3 Self-Care Practices to Help You Adjust to a New Work Environment
March 23, 2020
Many of us are in the throes of adjusting to new work environments and new ‘coworker’ family members.
During these times of change, it’s important to give yourself some space for self-care. Because ultimately, in order to show up as our best selves at work and at home, we need to invest in our well-being.
In other words, we don’t need to always be “on,” shares Arianna Huffington in her course Thriving @ Work: Leveraging the Connection between Well-Being and Productivity.
It IS possible to adjust to this new environment. Start with these three strategies that Thrive Global’s Director of Trainings, Joey Hubbard, shares in the course. Check out the full course for free on LinkedIn Learning.
3 self-care practices to prioritize today
#1 Set boundaries and learn how to say “no”
Many of us new to working from home fall into one of two categories. You may feel that your colleagues are among your few social lifelines and you’re eager to connect more by working more. On the flip side, you’re struggling to work enough because all of a sudden your entire family is home and pulling on you from all directions.
Let’s be honest: trying to do everything can lead to feeling like you’re not doing anything well.
Now more than ever, it’s critical to set boundaries. The Thrive team suggests:
Establish “office hours” and communicate your work schedule to colleagues and your family.
Carve out time in the evening, say 6:00-9:30 pm, to step away from work and do something you enjoy, either by yourself or with your family.
Turn off your phone while you’re sleeping. The email that comes through at 2 am CAN wait until the morning.
One of the best ways to reinforce boundaries is learning how to say “no.” Hubbard gives some examples of how to do this:
Delay the automatic “yes.” Slow down, take a breath, and say “Give me a few minutes to think about it” or “I’ll get back to you tomorrow morning.”
Ask for help prioritizing. If your boss assigns you something that you don’t have the option to say “no” to, say “Here are the eight things on my plate; let me know what you’d like me to focus on.”
Once you put boundaries in place and start saying “no,” you’ll find yourself with more space to take care of yourself with activities that fuel, instead of drain, your energy.
#2 Start a new healthy habit
Many of us working from home have gained pockets of time that we would have otherwise spent commuting. Use that extra time to invest in your well-being.
That may mean less social media. We all know how easy it is to get sucked into news and social media, but chances are that time online isn’t helping you thrive.
Now’s a great time to start that healthy morning habit you’ve been thinking about—yoga, meditation, cooking up a nice breakfast.
To build a new habit, start small, Hubbard explains. Try the Japanese process of kaizen: choose one thing to do for one minute, at the same time every day.
The consistency of these “micro actions” retrain the brain. And Thrive research shows that in about one month (32 days), you’ll solidify your new habit.
#3 Invest in your relationships at work
During this time of social distancing, reaching out to friends and family by phone and video is an important way to get support in a destabilizing time. Did someone say virtual happy hours?
This also applies to connecting with your work colleagues. To invest in your work relationships, try these tips:
Email or Slack your colleagues with a long-form article you found interesting, a book or Netflix recommendation, or a video that made you smile. This goes a long way in cultivating connection, especially for people living alone and feeling isolated.
Allow for social time during virtual meetings. Before you dive into the agenda, take a few moments to connect: say hello, ask how everyone is doing, actively listen, and respond.
Schedule a virtual coffee with a colleague, or a virtual happy hour for your whole team.
Start up a virtual book club with a business-related book (or any book to escape into!) Everyone's social calendar has opened up, so this is a great time to connect in new ways.
Especially now, these small steps have a big impact and will help you build connection, trust, and appreciation among your colleagues. It will help the dynamic of the team—now, and for the long haul.