Self-Care Career Tips To Keep You from Going Postal At Work

Work stress is the worst stress.  We've all been there.  You know, the breaking point of no return where you either cry at your desk or are "this close" to knocking over your computer and chucking the deuces in a blaze of glory.  Or, how about hitting the old snooze button 5 times before getting up, or crying in your car before going inside the building.  Work can be a scary and frustrating place. Taking a moment away for yourself can seem so counterproductive and impossible.  But, the less time we make for ourselves the more likely we are to suffer health concerns and complete shutdown.  

In a 2014 study, the American Psychological Institution cited job pressure related to co-workers, tension, bosses, and work overload as the #1 cause of stress American face. Yikes! In fact: 

  •  77% of us experience physical responses from stress
  • 48& of Americans state that stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional life
  • 35 % percent cite jobs interfering with family or personal time as a significant source of stress

With stats like this, we need to make sure we are taking care of our physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and workplace health.  It's time to honor ourselves and make room for precious moments to nurture our spirit and soul.  We all need a place to get away, chill, and get grounded. So, if you like paychecks as much as I do, here is a list of ways to make sure you are honoring your time, space, sanity, and edges (we can't have you balding - ruins the sexy).

1.  Actually Take A Lunch Break - I get it, you have that project to complete, meeting to prep for or thing to catch up on. But if you don't respect your calendar or your time, how will you expect others to do the same.  Sitting hunched over your desk while you eat your desk salad is not a picture of self-care.  Pencil in those 30 minutes and block your calendar daily.  Step away from your desk for a walk, grab a lunch buddy for a break outside, or eat your desk salad, but put down the work and de-stress.  The work will be there, I promise.

2. Get Your Heath Game Back In Order & Recharge & Reboot- You already know this - endorphins kill stress.  The reason you haven't seen your abs in months may not be because of Girl Scout cookies, it may be due to stress-related cortisone around your midsection.  If the last time you saw a gym was summer 2016, it's time to get your house in order.  Put together your list of what you need to make sure your mind and your waistline are in sync.  Ask your self what you need to be successful and get it done. 

  • Pack your gym back and actually hit the gym (Mornings are usually better because you won't let the stress of the day or projects derail you by the evening. No excuses and massive energy 
  • Keep in touch with your energy levels - I know 8 hours of sleep is probably unrealistic. but pick a day to try and catch up.  Pencil in some walking time with a colleague or friend.  Pack in a chair massage at the airport for a work trip (get there 30 min early and get Pre-Check)

3. Surround yourself with good people - Having healthy and supportive relationships are critical to self-care. Make sure your team has coverage to support you competing priorities.  Have a discussion with your boss when you see the workload slipping. Make note of the people with negative vibes and naturally drain your energy.  Put up boundaries for the drainers. Invest in people who give you healthy support and who inspire you to reach the next level and feed your spirit.   Don't let work cause you to neglect your loved ones or your day ones.  Use breaks during the day or during your commute time,  to send a "hey girl, hey" message, and carve out time outside of work to love on your people. 

4. Clean Up the Clutter - My mamma always said your mind looks like your desk.  If your desk is a mess it is likely contributing to your stress levels. and making a significant dent in your productivity.  Get a sit-stand desk - sitting is the new smoking, if your company offers these bad boys, get one.  It will help you to change up your desk a bit during the day and burn calories at the same time. Spruce up the place a bit.  Add new pictures of loved ones or things that inspire you.  Your workspace should be a reflection of your best self. 


Download your free self-care worksheet to keep on track


5. Take Note of When you Slip Into Bad Habits - We fall down, but we get up.  Life happens and you have to readjust when we lose our authentic selves.  A big part of understanding self-care is catching when you slip and course correcting.

  • Self-neglect is the biggest culprit. make note when you can't remember the last time you called a friend or went for a walk or step away for lunch.. 
  • Self-sabotage - Get out of your own damn way! Procrastination, distraction, misplaced anxiety, and fear are the devil.  Check it at the door before you wreck yourself. 
  • Self-Preservation - are you throwing someone under the bus? Taking on all the work by yourself instead of playing nice with the team? Stop it! Get grounded and realize you can't do it all, two heads are better than one, and allow people to help you. 

This all happens when we are no longer in the driver seat and feelings of doubt, fear, or vulnerability rear their ugly heads.  Notice when you have slipped, give yourself grace and reach for your self care-action sheet to get more present and check yourself before your wreck yourself.  

What are your self-care routines when work goes haywire?