Tips to Better Employee Self Care in the Workplace

Untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion per year. PWC Report, (2014).

What is self care in the workplace?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), selfcare is “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness.” … Do this by educating employees on how to practice selfcare both at home and in the workplace.

Balancing work, family, and personal life has always been challenging for employees. It is even more challenging today. Our technological advancements are overwhelming us with its information overload. The workday is filled with multi-tasking expectations and increasing emphasis on efficiency and productivity. These workplace pressures continue to mount, especially with the current economic and political challenges and uncertainty. Such pressures can lead to the experience of cumulative stress for employees. It may also compromise the quality of their performance in all areas of their lives, and their emotional and physical well-being overall.

The following is a list of 10 proven steps to better self-care at work.

This isn’t an exhaustive list rather a starter list.

1. Implement professional boundaries. Make sure if you need to leave by a specific time to collect the children, get to the gym or meet a friend you honour yourself and your commitments.

2.  Look at your diary at the beginning of the week and each day to make sure you haven’t over committed yourself professionally and personally. Re work your diary if you need to allow for more wriggle room

3. Prioritise short breaks for yourself throughout the working day – going for a walk around the block, taking a couple minutes to do some simple stretches to release any tension, taking a lunch break if you don’t usually

4. Make your work space a comfortable and inviting place to be Eg put photos or personal items around  that spark joy when you look at them

5.  Develop a to do list and tick off the tasks as you complete them. This gives you a sense of completion and achievement

6. Touch paper once – when something comes across your desk or you receive an email in your inbox, make an effort to complete the task then and there rather than put it in the “to do” pile.

7. Before committing to a project, promotion etc, first consider your needs and available resources, and whether it will lead to overextending yourself

8. when you leave your workplace at the end of the day make a conscious effort to leave work at the door. A good way to do this is to use a specific marker or place you see each time you leave the workplace and make the decision to visually leave your “work hat” behind for the day.

9. Be kind to yourself, we are all human and mistake are made

10. Don’t forget to smile

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