Hi Fabulous Working Females! Today, I want to talk a little bit about self-care when it comes to your career. Self-care isn’t just important for personal well-being, it is also important to practice self-care in your career too. This is something that was not easy or natural for me, and I didn’t realize how badly I needed this until about the third I completely burnt out.
So, what exactly is burning out? It can mean different things to different people, but for me when I am burnt out, it is because I am go-go-go 24/7 for a long period of time. Personally, this happens when I work excessive hour’s day in and day out with little separation from work. I am so determined and passionate about my career, I do whatever it takes to get things done and meet everyone’s needs. With that I forget to take care of myself. Eventually, I reach a breaking point, and completely burn out to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. This causes me to lose motivation, I get extremely exhausted, and socially remove myself. It doesn’t take me long to get it back, but it is taxing on the body and mind.
But I’m so busy, how can I practice self-care at work?
Tons of ways! It might be the littlest of things, but they are actually really helpful. Here are some ways I try to transition self-care in my work day to help myself stay productive, while also calm and collected.
1. Set up a comfortable work space.
Whether it’s in the office, or if you are working from home. Having a comfortable, cozy work space is important! Think about it, you are spending so much of your time there.
If you are in the office, look into purchasing some cute desk accessories! A space heater (if allowed in the office), a pillow for your chair. If you feel comfortable at your desk, your day will be more productive.
If you are at home, create a little “WFH” area in your room or elsewhere! There are tons of desks for great prices online, as well as chairs. Make this a fun project and design your own little home work space! I recently did it, and it was so much fun. Over time I have purchased a white and gold desk as well as a chair, and am having fun getting little knick-knacks to match.
2. Keep a running to-do list.
When you are extremely busy and have a lot going on, it can be extremely overwhelming. There is a fine line between being busy and keeping track of your tasks, to losing control and feeling stretched too thin. It might sound silly, but having a notebook with a daily to-do list with each task is EXTREMELY helpful.
Every day, I title my list with the date, and write down all of the outstanding items on my list. As I get them done, I cross them out. Whatever is outstanding at the end of the day, I immediately add to my list for the next day before I wrap up so that I don’t forget. This helps you feel better when you see all that you get accomplished, and helps put your mind at ease and feel less scattered.
3. Set a Reminder or Alarm at night to separate yourself
Working overtime is great, but it’s not great to do every single day. I am guilty of this, and this is what causes me to burn out. Even if it’s an hour after your shift is supposed to end, set a daily reminder to start to wrap things up and close up shop for the day.
Personally, if I am on my computer and am so wrapped up in a task, I can work on it for hours and by the time I realize it is 9pm. If you have a deadline, that’s different. But, if you have the opportunity to pick things up where they left off tomorrow, try signing off at a decent hour. Easier said than done, and I can take my own advice here, but if you aren’t mentally at your best, your work won’t be either.
4. Don’t be afraid to say no or ask for more time
This is something I discovered recently. I am a people-pleaser, and am trusted with the work I do and the time it takes me to get things done. And that’s WONDERFUL! But, it can begin to get overwhelming when you are assigned a million things to do all at the same time.
If your job allows it and it isn’t extremely urgent, don’t be afraid to say no to a favor if you are truly to busy, or to push back with a later deadline. If you truly don’t have the bandwidth to get it done, it is important to be honest so that expectations don’t fall through the cracks. If you need more time, let your manager know! You are human, and if we take on too much at once, we can easily overwhelm ourselves and not be the best we can be.
Again, working overtime is great-but if you put too much pressure on yourself for long periods of time, it will affect how your productivity.
5. Take breaks
Make sure to allow yourself some time during the way to step away for a moment. Go eat lunch, drink water, go outside. Doing this will help clear your head, and work most efficiently. We cannot be our best if we do not take time for ourselves. It is so easy to get wrapped up and time flies by, but be sure to take a break every once in a while!
6. Do something for yourself outside of work!
Most importantly, make sure to do something for yourself each day outside of work. Workout, watch a show, light a candle, drink a glass of wine. Take a course, learn a new hobby, read a book. Whatever it is, it is so important we make sure to unwind and keep our mental health in check. I am the first to admit, I struggle with this, but I am learning to do this as I realize how important it is.
Self-care is important during your work day, and taking time for yourself after work. I have to get better at it myself, and am still working on it! Self-care doesn’t always have to be a face mask or drinking a cup of tea, it can be done with little acts throughout your work day, too.
One act of self-care I am doing is with this blog. This blog allows me to focus on not only bettering myself in a few different ways. I have passion for something outside of work, am practicing and learning new skills, most importantly am spreading kindness and empowerment. The most rewarding type of self-care to me, is when I can bring joy and positivity to someone else’s day.
So, what makes you feel good, FWF?