Self-Care: Tips, Resources, and Inspiration
I recently found out that it’s highly likely I’ll be working from home until the summer of 2021. That will make it a total of 16 months — and it could be even more! My personal situation aside, I do know that many people have already returned to their physical work locations, with many new safety and social-distancing measures in place. Whatever situation we find ourselves in, we all need to focus on self-care.
Every day, we hear and read terminology such as “wellness” and “self-care,” but why are these things important? Whether you’re living alone or taking care of a family, there are long-term benefits to be gained when you’re good to yourself and your body. Doing so can be rejuvenating, both mentally and physically. When I really focus on taking care of myself, I certainly find that I’m more productive and able to let go of the inevitable stressors and annoyances that are part of daily work and home life.
It’s easy to fall into habits and routines. Once started, they can quickly become unconscious, recurring behaviours. Habits are comfortable and become increasingly embedded into our lives. Some of them are good and some not-so-good. A little bit of self-reflection can bring a heightened awareness of our personal habits and routines, and if we remain open to change, we can focus on the habits we may want to eliminate or modify in order to make positive change in our lives.
No matter how busy we are, we must carve out short periods of time throughout the day for ourselves and our mental well-being. Be nice to yourself!
Connect to your body:
Set some plans in motion to build a better you, professionally and personally:
- Manage technology (set specific times of day to read and reply to messages, for example).
“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” – Christian Loud Lange
- Focus on professional development.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
- Cultivate non-work passions.
“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, and if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” – Wanda Sykes
- Be kind to yourself and others.
“Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.” – Diana, Princess of Wales
- Believe in yourself.
“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” – Beyoncé
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
- Don’t doubt your skills.
“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.” – Henry David Thoreau
Make a weekly schedule:
Planning out a schedule helps to prioritize your focus. As you build the schedule, ask yourself three questions:
- “What do I have to do?”
- “What do I choose to do?”
- “What do I commit to doing, instead of…?” (this should be something that will save you time, conserve your energy, and/or generally bring about a positive improvement in your life).
Here are some personal examples of activities that I built into one of my weekly schedules:
- I have to complete a project charter by Friday (I have a deadline).
- I choose to build a 30-minute workout into my day, taking it in 10-minute increments.
- I commit to organizing home grocery delivery instead of going to the grocery store.
Enhance your productivity and work-at-home tactics:
- 5 Tips for Staying Productive and Mentally Healthy While You’re Working From Home
- How to Actually Work…When You’re Working from Home
- I’ve Worked from Home for 5 Years — Here’s How I Stay Productive and Curb Anxiety
- The Art Of Working Remotely: How To Ensure Productivity
- Tips on how to work from home for newbies
Seek out resources to help you with your self-care plans and activities:
- Heartbeat 2020 Well-being calendar – find the downloadable PDF at the bottom-left of this webpage
- My Wellness Goal Planner
- Ergonomics for Working from Home
- #GoodLifeAtHome provides motivational workouts, health and fitness content, and other online resources to keep you active, healthy, and fit!
If you’re a career development professional who helps clients create sustainable and resilient careers, while also helping them maintain work-life balance and personal wellness, you may be interested in CPC’s newest course offering, launching in February 2021. In the Work-Life Coaching Certificate Course (CDP-102), you’ll learn to address the emerging needs of your clients by deepening your competence in areas related to mental health and wellness, foundational life-skills, and career management.
Felisha Ali is a Project and Program Coordinator and a part-time professor teaching Career Planning at Seneca College. She is a CPC member and Certified Work-Life Strategist. In her full-time role, she provides career development knowledge and guidance, and facilitates career development workshops for employees. She’s a strategic and decisive leader, focused on projects and continuously learning current trends to improve efficiency. In her part-time role, Felisha is dedicated to helping her students succeed on their career paths. When she is not working, Felisha loves to cook and is kept very busy caring for her energetic 4-year-old daughter.