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Self-care strategies to stay healthy and energized

10/28/20 10:27:am

selfcare.jpgSelf-care has always been critical for a healthy lifestyle and work culture, but it’s even more valuable than ever under the stress and uncertainty of a global pandemic.

Emily Jonesberg, training lead at Rogers InHealth, reflects on a strategy she’s found helpful in maintaining a sense of wellness during the pandemic, “I find my own expectations play a big role in my wellness. Early in the pandemic I took a step back to reexamine the expectations I held for myself in many facets of my life and realized many of these expectations were now unrealistic. Almost everything else in my life had changed, so should my expectations. Shifting my personal expectations to ones that fit my current reality has helped me feel more balanced.”

Examples of self-care strategies

Acceptance and resistance: Practicing acceptance of things that we can’t change can help build our compassion resilience. Instead of focusing on something you don’t like, ask yourself if there’s something you can do to change the situation. If not, try to shift your focus away from that stressor, and put energy toward something else. Shifting your perspective to that of opportunity and growth while devoting energy toward things within your control helps build compassion resilience.

Gratitude: Being grateful can improve energy. Our brains are wired to focus on negative things as a survival strategy, but thinking about three good things can help orient our thinking. Writing down what you’re grateful for and the role you played in bringing them about has an even longer positive effect. Choose a time, every day, to set your mind on gratitude. More information on this exercise can be found here.

Reflect on where you feel most like yourself: When we go home from work, most of us choose to reflect on what in our day was most draining, recounting it to family and friends to validate ourselves. However, every time we retell or relive a stressful event, our bodies experience that stress again to some degree. Be careful to recognize when it becomes more hurtful than helpful. Try to talk about times at work when you felt most happy.

Use self-compassion: We should be treating ourselves as kindly as we treat our friends, even when we make mistakes. When something doesn’t go according to plan, try these three strategies:

  1. Think of words of kindness for yourself (“I’m doing the best with the resources I have”).

  2. Remind yourself that you are only human, and all humans make mistakes.

  3. When negative thoughts come, let them pass and try not to perseverate on them.

Remind yourself of your values: Post a reminder of these values in your workspace and look for connections to your personal values throughout your workday.

This pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint, and continues to impact us all physically and mentally. Taking pauses throughout our day to tend to ourselves will help us continue to be there for others. What will you do today to build your compassion resilience and care for yourself?

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