How to practice self-care at work (or school)

Work and school can be really important and time consuming parts of our lives - so naturally we need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves effectively in these environments.

  1. Take a break when you need one

    Sometimes when you’re working on assignments or projects it can be easy to get caught up in what we’re doing and we can forget to remember ourselves in the process. So, it is important that you are taking the time for yourself when you need it.

Find ways to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. A good way to know this is to know yourself really well and to keep a checklist. It may feel silly, but sometimes we don’t always notice how negatively overworking affects us. But, if you are able to recognize those things and have a little note of them, you can look at those and periodically check in with yourself and how you’re doing.

Even just keeping a list of the things you should do throughout the day is a good idea. For example, keeping a note to remind yourself to have a snack at least every couple hours or a reminder to drink some water is a good way make sure you have energy throughout the day so you don’t feel that burnout.

2. Talk with your coworkers and fellow students

Having a good relationship with your colleagues is a great way to help you feel better throughout the day. Sometimes it’ll give you the chance to discuss things that are not work related and give you a quick break from what you’re doing at work or school. Even just a quick minute to chat about something non-work related can be a nice relief and take your brain off of your tasks.

Getting those small moments to step back can really help us to be energized to keep doing what we need to do for the rest of the day

3. Set your boundaries and expectations

Now, I’m not saying to decide that you just don't ever want to do one particular type of work. A lot of the time, especially in the workplace or school, we may have to do something we aren’t thrilled about - and that’s okay. What I mean by setting boundaries and expectations is knowing where you feel comfortable. It is good to step out of your comfort zone sometimes, but if it has a negative affect on you it is important to recognize what it is and try to do what is best for you.

4. Identify things you really enjoy about work or school

Sometimes even though we love what we do, we can feel like we’re caught in a lake of projects. Or even worse, if we don’t enjoy what we’re currently doing it can feel like a sea that we’re never going to get out of.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel I promise you. Something that can help is picking out the things we do enjoy and really relishing in those moments. If we’re overwhelmed by projects, even doing what we love can sometimes become too much. But if you try to take a moment (to again - take a step back) and look at the bigger picture of it, you can remember what it is that you really love about it and focus

Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba also has some information about handling workplace burnout and depression. MDAM is a great resource and also offers peer support in person and on the phone.

So please, try to recognize when you need breaks, what makes you comfortable and what you can do to help yourself feel good throughout the day. According to we can average to about 13 years of our lives just at work - so we might as well do what we can to help ourselves enjoy it and feel good about going everyday.

Jennifer P