By: Lauren Spinelli, LCSW
We all know about the importance of self-care - setting aside that “me time” to focus on improving our mental, emotional and physical health. However, between children, work, relationships, or just life in general, it can be hard to make it a priority and fit it into our busy lives. On average, people in the United States work almost 2,000 hours per year! That’s a lot! Since we are at our place of work so much, it’s important to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves while we’re there! Here are 5 easy, simple tips to weave self-care into your daily work routine!
Now, I’m not talking about setting aside thirty minutes or an hour in quiet room at work. That’s probably not possible...but I bet you have 16 seconds! That’s all it takes! 16 beautiful, simple seconds to clarity. Not only does it have a significant de-stressing impact in the moment, but it can also serve as the foundation for greater clarity of thought, heightened creativity, deeper intuition and aid in making better choices! Setting aside 16 seconds each day to meditate can actually change your brain waves and have a positive influence on your emotional health. Let’s try it right now! Observe your breath as you slowly inhale through your nostrils to the count of four. Then hold that breath in your belly to the count of four. Gently release the breath and follow it out to the count of four. Then hold the breath out to the count of four. Now return to regular breathing.
2. Schedule breaks
Taking regular mental breaks throughout the day improves productivity and creativity. Long periods of concentration fatigue your brain, and giving it downtime restores your ability to problem solve and concentrate. Try to actually schedule multiple 5-10 minute breaks throughout your day. If you don’t put it in your calendar, it’s easy to skip it! Skipping these breaks and trying to plow through your work can leave you exhausted and stressed.
3. Drink water
Did you know 75% of our brain is made up of water? Even the tiniest levels of dehydration can affect factors like your mood and cognitive functioning. Next time you feel that after-lunch sluggishness creeping up on you, there’s a good chance it’s due to dehydration! Actual amounts of water that you need vary person to person, but aim to drink 0.5 ounces of water per pound on a daily basis! Bring that water bottle to work and leave it on your desk so there’s no excuse!
4. Walk outside
We spend about 2,000 hours a year at work, and most of that is inside at an office! Try to get outside during lunch, or even hold walking meetings. Have a phone call? Take it outside! A 2015 study done at Stanford University proved that being outside in nature “showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression”. The study also found that that those who walked outside experienced less anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, as well as more positive emotions, such as happiness.
5. Ask for help
We are all human. We all need help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and intelligence. Ensure you have a solid support system at work. You spend so much time there, it’s important to surround yourself with trusted colleagues!
At Thrive, we take a positive, client centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome regarding any issues around child, teen, or adult psychotherapy services in San Diego by Thrive Therapy Studio.
To stay in the loop on the services offered and to receive updated information about Thrive, please feel free to sign up for the newsletter through the following link: http://eepurl.com/cvGx5n.
Blogs from the Thrive Family!
Musings from Erica, Jennifer, Maria, Kim, Andrea, Molly, Abbey, and Ying-Ying