8 Simple Ways To Prioritize Self-Care at Work

Updated: Jul 28

Prioritizing self-care and overall wellness at work is important in today's fast-paced and stressful working environment. Here are 8 self-care tips to help you enhance workplace wellness in your office!

image of the word wellness spelled out using wood blocks on top of a messy desk

From the time we crawl out of bed in the morning until we fall asleep at night, we spend a big part of our lives at work. Even if you have a career that you love, no job is entirely stress-free. You can't always control what happens at work. But there are certain habits that can help you live a healthy life while reducing stress levels. You may even discover that you have more energy and get more done without feeling exhausted. Here are 8 workplace wellness tips you can use to enhance your mental and physical health at work.


How to Prioritize Self-Care at Work & Decrease Stress: Tips for Wellness at Work


1. Improve Your Posture


Slouching at a desk all day puts a strain on the body, especially the back and spine.[*] Ergonomics is the study of how to make workplaces more comfortable for employees. The goal is to minimize job-related pain and risk of injury.[*] Enhance your workspace with an ergonomic setup to help you do more and maintain better posture. If you need extra back support, the Back Relief Lumbar Pillow from Cushion Lab is a wonderful self-care choice.


Image of a woman prioritizing self care by using a cushion set from the cushion lab

*This cushion set from The Cushion Lab is the ergonomically designed to support your body and keep you in optimal alignment.


2. Meditation


Meditation lowers stress, increases focus, and allows you to work more efficiently.[**] Regular meditators report feeling more positive, energetic, and resilient. If you want to meditate at work, put on some headphones or find somewhere quiet where you won't be disturbed.


3. Take Frequent Breaks To Relieve Lumbar and Mental Stress


Sitting in a chair for a long time can be hard on your physical and mental health. A 2012 study published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice found that prolonged sitting is harmful and linked to negative outcomes.[*] Taking frequent breaks is one of the best ways to practice self-care in the workplace. It helps you increase blood flow, reduce back pain, and mental fatigue.


Related: Increase Your Physical Activity Without Even Realizing It

Image of the Stress Relief Tea Collection

*Use this Stress Relief Tea Collection to brew a cup of tea at the end of your workday to help you relax from the day, or even on your lunch break to help reduce stress and get through the rest of the day. Better well-being is just a sip away!


4. Breathing Exercises


Deep breathing exercises reset the nervous system, making them ideal for reducing stress at work.[*] You can do them anywhere. All you need is a peaceful spot where you can rest your eyes and breathe deeply. Dr. Andrew Weil developed the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold for seven, then exhale for eight. Repeat three times and feel your stress melt away.


Image of a mindfulness journal to prioritize self care

5. Journaling


Journaling is a great way to release emotions and give your mind time to process what's going on in your life. It can help lower anxiety, increase feelings of gratitude, and clear your mind of overwhelming thoughts. Research revealed that writing therapy can help people with general well-being. You don't have to go into great detail. Let your mind flow and write whatever comes to you.


Related: Fitness Journaling 101: How To Keep a Fitness Journal


6. Meal Preparation


To avoid the allure of fast food, make a meal at home to bring with you to work. You may also prepare enough meals to have leftovers for dinner. By bringing your own food, you can control what goes into it. No more rushing around during your lunch hour to find something healthy to eat!


Not a cook? Healthy meal kits are always a great option. Personally, I love Daily Harvest. Their meals are delicious and the perfect way to chose self-care during your lunch hour!


New customers get up to $40 off their first box with code DH40.


7. Organize Your Space


Organizing your workspace has a variety of benefits.[*] Take a few minutes each evening before you go home to tidy up your workstation. This will help you feel more organized in the morning when you return to work. Put away papers that may have been out during the day, then clear your desk of anything that doesn't need to stay.


8. Plants


Plants in the workplace are one of the most basic things you may do to encourage employee self-care. They help oxygenate the air and are visually pleasing, inspiring a more positive atmosphere. Plants are also soothing, may lower blood pressure, reduce employee stress levels, and boost overall well-being.[*]


These workplace wellness strategies can help you feel better both physically and mentally. You'll be more productive and accomplish more every day. The more you practice self-care, the easier it is to do!


Related: How Gardening and Plants Improve Your Mental Health and Well-Being


Workplace Self-Care Tools to Help You Stay Organized


Best Meal Prep Containers of 2022 [*]:


Best Overall Containers: Rubbermaid Brillance Food Storage Containers
Best Salad Container: PackIt Flex Bento Food Storage Container
Best Lunch Container: Ecolunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Steel Bento Box
Best Container for Reheating: Pyrex Simply Store Glass Food Storage Containers
Best Containers for Weekly Meal Prep: Ello Duraglass Meal Prep Containers

Best Desk Organizers of 2022[*]:


Best Desktop Organizer: Jerry & Maggie Desktop Organizer
Best Accessory Organizer with Charging Stand: EasyAcc Wireless Charger Desk Organizer
Best File Jackets: Smead Notes File Jackets (Pack of 12)
Best Filing Cabinet: YITAHOME 3 - Drawer Rolling File Cabinet

Best Drawer Organizers: Three by Three Seattle Drawer Organizer (Pack of 5)


Self-Care vs Self-Compassion: Choose Both!


Self-care is all about taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. This means eating healthy, getting enough exercise, and getting enough sleep. It also means taking time for yourself, doing things that make you happy, and making sure your stress levels are manageable.


Self-care is important because it helps you stay healthy and prevent burnout. It's also been shown to boost your immune system, improve your mood, and increase your overall sense of well-being.


On the other hand, self-compassion is about being kind to yourself, even when you make mistakes or things don't go according to plan. It means acknowledging your own pain and suffering and then offering yourself compassion and understanding.


Self-compassion has been shown to be even more effective than self-care when it comes to reducing stress and increasing well-being. It's also been shown to boost resilience, improve self-esteem, and increase empathy.


Final Thoughts on Practicing Self-Care at Work


Self-care is important for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When you take care of your own needs, you're able to be more productive and efficient at work. You're also less likely to get sick, which means you'll miss less work. And, when you have a better work-life balance, you're less likely to experience burnout.


Comment below on your favorite ways to feel confident and focus on being your best self at work.

Dr. Dawn's Wellness Tools social media handle @drdawnswellnesstools

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