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Self-care for the soul: How to love yourself as much as you love your job

We don’t realise it, but our careers have consumed us.

The other day, I found myself Googling for 4 hours at a stretch, and refreshing my email and Slack every 10 minutes to see if there’s anything that did not catch my attention earlier. And practising self-care to maintain that work-life balance was not a part of my schedule. So naturally, I was too close to hitting the peak of saturation and having a meltdown as a result of my work FOMO.

“Your brain is like a computer. As much as you have to update its software by upskilling and hustling at work, you also have to protect its battery and clean all the junk by doing things apart from work!”

My father, a man who has slogged (and slayed) at work for 35 years, told me this when he saw me compromising on sleep for days. So, I took his advice and decided to make room for some self-care and pampering at work. Because self-love and self-care go hand in hand.

Here’s a self-care routine that helps me stay sane amidst deadlines. And here’s hoping this works out for you too!

7 ways to pra

ctice self-care at work

1. Schedule short breaks

When your to-do list keeps getting longer and the day keeps getting shorter, your immediate reflex would be to panic, and then hustle hard to finish everything on your plate. Even if that means drowning at work for 14 hours straight. But that doesn’t really help. Because you’re not even giving it your best shot, are you?

Instead, schedule short breaks throughout the day. These could be 15-minute breaks that allow you to unwind and do something that you love. Maybe watch half an episode of Gilmore Girls, whip up pancakes for yourself, or have a cuddle session with your pets.

When you take a break, your mind will be rejuvenated, and your output will be better.

2. Affirm yourself once

in a while

Sometimes, we don’t realise that all we need is a little pep talk to navigate through the day. Why depend on anybody else when you can boost your own morale?

I recently stumbled upon Soul Palette, a brand that promotes self-care for women. They make these meaningful and quirky affirmation cards for each day of the month. These cards are very relatable, with soothing and positive affirmations like – ‘Not today, the universe can wait!’, ‘I am not here to please everybody, I am not a unicorn!’, and ‘I will laugh my loudest laugh today, and smile a little wider’.

If you need a little something to keep you going on the dullest of workdays, looking at these daily affirmations in the form of feel-good quotes might really help.

3. Clear the clutter on your work desk

If you’re bad at upkeeping your desk and it is almost always an absolute mess, then high five to you. A cluttered desk is equal to a cluttered mind.

So, keep your workplace minimal, with whatever you need on a daily basis in close proximity. Your desk should ideally have your laptop, a notebook, a pen, and a water bottle for hydration. The rest should go on a shelf or an organiser nearby.

Organising your desk is one of the best forms of self-care at work. Declutter regularly, because it really does help you stay focussed and calm.

4. Do some venting in a journal

My English teacher got me into the habit of daily self-care journaling back when I was 12. And I have brought that practice to work too. Journaling is one of the most effective techniques of self-care. It curbs mood swings, brings a sense of calm, reduces stress, gives more clarity on what you feel and think, and ultimately, helps you get to know yourself better.

Different people have different time preferences to pen their feelings down in a journal. Some might like to journal before going to bed; some might do it in the mornings before starting their day. The trick is to identify your time slot, take a pen, and just let the words flow.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an apt journal, bookmark this Vent it out Journal.

from Soul Palette, and do exactly what the name suggests – vent it all out!