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Self-Care Is Not Selfish

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
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You’re as tired as an overworked racehorse when you get home from work, and all you want to do is sleep. Not going to happen! When it feels like your job is constantly nipping at your heels, you probably think you will find a reprieve at home. Forget it, though. You’re likely just as overwhelmed there too.

If you’ve gotten into the habit of blowing off a meal or skipping exercise, all while burning the midnight oil, you’re making a beeline for personal disaster. You’re going to crash. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when.

Trending: Self-Care

Granted, the term “self-care” might sound like some fluffy, woo-woo practice. It’s not.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), self-care is “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness.” So, what does that mean? Could it be any more vague? Let’s take WHO out of the equation and really consider this question: What is self-care?

Self-care is simple; it encompasses a few basics that, when added together, make you a happier, more centered person. A person who can function well at work and still have bandwidth for the important stuff at home. A person who can find the right balance. What are the magic ingredients to sanity? There are four main components: lifestyle, nutrition, hygiene, and environmental factors.

At its core, self-care is about making sure you’re taking adequate care of your body and mind so that you can stop worrying about the small stuff. This flows back and forth between your personal and work life, making you a more solid person.

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And it’s not only important to take care of yourself home. You spend the majority of your day at work, so self-care takes a priority there too. So, how do you practice self-care at work?

Here are 10 ideas about how to add self-care into your work life:

  • Get up, stretch, and move.
  • Snack smartly (nutrition plays a huge role in your ability to cope with stress).
  • Take three deep breaths at key intervals or critical moments throughout your day.
  • Journal for one minute about a positive experience at work each day.
  • Take a walk during your lunch break.
  • Make a playlist that motivates you.
  • Write down three things that you are grateful for at work.
  • Give yourself a few activities away from the computer.
  • Do some power poses.
  • Have lunch with co-workers outside the office.

It is good to care about others, but you should not forget to care for yourself. This means doing the things you enjoy and making time to do them every day.

For example, one of my favorite things to do to decompress is pick up a good book. I know it sounds cliché, but getting lost in a story is my favorite form of self-care. I don’t have that much time to read, but I sneak in 10 minutes here and there—after a meeting, on the plane, before bed. It’s my guilty pleasure, and it makes me feel like my life isn’t just about work and other people.

Taking care of yourself should be your priority. It will allow you to more easily fulfill your own needs, as well as the needs of the people around you, at work and in your personal life. So, get in the habit of making self-care a regular part of your day. You’ll be delighted by the results.

Want to learn more? Join me November 5-6, 2019, in New Orleans for the OrgDev Conference.

About the Author

Devin C. Hughes is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach, and an internationally recognized expert in the science of happiness, organizational/culture change and leadership development. He has lectured and worked with a variety of Fortune 100 companies, as well as the Secret Service, the IRS, and an assortment of profit and nonprofit organizations. Devin is the author of 20 books and has lectured in more than 15 countries. He lives in San Diego, California, with his wife, four daughters, and two rescue dogs.

3 Comments
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I can testify to 3 deep breaths, that's a good one. I want to use my 5 minute journal more. That's a good way to write down things I'm thankful for. :)
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Others perception of you will also improve. There is nothing professional looking about a harried, tired manager.
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Thanks for sharing, David!
Great Reminders for us all;
my Takeaway is "Mindfulness" toward "Self" & others.
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