Office Essentials: Self-Care at Work
I'm a social worker, so it goes without saying that my career is known to be emotionally challenging at times. I went into this line of work knowing what I was getting myself into, but this awareness doesn't make me immune to the effects of stress and the dreaded B word (burnout, ya heard?)
Regardless of your line of work, we all feel pressure at our jobs to show up, do our best, and carry on with a good attitude. Maybe you sit at a desk, maybe you drive a lot and your car is your office, maybe you share a room with others. No matter how you feel about showing up to work everyday, there are ways to incorporate on-the-job self-care that helps soothe the mind & body. Valuing natural wellness, I've found some healthy ways to cope at work that help me focus and reign in any extraneous emotions that might be bogging me down.
I associate lavender with calm & ease. Having a bottle of lavender spray in my office is essential. Just one spritz is enough to feel calming. This recipe from a blog post last winter provides instructions with how to make your own lavender spray. Cheap, easy to bring on the go, & worth it!
ELECTRIC TEA KETTLE
I got my electric tea kettle at Target at it was an amazing purchase. It's cute and heats up quickly. Next to the tea kettle, I've got different kinds of tea that I can use depending on what I'm feeling or craving. Invigorating spicy tea blends for when I need a boost, Honey Lavender for when I need to relax. It's quick, accessible, and easy. In a few minutes I've got my hands wrapped around a hot tea mug (which is also soothing) and I am able to carry on with my day.
I am predominantly Vata: if you're familiar with Ayurvedic medicine, this means that DRY SKIN (air) makes us Vata folk feel unbalanced and uncomfortable. I work at a public place where people are always coming and going. Washing my hands is essential to avoid illnesses that go around busy workplaces. Unfortunately, that means that dry skin is inevitable. I use this Nubian Heritage lotion. It absorbs quickly and has neem oil in it, helping to heal all of the cracks left behind from repeated hand washings (and it smells delicious!)
"REAL HAPPINESS AT WORK" MANTRAS
I am a big fan of Sharon Salzberg, mediation and mindfulness expert. Her book on mindfulness, "Real Happiness" really helped me gain an understanding of the powerful tool that can transform how one thinks and feels. The follow-up to this book, "Real Happiness at Work" provides a plethora of insightful bits that help me stay present in the work that I do. I highly recommend this book if you're both interested in mindfulness and stressed at work.
Whew. This one is essential. Knowing what I do about sugar crashes, insulin spikes, and energy levels, I know it's important to put good nutrition in my body so that my brain can function "normally". I keep quick & easy snacks like Larabars, almond butter, and rice cakes on hand - but I also try to bring a piece of fruit for my mind-day sweet craving. It's been okay so far (though the basket of Twizzlers in the break room gets the best of me once and awhile). Healthy fats and good nutrition at the very least make me feel like I'm doing my best.