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Self-Care For Virtual Workers




Years ago, if you had the opportunity to work from home, you were considered lucky. Less time on the road, a cleaner (perhaps germ-free) work environment, and more “me” time! It was like winning the work jackpot!


Fast forward to 2020, in the blink of an eye, thousands of people were forced to leave their offices behind and start working from home. So why are we having a hard time adjusting to this glamorous work from home life? Perhaps because we were forced into this transition that would normally take some time to get used to? Maybe because for so many it was not their choice but instead the only choice. Throw a pandemic into the mix and those carefree working-from-home days seem to be a thing of the past.


Working remotely can allow you to achieve a better work-life balance which can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction and overall happiness. However it does come with some stress, the unstructured nature of remote work can lead to days without breaks, skipped meals and feeling lonely and isolated. In a world where our levels of stress can be through the roof at times, a little self-care seems like something we really need but feels just out of our reach. Self-care is not a luxury, in fact it is a necessity. The good news is that self-care does not have to be time consuming, expensive or complicated. In fact, sometimes all you need is 5 minutes here and there to feel rejuvenated and ready to work. Read on for some suggestions on how to work self-care into your day.



Meditation, Massage and Exercise...All in Five Minutes


Meditation is scientifically proven to offer an entire host of health benefits. On top of that, it is also one of the quickest and easiest ways to relieve stress. The most suggested types of meditation are breathing meditation (this can be done right at your desk), sitting mindfulness meditation and active mindfulness meditation. When being mindful in your breathing, remember the most important thing is being aware.


Massage is proven to bring a range of benefits from reducing muscle pain to lowering anxiety levels. Head, neck, back and foot massage are all perfect ways to put yourself in a calming environment and will work wonders in relieving stress and anxiety.


Exercise always makes everything better - the increase in endorphins alone is a benefit. Five minutes of stretching, yoga or aerobic exercise can help you rejuvenate and feel ready to go! If you really want to kickstart your metabolism, 15 minutes of high-energy exercise a day can make you feel brand new.



Writing is Good For the Soul: Keeping a Gratitude Journal


Sometimes in the midst of the craziness of life and what seems like an endless pandemic, we forget what we are thankful for and all the blessings that we have in life. It is natural to feel down and out when you can't live your life as you normally do. The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal have been well-studied and are nearly as impressive as exercise . Taking a few minutes each day to write down what you are thankful for can help you sleep better, decrease stress, eat healthier and lower your blood pressure. When you take time to focus on the positive, it can enhance your whole mood.



Mindful Eating


How easy is it to just grab a snack and work through lunch and perhaps even dinner. Easy...yes, but definitely a bad idea! Taking your time to sit and eat, while paying attention to the smell, taste and experience is so beneficial for us. Mindful eating takes us away from the stressors of work and life and immerses us in some much needed “me time”. It is also important to make sure that you are choosing to include superfoods in your diet and drinking plenty of water. Superfoods are nutrient dense foods that can add an extra punch to a healthy diet.



Aromatherapy


Scent can have an incredible effect on your mood, which is why aromatherapy is an effective self-care method that can be used to stop stress from rooting in the body. Aromatherapy triggers the relaxation response which is necessary for self-care. You can choose to use the healing power of scent through the use of diffusers, an essential oil massage or while taking a hot bath with scented bath bombs. We promise that a bit of pampering coupled with aromatherapy can be a great, effective and natural way of releasing stress, treating anxiety, improving sleep and relieving headaches.



Small Ways to Self-Care


Learning how to set boundaries, so that your work life and your personal life are separate is probably the most important piece of self-care. Creating a routine so that you have a starting time and ending time to your work day is extremely beneficial to you but also to your family. Keeping an organized and clutter free working environment separate from your other “life” activities is also key. Carving out a designated work space is the first step in setting up your work-from-home environment.


Keeping the lines of communication open is also important. Communicating concerns with your supervisor and chatting with co-workers is significant in feeling like you are still “at work”. Most importantly, we need to remember that working from home is not synonymous with an all-day pajama fest. The simple act of getting ready is a vital part of self-care.


It can be difficult to distance yourself from work once your work day has officially ended, after all, it is hard to make the subconscious believe that there is a difference between work and life when you are staying in the same environment. This is exactly why we need to embrace the idea of self-care. Self-care is making yourself a priority in an “everyday” way. It is paramount that you learn to make time for yourself and take time away from work. Believe me, after a year like 2020, we all deserve a little “me time”.


Check out several resources, below, that will help you master your self-care routine.



Self-Care Video Links


Massage:





Meditation:





Self-Care Apps


Happify - This app will give you the effective tools and programs you need to help take control of your feelings and thoughts. The end goal of this app is to empower people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. For example, if your goal is to feel less stressed then you will use the tools provided to help you reach that goal, and track your progress to measurably reach your goal.




Grateful: A Gratitude Journal - This app is basically like having a journal in your pocket. The app will prompt you with questions each day to help you record what you are grateful for. Over time, the result is that your brain will be trained to focus on the positive and in turn you will become a more optimistic person.



Study Music:





By Melanie Akerberg

People Happiness Manager

Bliss Virtual Services

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