4 Self Care Programs To Foster Health At Workplace
The moment you know yourself, you have known the most precious thing in existence. -Osho
We've all heard that self-care is vital for emotional health. But is it part of your daily routine? Do you prioritize nourishing your body, mind, and spirit? Is self-care on your do-to-list?
Self-care takes many forms. It could be:
- Savoring a sunrise stroll to start the day
- Centering your mind through a brief meditation
- Feeding your soul by connecting with nature
- Fueling your body with wholesome, energizing foods
Make self-care a habit, not a luxury. Tend gently to your needs each day. Even small acts of self-nourishment work wonders over time. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would treat a child. You are worthy of care.
What is Self- Care?
When defining self-care, many organizations and scholars adopt a health-oriented perspective. According to the World Health Organization, self-care is “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.”
This concept encompasses all activities necessary to maintain physical health, such as eating properly, exercising, and getting medical attention when necessary. All the actions a person can do to manage pressures in his or her life and look out for their own health and well-being.
Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to our true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch. – Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
What does self-care look like?
Let me explain this to you with the help of an example-
Suppose you woke up feeling exhausted, even though you had slept for eight hours. You dreaded the long workday ahead of you, with back-to-back meetings and deadlines that never seemed to stop. As you got ready, you felt your anxiety rising and your shoulders tense.
You thought about canceling your plans with friends that evening so you could go home and veg out after work. But you had been looking forward to hanging out with them all week. You realized that you would just burn out if you didn't take some time for self-care.
So, you decided to shift your focus to taking care of yourself. You took some deep breaths, made a healthy breakfast, and listened to uplifting music while preparing for work. On your commute, you called a friend for a quick chat to catch up.
At lunch, you went for a short walk outside to clear your head. In the afternoon, you drank water, took standing breaks, and tried not to get overwhelmed with tasks. After work, you meet your friends for dinner and have a wonderful time laughing and relaxing.
You realized that by caring for your own needs with small actions throughout the day, you had more energy and joy. You knew that making self-care a regular habit would be the key to avoiding burnout and staying balanced.
Self-Care For Employees
Self-care deals with emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health and wellness. It can be either to load off your work stress or to find a better version of yourself and meet the best of your ability.
According to experts, promoting health in the workplace has proven to heighten productivity. Employees seek an excellent environment, values, thoughts, and culture to foster their mental well-being.
Reports from Limeade tell us that-
When employees get support from their peers and organizations, they are 38% more enthusiastic about work. 28% are likely to recommend their workplace as a great place to work.
More than 75% of employees want time for recreational activities to revitalize themselves.
Why Do You Need Self-Care Programs At The Workplace?
True fitness goes beyond physical appearance; it's about embracing the joy and vitality that comes from taking care of yourself- Parwage
Self-care programs are incorporated at the workplace to focus on employee health primarily.
Here are the benefits of indulging in self-care programs -
1. Elimination of anxiety
Self-care activities like meditation, yoga, exercise, and spending time in nature can help reduce anxiety levels by lowering stress hormones like cortisol. Practicing mindfulness and living in the present moment also help alleviate anxiety.
2. Reduced depression
Self-care routines incorporating exercise, adequate sleep, healthy eating, and enjoyable hobbies boost feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. This helps lift mood and ease depressive symptoms. Social connection is also key.
3. Improved concentration
Taking breaks to rest and recharge improves mental clarity and focus. Self-care activities like meditation, walks, or listening to music help clear the mind, making it easier to concentrate on tasks.
4. Increase positive thinking
Activities that calm the mind and body, like journaling, affirmations, and visualization, can help foster optimism and positive thinking. A self-care routine makes it easier to practice gratitude as well.
5. Minimize anger and frustration
Stress often triggers anger and irritability. Self-care provides healthy coping mechanisms to manage emotions better. Taking deep breaths, walking, or talking to a friend can also help minimize anger-related reactions.
6. Reduce the chances of heart disease and cancer
Exercise, nutritious eating, adequate sleep, and stress management are pillars of self-care. These behaviors reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
7. Improving spiritually
Self-care practices like prayer, meditation, journaling, and time in nature can help people feel more spiritually connected. Taking time for reflection and self-discovery enables spiritual growth. Thereby helping individuals tune in with a higher power.
Studies show some form of mental illness is found in 1 out 5 USA adults. It means 20% of the employees at the workplace require help for mental health issues.
Self-care on different dimensions of wellness
By making self-care a priority across all aspects of health, we can reduce stress, avoid illness, and feel more fulfilled in our lives. A holistic approach to self-care nourishes our body, mind, and spirit. Self-care programs focus on different dimensions of wellness, such as:
1. Spiritual Self Care
- Engaging in mindfulness meditation
- Looking out for deeper meanings of life
- Visiting holy places – churches, temples, mosque
- Writing down your thoughts
- Doing Yoga
Suggested Read: 7 Ways To Boost Wellness Program Participation At The Workplace
2. Psychological Self Care
- Engaging oneself in a hobby
- Taking a break
- Listening to music/podcast
- Reading a book
- Being grateful to the universe
3. Professional Self-Care
- Engage yourself with motivating peers
- Taking counseling sessions
- Reading professional journals
4. Physical Self-care
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Developing a good sleep pattern
- Engaging yourself in a physical activity
5. Emotional self-care
- Taking out time for relaxation
- Putting down your phone during work hours.
- Making time for family.
- Painting or coloring.
The most profound personal growth does not happen while reading a book or meditating. It happens in the throes of conflict, when you are angry, afraid, frustrated. It happens when you are doing the same old thing, and you suddenly realize that you have a choice.
– Vironika Tugaleva
Choose activities that will help you achieve your goals.
Simple Self-Care Programs That You Can Follow
The hectic pace of office hours leaves many feeling burnt out by day's end. Burnout has become an increasingly widespread problem as a result. Introducing self-care programs that nurture mental and physical well-being is vital for today's workplace.
Let's explore four effective self-care strategies to integrate into your office culture:
1. Inculcate good morals and principles
a. Encourage walking meetings
b. Avoid eating lunch near the computer
Lunchtime is a great time to give yourself a mental break. For example, You can go for a short walk, stretch your body muscles, or converse with your workers.
c. Set your own rules for the organization
Become an inspiration to your colleagues and team by preaching your self-care rules. Let people know that it is essential to prioritize their own needs. Go for a short break with your colleague; walk or do desk exercises.
d. Practice gratitude and kindness
Encourage gratitude and kindness among your teammates and within the organization. Create a supportive culture where you can mentor your employees and be the backbone during hard times.
Suggested Read: Top 5 Benefits Of Gratitude On Workplace Wellness
2. Appreciate people's time and effort
a. Optimize your busy schedule.
Since working hours are hectic, people don't get enough time to make the best of their busy schedules. Give yourself some space so that you can relax your mind in between work.
Also, you can encourage better work habits, for example. If meetings are scheduled for one hour, you can finish the session within 50 minutes. The last 5 minutes could be a fun chit-chat.
b. Encourage freedom and flexibility during working hours.
Employees who do not get space, like taking breaks, will likely be stressed out.
c. Allow employees to set time boundaries.
It is essential to set communication boundaries around an employee's time. Many MNCs follow different time zones as per their location. But if you're unwilling to adjust your timings, it will hamper your and their schedule.
3. Practice mindfulness meditation and carry out mental health-related self-care programs.
a. Motivate employees to do meditation and yoga
How about 5-10 minute sessions of calming music to help you relax your mind and body? Doesn't it sound great?
You can organize sessions where they focus on breathing. As you know, meditation is a great way to increase concentration and positive thinking.
Be in the present moment, take a deep breath, and let go of everything.
b. Introduce weekly wellness reports
Weekly wellness assessments will help the employees know the status of their mental and physical well-being. It can be done through dedicated meetings or having vigorous discussions about fitness and mental health. Employees need to understand how they are doing.
c. Organize counseling sessions
Employees might feel they need someone to talk to about their emotions. As you know, bottling things up is unhealthy and affects your mental health.
Once a week, arrange counseling sessions so that employees express their feelings and discuss their problems. It will also give them solid emotional support.
4. Detach from tech
Log off from work, give yourself a break, and put the computer in sleep mode. Take a social media detox and find yourself some soothing time.
It could be for 20 minutes or half an hour. Disconnecting from tech will help you recharge your brain, reduce stress, and minimize eye strain and other health issues.
In our busy modern lives, finding time for self-care often drops low on the priority list. But devoting just one hour daily can profoundly impact wellbeing and quality of life. Caring for yourself is never time wasted!
Intentional, consistent self-care shapes employee wellness and enhances overall health. Life is precious. It's time to love yourself and prioritize self-care.
Tiny steps today build healthy habits for tomorrow. With an open heart and creative spirit, craft a self-care practice as unique as you are.
You deserve to flourish! This is your chance to nourish your body, mind, and soul.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are self-care programs?
Self-care programs are practices and activities supporting our physical and emotional health. They involve developing a self-care plan that includes care practices like:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating healthy foods
- Making time for hobbies and relaxation.
2. What are basic self-care activities?
Making self-care a regular habit can help manage stress and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Basic self-care activities include:
- Getting regular medical checkups.
- Staying hydrated.
- Eating nutritious foods.
- Getting sufficient sleep.
- Taking breaks during the day.
- Spending quality time with friends and family.
3. What are the benefits of self-care?
Benefits of self-care include reduced anxiety and stress, increased energy and productivity, improved focus and concentration, enhanced immune system functioning, and an overall greater sense of well-being. Taking time for self-care allows people to recharge and be their best selves.
4. What are a few examples of self-care?
Taking just 5-10 minutes daily for simple self-care practices can make a big difference. A few examples of self-care include:
- Taking a bubble bath,
- Reading a book,
- Going for a walk,
- Listening to music,
- Stretching, and
- Cooking a healthy meal.
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