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Looking After Number 1: Thoughts on Self Care

November 22, 2018 - Holly Law

Last week I’d spotted on the grapevine that it was ‘self-care’ week and I really wanted to do a piece on this because it’s something I feel strongly about. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a post out last week; being busy got in the way and that’s not uncommon for many of us.

Work Stress Cartoon (Shutterstock)

A week on from this, I thought it would be a good idea to big up last week’s ‘Self-Care’ Campaign which is an annual initiative to help raise awareness and focus on providing support for self-care across communities, families and generations.

‘Choosing Self Care for Life’ is the strapline for this year’s campaign and many organisations were encouraged to use ‘Self Care Week’ as a hook to help people choose self-care for a healthier and happier life. Furthermore, mental health and behavioural conditions now contribute to a large percentage of work ‘sick notes’ from GPs, so there is no time like the present to start focusing on and taking responsibility for our individual self-care.

Working Late Cartoon (Shutterstock)

With Christmas on the countdown and cold, dark night’s drawing in, this time of year can dampen our spirits and put us in bah humbug mode, so it’s incredibly important to ensure that we are our top priority as flu season takes hold.

With the word ‘self-care’ being banded around a lot these days I’m keen to not to let ‘self-care’ fall in the trap of being dismissed as something the rare few get to do in our busy non-stop lives. Moreover, we shouldn’t feel guilty for participating in a spot of self-care in the workplace either. With long working hours, stressful commutes and very little ‘you’ time it’s very important to be productive in our approach to the time we do have on our hands.

Go for a walk cartoon (Shutterstock)

A spot of self-care in the workplace could be to firstly, make sure you do take your lunch break and secondly to use that time well. A brisk walk on your lunch break is one step towards promoting positive self-care whilst at work. I’ve always found exercise an amazing medicine for lifting your mood, and there’s nothing like fresh air and a brisk walk to ‘re-set’ and stimulate your productive flow when you step foot back in the office.

Taking every opportunity to leave your computer and have a little chat with colleagues is a touch of positive self-care. Communicating face to face with someone, having a chat and walking away from your desk for 5 minutes is a short, time-efficient way of promoting self-care in our technologically driven lives.

Coffee Break (Shutterstock)

Creating a healthy workspace contributes to promoting self-care at work. This could be in the form of a stringent desk cleanout operation. What do you need? What’s lying around on your desk for the sake of it? I like to make sure blinds are open and to have as much natural light as possible so I can have a screen break and look outside for ideas and thought gathering.

Positive self-care in and out of the workplace breeds productivity in all aspects of our lives and helps us to feel happier, makes us more compassionate and increases our energy levels, which means that the time we do have to ourselves is used to full effect.

Self-care shouldn’t just be one week but all year round to find what works for you and ensure you look after yourself this Winter. At Fifteen we’re lucky enough to work hard and play hard with a range of activities and events to keep our team motivated and happy.

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