Self-care, the practice of showing compassion to yourself and supporting your own emotional wellbeing, is often neglected or deprioritised by working adults. After 12 months of tumultuous uncertainty, many of us are left exhausted and stressed by all the sudden changes we’ve had to make in our day-to-day lives. While it’s made us put self-care even further down the list of priorities, it’s also never been more important for us to consciously implement it.
Self-care in the workplace is a crucial element to managing stress and avoiding burnout. It’s what allows us to remain optimistic in the face of new challenges and obstacles, reduce our self-criticism and increase self-acceptance and self-kindness. While a lot of us think about acts of self-care in terms of small and actionable tasks – taking a bubble bath, treating yourself to a glass of wine, or taking an extra 10 on your lunch break – we can practice self-compassion in more abstract ways, too. Things like enforcing our own boundaries, learning to say no, and not being afraid to ask for help are all acts of self-care in their own right.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, self-care has fallen to the wayside for many of us. With our interactions reduced to virtual connectivity, it’s harder for us not only to look out for our colleagues but also ourselves. The lines are blurred between work and leisure now that we are working from home, and our previous routines like going for walks during our lunch break or grabbing a healthy snack on the way to work for brekky have been interrupted. That’s why it’s more important than ever to actively forge new self-care routines, and reflect on how we can meaningfully incorporate self-care into our daily lives.