The philosophy of self-care has been around for decades, but in the last two years, it’s truly taken off as a widely-accepted attribute to overall health and wellness. When I started writing this particular blog, I kept thinking back to our friends in the airline industry who always encourage passengers to “put your own mask on before you help someone beside you.” It inspired the creation of our Motivation Excellence May “MEme” (say that five times in a row). Coupled with May being associated with moms, AND being eight-plus weeks into a pandemic where masks are now a fashion statement, I think we hit the trifecta here.
Better self-care means better everything!
Numerous studies show how effective self-care reduces stress and anxiety while boosting worker productivity and overall mood. Taking a short break to breathe, rest, walk, or chat with a friend may help you refocus on an important task you’re struggling to get through. Of course, you need to make sure you’re not crossing the line into “procrastination-land!” Being deliberate in your self-care practices can and will reap rewards in your workplace or home.
At Motivation Excellence, we encourage our team members to take a 15 minute “kinetic energy break” every day to make sure everyone is getting up from their desks to move. Since working from home has become the new standard, it’s especially important to take breaks to make sure we are exercising and getting outside for a breath of fresh air or a quick walk around the block. Getting the blood pumping, even in short spurts, can revive motivation and rejuvenate the spirit in these very trying times.
If you want to jump on board with us this month and look out for your own mental well-being, we invite you to join us during our May “Wellness Challenge”. The goal is to incorporate three basic and minimal health and wellness activities into our daily routine. For each activity, we achieve we earn one point. At the end of the challenge, accumulated points are deposited into our personal employee engagement accounts to spend as we choose on a huge array of reward options.
Making self-care a priority: here, there and everywhere
We all know it’s important, but self-care is often the first thing that gets axed off the to-do list on a busy day. But it doesn’t have to be that way: There are simple things you can do to make sure you get some recharging time daily.
- Schedule it: whether it’s yoga, a run, reading, or cooking, block it off on your calendar and protect it.
- Pay for it: it’s harder to let go of something if you’ve already paid for it. A painting class, a massage appointment, a new piece of exercise equipment – you want to get your money out of it!
- Make it handy: download an app, make sure you have walking shoes with you, carry a book around – we often have little chunks of downtime we can use to rest, read, exercise, or just breathe.
I used to bike during my son’s guitar lessons and run while my daughter was at voice lessons. I’d bring a book with me for their orthodontist appointments or to bide my time while waiting for an after school pick-up. If you regularly think ahead and can be flexible with the “how” and the “where,” it does get easier to incorporate self-care breaks 5 minutes here, and 15 minutes there (sounds like a great Dr. Seuss book).
Self-care is for everyone obviously, but since it is the month of Mother’s Day and women tend to land in the role of caregiver to many others, we’d like to give a shout out to all the ladies. Be sure to read next month’s blog on work-life balance, when we’ll tip our hat to the men out there.