When you’ve got a dozen deadlines at work, the farthest thing from your mind is taking care of yourself. You hardly have time to go to the bathroom, so how could you manage a bit of self-care during office hours? But taking care of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean taking a nap in the middle of the workday. Taking care of yourself means being more mindful of your thoughts and actions so that they contribute to your well-being. Michele Alignay, registered psychologist and family counselor, shares some self-care ideas that moms can do at work. You’d be surprised to know that most of them don’t take all that much time and effort.
#1 Focus on your priorities. Alignay says, “Learn to say no to little things, especially when your hands are full.” If a colleague asks you to join her for a quick trip to the restroom, which you know could easily turn into a 15-minute gabfest, then say no. She adds, “You can do more if you know when to care for your needs, too.”
#2 Stop overthinking. Most moms are worrywarts, and it’s not uncommon for them to check up at home every hour or so. Alignay says, “Let go of some matters at home or the urge to keep checking your kids (if it has no sound basis), and just complete your day’s task.”
#3 Breathe. This is an instant picker-upper that most moms take for granted. “Find time to just lengthen the breathing in and out,” says Alignay. By being more conscious of the inhale-exhale process, you will get an instant lift.
#4 Eat slowly. Most office workers rush through their lunch break in order to devote more time to work. By eating slowly, Alignay says, you get a good mental break to enjoy your meal. Plus, filling yourself up with healthy food and giving your mind a little pause will make you more productive.
#5 As much as possible, avoid office gossip. Alignay says, “Know when to limit the throngs of information you gather. You can choose to filter unnecessary information to help declutter your thoughts.”
#6 Stretch. Stretching is good for you. It will give you a nice break from sitting all day. Alignay says, “Find some stretching exercises you can do on your seat. It will help you care for your back, your hands, and hips.”
Take a look at some yoga moves that you can do during your office break from The Motherhood TV, a web series produced by D5 Studio and powered by Mommy Mundo.
#7 Pack your baon, a healthy one! Apart from saving you money from having to eat out every day, packing a healthy baon will steer you away from processed food and fast food.
#8 Treat yourself. You’ve been working on a client presentation for a couple of days and it is finally finished. Apart from giving yourself a pat on the back, treat yourself to your favorite beverage, and enjoy it at your desk while you go through your presentation one last time.
#9 Don’t give in to stress eating. It’s easy enough to grab a bag of chips when you get too stressed out at the office. Don’t! Alignay has a better idea: Take a walk! Venture out to a nearby park or just walk along the hallways. It will clear your mind of stressful thoughts, giving you a good boost to last the day.
#10 Take a pause. Lastly, Alignay says, “Find time to pray, pause, reflect, and have a quiet moment at the start or end of the day. It will help you set your intention for yourself and assist in collecting your thoughts, emotions, and plan of action.”