By: Tim De Pass
Everyone has had days at their job where they feel overworked. You may look back at your day and realize you never took your break or that you never left your desk (except to go to the washroom). You are a hard worker and a dedicated employee, which is why you were hired in the first place. You take pride in these qualities. However, over-working may expose you to burnout and leave you exhausted from your job. There are small self-care steps you can take at work that may help to maintain job satisfaction and avoid burnout. These tips will not ignore job duties or hurt performance. Below are some self-care tips to consider incorporating in your workday to support your mental well-being.
Take your lunch break
There are many employees who do not take their lunch break because they may feel like they are too busy at work or they are worried their bosses will think less of them. Many workers skip lunch, instead opting for a quick meal at their desk while they continue their work. This may seem more productive but in the long run it can be counterproductive and lead to burnout. A recent study by Tork showed that 90% of employees who take regular lunch breaks feel refreshed and ready to go back to work. Taking your scheduled lunch breaks gives you the time to re-energize yourself, which in turn leads to a mental health boost.
Leave your work-space on break
It is common for individuals to spend their break at their work-space or in the office. However, I recommend leaving your work area when you have the chance. If we spend our break where we do our work, it can be quite stressful. You will notice the unfinished work around you or you will see other people continuing to work, which can make us feel as though we are not doing enough. Leaving the work space for break allows us to clear our minds and take a breather from our work. Getting some fresh air or going for a short walk during our break are small self-care tips that give us valuable alone-time and can have a positive impact on our well-being.
Find a colleague to debrief with
Everyone has their experiences of stressful situations at work from time to time. When these moments of anxiety come up in our work, it is helpful to have a trusted colleague that you can talk to. Having someone who can understand the pressures of your job and listen to you without judgement can help us get our frustrations off our chests. As well, they may be able to provide a new perspective on the situation that can lead to more understanding. It is important not to burden other employees with our problems, but talking to someone who is willing to listen and can understand our work atmosphere is a productive self-care technique.
Deal, J. J. (n.d.). Tork Takes Back the Lunch Break. Retrieved from https://www.torkusa.com/brand/torktakesback/