Writing Sample #3: 5 Ways to Ease Self-Care Into Your 9 to 5
Whether you work an eight-hour day with a side hustle, manage family or juggle classes, you may find it difficult to take a moment for yourself at some point in the day. After unproductive meetings and lunches with clients, you can’t wait for the moment you and your bed finally reunite. You slowly begin to realize work is becoming your life. However, it doesn’t have to be- you can practice self-care anywhere you are.
- Set Weekly Goals
If you’re taking a day-by-day approach, you might want to set weekly or monthly goals for what you want to accomplish. Starting off with weekly goals is an easier option to transition as you’ll see results sooner. These goals can be unrelated to work content such as squeezing in a workout before heading to work. Other goals can consist of cutting off all distractions such as cellphones and leaving them in your bag/locker so you don’t feel tempted to get up and get it. You should be able to trust that just by setting goals accordingly you can accomplish what you really want to- especially if you know it’s not impossible. Using a planner also helps as it makes it easier to remember things when you write them down. If you have a friend that offers moral support, you can also ask them to help monitor your goals and keep you on track. Sometimes moral support is all we need!
- Take A Break
We’re not always lucky enough to have a smooth day at work. Whenever your day is hectic and it’s not time for your official lunch break, take a quick 10-minute one. Go outside for a walk around the block, go to the restroom, or call a close friend to vent. Make sure to squeeze in a few deep breaths during that break and you’ll return to your desk more refreshed than before. It’s really important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in a high-stress environment because you want to avoid shutting down. Once you get to that stage, what can happen next is unpredictable- you might have an emotional outburst, or even worse, possibly fall into a bad situation with a colleague.
- Find Something You Enjoy at Work
If you’re still employed, chances are there is something you enjoy doing or at least feel comfortable doing there. You spend approximately eight hours (excluding overtime) there and you’re still alive, right? If the answer is yes, dig deeper and find out if there is something else you like doing there and can incorporate into your day. Make connections with the heads of other departments and see if they can use your help. This is convenient for someone who enjoys being hands on- that way you’ll stay entertained and busy even on the slow days. Think of it like prison (might not be the best comparison, but here it goes), you have to be there for a certain amount of time before you’re released- so why not find something to do in the meantime to make time “fly” or accomplish something while you’re in there? Sometimes self-care means keeping yourself busy instead of dwelling on things you don’t want to think about. The busier you are, the less time you have to think about the negatives.
- Breakfast of Champions
You should always prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead. Some people prepare days before, especially if there is a big meeting or audit coming up. Always make sure to have breakfast- you won’t believe the positive effect having breakfast will have on the rest of your day. Whether it’s just coffee and a bagel or a catered breakfast from your company, eating before a long day will make it go smoother and your stomach won’t be growling at you at 11 a.m. If spending money on breakfast (plus lunch) is adding up and you find you’re spending too much, make coffee at home and bring it in a travel mug. Incorporate breakfast into your grocery shopping for the week- bananas are an inexpensive option and contain fructose for an energy boost. For lunch, the best option is to bring food from home since you’ll already know what to look forward to at your own expense. If you don’t have time to cook the night before, look up nearby spots on Yelp and find what suits your stomach and your budget.
- Take Initiative When Problem Solving and Ask For Help
There are always going to be issues in the workplace no matter where you work. Sometimes these problems will be out of your control and you might panic. Ask a colleague in your department before asking your boss if you don’t feel too comfortable. If your coworker can’t help solve the problem, reach out to your boss and take that opportunity to ask as many questions as you can and take note of the answers. Your notes will always serve as a reference when others aren’t there physically to help you. In some cases, you’ll be presented with problems in which you have to teach yourself how to solve them. These are the best kind because you learn from them on your own. Once you see you can accomplish a difficult task on your own, your confidence in the workplace improves.
Ultimately, we all need money to survive. However, that doesn’t have to be difficult if you maintain your overall mental health at work. There are people who hate their jobs all around but unfortunately have to stay in order to make ends meet. It doesn’t have to be this way as one important tip when job searching and going through interviews, is to interview your interviewer, too. Not only does the employer have to make sure you’re a good fit for them, you have to make sure the company is a good fit for you.Glassdoor.com is a helpful resource that allows you to read employee reviews on the company, along with interview questions and salary reports. If most of the reviews are negatively detailed, maybe the job might not be the best option for you. If the job site is two hours away from you and reviewers are saying there is a high turnover rate, the same applies.
Although not every job is likely to be Utopian, there is a lot of stress that can be avoided beforehand just by utilizing your resources. Once you land that job and go through a few highs and lows, you’ll be the judge of whether it fits in with your anticipated self-care routine.