The term ‘January Blues’ was coined for a reason. The effects of the excessive spending and overindulgence of Christmas are coming to fruition, New Year resolutions are falling by the wayside and the contrast between the festivities of the previous month and the dreariness of winter is very apparent. It can be a hard month for many, with reported stress-levels rising by a third, and it is even said to contain the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday.
Worryingly for employers, all of this negative emotion can not only decrease productivity and increase sickness in the workplace, it also means that one in five employees think about resigning.
Self-care is important for both your physical and mental wellbeing, and absolutely crucial during times of increased stress or negative emotion. If you do not look after yourself, it can weaken your ability to cope with challenging situations.
There are six dimensions to self-care; physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, relationship and workplace/professional. Some people may find that they naturally find it easier to look after certain aspects of their self-care than others, but it is important to work on them all in a balanced manner.
Here are some easy-to-action self-care tips for each of the dimensions. Try to incorporate some into your day, and take the time to consider if there are any areas that you need to work on more than others.
– Eat regularly and healthily
– Take part in regular physical activity. It doesn’t have to be traditional exercise, but could be any form of physical activity that you enjoy
– Allow yourself to take time off work when you are sick and make sure you seek medical attention when you need it
– Spend time doing activities you enjoy and allow yourself to get fully immersed in them
– Allow yourself to express your emotions. Don’t bottle everything up
– Recognise and make space for your own needs
– Read literature that is unrelated to work or study and purely for pleasure
– Learn to say no to additional responsibilities or pressures
– Indulge yourself with day trips or mini-breaks to get some respite from everyday life
– Take some time out of your day to relax, meditate or pray
– Spend time in nature. Appreciate its beauty
– Engage in a spiritual connection or take part in a community activity
– Make the effort to keep in touch with your friends and family. This could be by phone, email, letter, or even a simple postcard
– Allow others to do things for you and offer support to those you care about
– Create regular time in your schedule to spend time with your friends and family – and stick to it!
– Make sure you take a decent break during the working day
– Set limits with your clients and colleagues, and don’t be afraid to push back on them
– Create a comfortable workspace
We’d love to know what works for you, or if you have any other tips that you’d like to share. Why not share them with us on Twitter?