see all those to-do lists and emails coming in.
Getting a change of scenery during meal times increases your daily step count, gives you a little exercise and a bit of natural air. Plus, you’ll be able to eat your meal immediately after it’s made. Freshly-cooked food always feels better.
- Have a set time to clock in and clock out
If you work flexible hours or work from home, setting your working hours is very important to keep your stress levels from overflowing and to separate work from your personal life. Set a clock in and clock out time for yourself and try to stick to it.
Not only will this help you to live a holistic life, you’ll find yourself more focused and alert when you’re doing work.