Sometimes life can just be TOO MUCH. And as much as you’re told to just ‘breathe’, ‘meditate’, and put things into perspective…sometimes you just need some more practical tips to help you on the way. In today’s world, we’re told almost on a daily basis, to practice self-compassion and mindfulness. But sometimes, it’s hard to know ways you can actually practice being mindful when your deadline is a day away, the boss gives you another task, your staff call in sick, your partner has a family emergency, your kids need to be dropped off and picked up at school….and the list goes on.
As weird as it may sound, work is the perfect place to put some ‘mindfulness’ processes into place. Work is often ‘part of the routine’. Think about it. We’re always there around the same time everyday. Even if things change slightly in your calendar, you know the general jist of your week. You stay for a certain period of time and you aim to leave at a certain hour. If you begin to use your working hours as a way to practice self-care you might find 1. you enjoy and appreciate your work more 2. you’re in a generally ‘better’ place.
Interested? Keep reading!
1. Use lunch as an act of self-care. When you eat, take a moment to notice. And I mean, actually NOTICE. What have you chosen to put into your body and where are you? If you’ve automatically responded “some leftovers in front of the computer” you may want to rethink your lunch routine. While there is nothing wrong with leftovers, especially if they’re delicious, you should know by now that eating in front of the computer is a big no-no. And you have no reason to continue doing it. Everyone is busy. That work that you’re only paying 50% attention to while you eat? Yeah, that work will be there when you get back from lunch and more than likely, you’ll be able to concentrate on it 110% more without trying to find your mouth with your fork.
BONUS:research shows that when you make a healthy food choice, noticing the positive feelings this gives you serves to reinforce the behaviour, making you more likely to choose healthy foods the next time.
2. Remember that, just like you, we all feel like frauds. When you find yourself in self-deprecation mode, calling yourself names, telling yourself that you can’t do something well enough, and generally being a bully to yourself, remember that most people suffer from this “imposter syndrome,” the feeling that we are just pretending, that we don’t really belong, that we will be found out, that our true inadequacy will become obvious to the people around us, who are, for some reason, being tricked for the time being.
THE TRUTH IS everyone you work with, no matter how self-assured they seem, experiences self-doubt. This is the human condition. And these are just thoughts…so you don’t actually have to believe in them. Next time you experience thoughts such as these, take a look around and remember that you’re only human! Like everyone else!
3. Be a friend to yourself. As corny as that may sound when you notice you’re being hard on yourself over a problem, imagine a dear friend coming to you with the same problem. How would you respond? How would you offer support? What would you say? How would you regard your friend? Now try giving these responses to yourself.
4. Ask for help. Many of us are caught up in the idea that we need to “be a professional,” which we equate as being stoic, handling things on our own. In this mind-set, we don’t think to ask for kindness or validation. In fact, we would likely refuse to accept it. Over time, though, this “I’ve got this” attitude begins to wear thin, and we realise we can’t do our jobs alone. Experiment with giving someone else the chance to support you. If this is a completely foreign idea to you, then I suggest you do it even more.
People like to help!
Think of how you feel when you get to help others. Helping people makes us feel good about ourselves and connected to others. So, instead of defaulting to “No, thanks” or “It’s okay, I’m fine” when someone offers you something, try saying yes.