INSIDE: Whether you keep a steady 40-hour week or if the work-from-home culture has taken over even your free time, self care at work is a must to keep you healthy, motivated, and in your place of zen. Try out some of our favorite ways to release stress and find energy while in the office.
The line between working hard and hardly working is thin and easily severed. To do your best work, you need to have energy, motivation, and stamina to get the job done.
Many workplaces – whether desk cubicles, job sites, or home offices – tend to sap our energy rather than encourage and inspire our very best efforts. On top of that, the way we hold our bodies during work can deplete our positive health and aura.
Let’s consider just one potential physical outcome on our body if we don’t pay attention to our health at work: leg swelling.
Leg swelling can be caused from wearing tight pants or stockings (an oft-considered “must” with dresses and skirts in the office). Your legs may swell because you sit too long at your desk or stand too long on your feet (shout out to restaurant and assembly line workers). Legs also swell from water retention, which signals you are dehydrated and not drinking enough liquid.
While we can’t fix everything about our office to optimize it for our perfect work conditions, we can take time to care for ourselves, mind and body, throughout the workday.
With movement, mindfulness, and nourishment, you can give attention to your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing at your desk or in the break room.
Implementing acts of self care won’t take away from your productive work time. In fact, it will more likely enhance your productivity. A balanced, calm mind contributes to a positive workplace, and a positive work environment can boost the overall productivity of a company or office.
When you make self care a habit during the work day, you will discover that it doesn’t waste work time. Rather, these quick actions turn into positive behaviors that help you to do a better job when you're "on the job," while leaving your work at work when it’s time to go home.
Explore below our top tips for self care at work…
11 Self Care at Work Ideas
When you take stock of how you feel at your desk and incorporate some of our ideas for self care in the workplace, you will notice that you don’t waste time but rather save time. You’ll find more joy in the work that you do and focus on your purpose and drive, not on your stress.
Try these ideas...
Play Healing Frequency Music While You Work
The sounds of the office – quiet voices on telephone calls or between coworkers, drops dripping from a coffeemaker or water cooler, taps and creaks from the industrial HVAC system. Not exactly soothing noises.
While these sounds may be mild, they do emit frequencies into the air around them. In reality, those frequencies contribute very little to energetic vibrations, but they do take up energetic vibrational space.
A great way to introduce self care at work is to pump healing frequency music through your computer speakers. If you work in a communal, open-concept space, you might not be able to play music through your speakers, but if you’re allowed, wear headphones and tune in to your own background music.
Search YouTube for tons of free playlists of high vibrational rhythms. Different songs and frequencies tap into certain intentions that you set for your day. For example:
- 432 Hz frequency encourages abundance and prosperity in your actions
- 741 Hz frequency boosts your health and immunity while at work
- 852 Hz frequency invites a loving, compassionate aura towards your coworkers
Even if you can’t use headphones, you can play this music at a very low volume in the background. The frequencies will resonate in your space and work their magic even if most people can barely hear the sounds.
Place Crystals on Your Desk
An absolute time-saving method of self care, placing crystals in your workspace attracts positive energy and healing properties to keep you safe and healthy on the job.
Simply setting crystals in your space will help, but taking time at the beginning of your workday to activate your crystals with a daily intention will maximize their effectiveness.
To top it off, crystals are beautiful decor for a desktop. Amethyst geodes come in all shapes and sizes and have such unique features that you will have a one-of-a-kind desk healer. You can place a bowl of tumbled Citrine or Blue Tiger’s Eye to help keep you focused and on task.
If you have room on your desk, you can even create a crystal grid. There are simple templates available online to set up your crystals in a pattern that harnesses their complementary vibrations to bring calm, healing energy to your office.
Bring a Delicious, Healthy Lunch & Snacks
What you put into your body at the office can spring forth so many self care work ideas. Eating nutritious, healthy foods will go a long way to energizing your body and mind and will contribute to your overall wellbeing.
It’s tempting to run to the snack machine, to snatch from the communal donut box, or to order a heavy, sweet coffee drink in the afternoon. There’s nothing wrong with taking an occasional treat. The problem is that we turn to these sugar rushes out of boredom or for a quick fix.
If you can set aside a space at your desk to stock healthy snack options that taste delicious to you, you’ll be less likely to want the highly-processed, stale cookies and treats. Or, if keeping a stockpile will lead to overindulgence, make it a habit to add a snack to your packed lunch everyday.
Another important aspect of eating at work involves setting aside the time for your lunch. Don’t eat mindlessly at your desk. You have a lunch break for a reason – to take a break!
Try not to combine eating and working into a single activity. It isn’t multitasking. It’s stealing your hour of rest and rejuvenation and just handing it to your boss.
Stretch Every Hour
We mentioned the discomfort of leg swelling earlier, so a simple act of self care at work should be to stretch every hour.
Movement is so important to keep your blood flowing. If the blood doesn’t flow, oxygen struggles to fuel your muscles, making them tired and deflated. That exhaustion causes your body to expend even more energy to try to fuel your tired body. It’s a vicious cycle, but by simply moving, you can prevent the cycle from starting.
There are great online resources for stretches to do at your desk that use your chair and table as props to increase your mobility. You can also find free yoga sessions that take a quick 5 minutes while standing at your desk.
Stretching can also include a quick walk down the hall or across the office to visit a co-worker to say hello. You’ll be spreading positive energy to your friend, who could probably use a minute to look away from the computer and might be inspired to walk you back to your desk.
Diffuse Essential Oils
When talking self care in the workplace, we need to keep in mind that our tools for self care might not suit other people’s needs. Therefore, it is always wise to let your co-workers know what and why you are doing something or to ask for their permission if your self care might impact them.
That’s definitely the case with using essential oils and scents for self care. Of course, if it is your own private office, you have more freedom to decide if an essential oil diffuser is suitable to the space.
In shared spaces, you can diffuse oils more personally by wearing lava stone jewelry. Lava stone can absorb essential oils and radiate the scent for a period of time. It gives off a much subtler fragrance that will hopefully avoid triggering others’ allergies.
Some people love finding a signature scent, but with essential oils, you can tailor the scent to your mood and intention. Lavender has a soothing, stress-relieving aroma, while lemon and peppermint give a burst of energy. You can even use fragrance to inspire creativity – frankincense is great for this!
Take a Break Outside
Remember how we said the noises in the office can drain you of positive frequencies? Getting out of the office for a break can give you a shot of nature. The sounds of chirping birds, rustling trees, or flowing water bring us calm and clarity.
While you may not work near a park, just stepping outside into fresh air is an act of self care at work. Giving yourself space to breathe away from stale indoor air can refresh your cells and provide an energy dose to carry you through a few more hours of work.
Decorate Your Work Area With Things You Love (& Some Plants)
We’ve written about the negative energy that can invade and take over a space. Make sure your personal office environment is free from negative energy and generates positive vibrations to get you through the day.
Think of self care at work ideas that balance your energy. Declutter and decorate your desk. Try to keep things organized. We aren’t all great at that, but at least reduce the trash and piles on your desktop.
Place items on your desk that bring you inspiration, like a photo of your family or of a favorite place you like to visit. Potted plants are awesome at purifying the air and giving you the sense of another living organism there to help you. And crystals, whether in cool shapes like the Tree of Life or Buddha, will definitely amplify positive energy.
Drink a Lot of Water or Herbal Tea
Our go-to refuel at work is often coffee, but don’t ignore your body’s need for more basic liquid. In other words, water!
Keep a reusable water bottle at work to refill. If you set a challenge to refill it every two hours, you’ll build in movement by walking to the water fountain and making a habit of hydration.
There’s nothing wrong with drinking coffee at work, but caffeine is a diuretic that can contribute to dehydration (although it can also help detoxify your body).
By practicing self care at work, find a balance between water and caffeine. Herbal tea can be a great alternative, too, as it offers antioxidants to boost your energy and health.
Do Mini Meditations
When we say meditation, some people automatically jump to the idea of sitting for a half hour in stillness and quiet. For many, that sounds like a nightmare! But meditation doesn’t have to be complex and lengthy.
Meditation as a method of self care at work can take just 30 seconds if that’s all the time you have. It just involves sitting quietly for a few moments, letting your body be at rest, and tuning into what you feel in your body – physical sensations or mental spirals. The goal is to leave the worries, stress, and aches for a time and gift yourself energy.
A great form of mini meditation is the use of mantras and affirmations throughout the day. You can repeat these to yourself in your mind or out loud periodically. You can take a walk to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself how alive and healthy you look.
Write affirmations on notecards and affix them to places around your space, like next to your clock or phone. Here are some strong workplace affirmations you might consider:
- “I am smart and capable to do this work.”
- “I respect the passing of time and know that I will achieve what I need to do.”
- “I send love and compassion to all those who I meet in the day.”
During meditation, remind yourself that you are doing this to support your wellbeing. Give yourself gratitude for taking time for self care.
Practice Deep Breathing Several Times a Day
Like meditation, breathing doesn’t really take extra time because you should already be breathing anyways! Taking mindful breaths can clear a foggy mind and relax any tension you feel during your work hours.
Pausing to close your eyes as you inhale slowly and exhale at the same pace will help boost your circulation and your energy. You can take a moment to visualize the air as a color. As it passes into your body, imagine your body glowing in the light of that color.
Get an Ergonomic Chair
A final suggestion for self care at work involves using furniture that helps your posture and circulation. If a lot of your work requires you to sit or be at a desk, an ergonomic chair will help keep your body in alignment so that you don’t damage your spine from slouching.
Ergonomic chairs often incorporate ventilation as well, so you’ll feel less cramped and stuffy against your chair’s fabric. This is an investment that is well worth it or you could even ask your company if they'll provide it.
Armed with these tips for self care at work, you’ll find comfort that optimizes how you do your job. Taking care of yourself while on the job can protect you from injury and burnout and ignite inspiration and purpose into the work you do.
* Crystals and stones should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please read our full disclosure notice here.