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August 17, 2020

How to bring more calm and peace into your day

Written by Michelle McVittie, Child life Specialist, Community Education Service

What does self-care mean to you? Do you feel the pressure of adding one more thing into your schedule? Do you feel guilty if you struggle to make time for yourself? Self-care is often misunderstood as spa days, vacation resorts, retail therapy, and book clubs but let’s look at it from a different angle.

What is self-care?

Self-care supports you to regulate your emotions or build resilience. It can help you regain energy when you feel depleted, or expend negative energy that isn’t serving you well. Self-care is something you can do at work, during a commute, or as part of your daily routine. When practicing self-care, think small and often, with micro actions such as:

  • deep breathing
  • noticing things in nature
  • stretch breaks
  • body scans
  • taking a moment to laugh or feel gratitude
  • repeating a mantra to yourself

Self-care while working from home

Working from home when you are normally in the office can be quite a change. There are many perks to working from home, such as:

  • not having to pack a lunch
  • not having to worry about morning or after work traffic
  • sleeping in longer
  • being at home in a comforting environment

These things may not be enough of a payoff for some. This big change may actually create stress and a feeling of being unsettled.

Working from home could be stressful for the following reasons:

  • lack of routine
  • having children or animals around that need you all the time
  • a sense that you have to work harder to prove you are actually working at home
  • you no longer have the social interaction of working with clients or your colleagues
  • your space may not be ergonomically correct causing back and neck strain
  • it’s easier to continue working after hours

Some helpful tips to incorporate self-care into your routine at home could be creating a routine and being clear with your needs.

  • create your own space or room that meets your needs
  • stick to your routine and allow time for breaks
  • if you have the opportunity to work outside, by a window or listen to some music, it can help create a calming work environment
  • check in with work colleagues often
  • stand up and stretch your body
  • change your environment up and do your work in different spot
  • set a timer for quitting or break time
  • prepare your meals and snacks so you have healthy things to eat instead of grabbing snacks all day or not eating at all
  • acknowledge the hard work you do
  • create a positive mantra wall or write a new affirmation on a dry erase board that you can see

The self-care challenge

Unfortunately for many of us, when stress levels get high, we do less for ourselves. We keep pushing through until we just can’t anymore. Let’s recommit to self-care.

Try turning off your phone for a day. Do a short meditation. Listen to music while you write a report. Set a timer to move around and stretch your body. Put a positive affirmation up on the wall in the break room. Smile at someone in the hall. Ask a colleague to join you on a walk at lunch.

Incorporating self-care into your day with a routine

Routines are helpful. Give yourself enough time to have a quiet tea or coffee before heading to work and set an intention for the day. Check out the Start of Day Resilience Checklist for tips on how to set intentions, gratitude prompts, and tips for releasing behaviours or thoughts that are not helpful.

Let’s challenge ourselves to establish a new routine with small micro practices throughout our day. At first it may seem like work, but eventually it will become something we don’t even think about. Get started today and take just take one step to bring more calm and peace into your day.