Self-Care at Work - Mental and Emotional Self-Care

The Witch's Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2018

Self-Care at Work
Mental and Emotional Self-Care

Work is a challenging place. You have to deal with the energy of many different people and work to a schedule that may not be ideal for your personal rhythms. Your workplace culture may also place unnecessary emphasis on overtime, skipping lunch, and next-to-impossible deadlines, thanks to poor scheduling or overambitious projects and not enough team members to support the work required. But there are ways to cope!

Review the Casting a Circle exercise in Chapter 1. Use this exercise as a personal shield to help keep negative energy at arm’s length. (For more techniques to defend your personal energy in the workplace, see my book Protection Spells.)

Positive visualization and affirmations are easy and effective techniques to help you incorporate self-care into your workday. Try incorporating timed work sessions and breaks into your day. Set alarms on your phone or activity tracker to take regular breaks to stretch and rest your eyes.

Try building a vision board specifically for work, focusing on your self-care goals in terms of the workplace. If you’re shy about displaying it, make it small (around 5" × 7") and put it in a photo frame, then tell anyone who gives it an odd look that it’s inspirational art.

Make a collection of items that are important to you, that inspire calm and focus when you look at them. Pick a pretty bowl or a jar, and place stones in it, small figures, and trinkets. Stones that are ideal to include are jasper for strength, clear quartz for energy, rose quartz for self-love and positive energy, amethyst for protection, and sodalite for wisdom.

Stay in the Moment

Self-care has a lot to do with being in the moment and keeping yourself from worrying about the past, the future, or things over which you have no control, such as the opinions of others. Here’s a list of reminders to read now and then to keep yourself on the right track at work.

♦ Break larger tasks down and delegate what you can.

♦ Set priorities and drop the other stuff if you need to, without guilt.

♦ Communicate as often and as clearly as you can when you see problems looming. It’s better to alert people that you’ll be a day late delivering something than to overwork yourself hitting the initial deadline and render yourself useless for the next few days.

♦ Set boundaries and stick to them. Say no when someone asks you to help with something if you don’t have the time.

♦ Be organized. Disorder not only creates chaotic energy, it makes it harder to keep track of what your priorities are and the material you need to meet your goals.

♦ Outline short-term goals, or break larger goals down into a series of short-term goals. The pleasure you obtain from making smaller goals will carry you forward to the next task. Celebrate hitting goals too.

♦ Remember that things don’t need to be perfect. They just need to be good enough.

♦ Remember to breathe deeply now and then to replenish your oxygen levels and help release tension in your body.

Mini Self-Care Disconnection to Re-Center at Work

Being at work can make being mindful and taking time for yourself a challenge. Here’s a quick 5-minute activity to help you disconnect and re-center yourself. You can even do it on the way to the restroom; pick one on another floor to change up the things you see.

What to Do:

1. Either at lunchtime or on a break, go for a short walk. If you work in a high-rise, go down to the lobby; bonus points if you take the stairs there or back for all or part of the way.

2. As you walk, notice your breathing; observe your inhalation and exhalation without judgment.

3. Look at the things around you; notice the colors, the textures, the quality of light.

4. Return to your work space. Sit down and close your eyes. Take three deep, slow breaths. As you exhale each time, allow yourself to release any tension your body is carrying.

5. Return to work. You’ve just changed your mental and physical space for 5 minutes. Even that brief mental break, paired with physical movement and being mindful, can help you reset your mind.


♦ Are you in the habit of working through lunch and/or eating at your desk? You may think you get more work done that way, but it might actually not be true. Not allowing your brain and body a chance to be somewhere different can actually slow you down later in the day. Sometimes the adage “A change is as good as a rest” has meaning! Stepping away from your desk allows you to get out of your regular environment, which can help reset your mind. Eating in a different place allows you to appreciate your food more. It’s hard to be mindful when your focus is on work. You deserve time away from your desk.