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Thriving (Sustainably):
Making Self-Care a Priority in 2024

A cozy living room with a couch and a book waiting to be read, Next to it, a chair, and bookshelf.
Hacking HR Team

Posted on January 04, 2024

New year, new beginnings, but also some old and usual suspects, namely, work that very often breaks people (either by design or, irresponsibly, unintentionally).

Work is hard and becoming harder. And, sometimes, there's little we can do about it.

We don't want to break this to you, but you probably already know it: this year, you will most definitely be asked to "do more with less." And, while you may not shy away from doing the hard things unless you double down on self-care to keep your holistic well-being (physical, emotional, and mental health) in mind, work may take a toll on you.

We don't want work to take a bad toll on you, though. We want work to be exciting, enjoyable, and an opportunity for growth. In fact, we want you to thrive but sustainably. Temporary "success" at the expense of your health is not success at all because you will pay a high price in the long run. Thriving sustainably, however, is about making sure that you can have a fulfilling life and deliver your results at work, both successfully while making sure that you have the health to do it over and over, and not just one time.

How do you keep the balance? By simultaneously focusing on delivering your results at work while keeping your self-care as a personal priority in a sustainable way.

Work and Well-being

Work has a significant impact on your holistic well-being, influencing physical health, mental state, emotional balance, and overall life satisfaction. That's why it is impossible to disconnect work from life (there's not such a thing as "work-life balance" or "work-life fit"... they are both integrated parts, and sometimes indivisible, parts of a whole), making the integration of self-care into the work routine an absolute necessity for your survival, but also for the delivery of your work goals.

Self-care at work is the practice of actively protecting and nurturing your well-being in the professional environment. It involves creating a balance between professional responsibilities and personal health. This balance isn't just crucial for your well-being; it's also essential for maintaining high productivity and professional satisfaction.

When you're overworked, stressed, and burnt out, your work suffers, as do your health and personal lives.

For self-care to be most effective, it needs to be part of the workplace culture, not just an individual practice. This means organizations must recognize the value of their employees' well-being and take active steps to promote and support it. It can include policies like flexible working hours, encouraging regular breaks, or offering resources for mental health.

But, while we are dreamers and we would love for workplaces to do all of that, we won't count on it. So, you have to sit in the driver's seat, take the wheel and have control and absolute responsibility over your own well-being.

Incorporating self-care into your work routine is not about indulging; it's about respecting the holistic well-being and recognizing that your health is the foundation upon which your professional and personal lives are built.

By prioritizing self-care, you're not just enhancing your life; but you are contributing to a more vibrant, productive, and sustainable workplace culture.

Embracing Holistic Self-Care: Understanding the 8 Types for Lasting Wellness

Self-care is about nurturing yourself on every level and creating a life that's balanced, fulfilling, and healthy. Of course, this requires integrating life and work (and they sure are, as I mentioned before).

To truly embrace holistic self-care, it's essential to understand and incorporate its eight types, each addressing different aspects of your being. Here's a closer look at these eight types of self-care and how they contribute to lasting wellness.

1. Physical Self-Care

Physical self-care involves activities that improve your physical health, such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep. It's about listening to your body's needs and responding in a caring way. This might mean adopting a fitness routine, choosing nutritious foods, or ensuring you get enough rest. Remember, your physical well-being is the foundation upon which many other forms of self-care are built.

2. Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care is about becoming more in tune with your emotions, understanding them, and finding constructive ways to express and manage them. This might involve practices like journaling, therapy, or artistic endeavors. It's also about cultivating self-compassion and kindness, allowing yourself to experience feelings without judgment.

3. Social Self-Care

Humans are inherently social beings, and nurturing relationships is a crucial aspect of overall well-being. Social self-care means fostering and maintaining healthy relationships and setting boundaries in your social life. It's about knowing when to say no and when to surround yourself with people who uplift and support you.

4. Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care doesn't necessarily relate to religion; it's about nurturing your spirit, however, you choose to define it. This might involve meditation, spending time in nature, prayer, or any practice that helps you develop a deeper sense of meaning, understanding, or connection with the universe.

5. Personal Self-Care

Personal self-care is about knowing and doing what makes you happy and fulfilled. This includes hobbies, interests, and activities that you enjoy. It's about allowing yourself time to do things that help you grow as a person, whether that's reading, painting, or any other personal hobby.

6. Space Self-Care

Your environment significantly impacts your well-being. Space self-care means creating a living and working environment that promotes a sense of sanctuary and peace. This might involve organizing your space, decorating in a way that makes you feel happy and calm, or ensuring your environment is clean and pleasant.

7. Financial Self-Care

Financial stress is a significant source of anxiety and worry for many people. Financial self-care involves steps to live within your means, set financial goals, and feel good about how you manage your money. This might include budgeting, saving, or seeking advice for financial decisions.

8. Work Self-Care

Even your professional life requires self-care. This involves setting boundaries at work, taking breaks when needed, and ensuring your work doesn't consume your entire life. It's about finding balance and fulfillment in your professional activities and ensuring your job doesn't negatively impact your overall well-being.

10 Self-Care Reminders for 2024

  1. Prioritize Your Tasks: Start each week by identifying the most critical (strategic and operational) tasks, assigning them a priority level and even days and times in your schedule. Make sure to save space for breaks and unexpected tasks.

  2. Limit Multitasking: Focus on one task at a time for better efficiency and less stress.

  3. Take Regular Breaks: Step away from your desk on a regular basis and take short breaks (preferably “moving” breaks to take a short walk) to help you refocus and think.

  4. Stay Hydrated: Keep a water bottle at your desk and refill it regularly throughout the day. If possible, have either a big bottle or several small bottles filled up, and plan to drink all of the water within the day.

  5. Set Boundaries: Clearly define your work hours and resist the urge to check emails outside of those times. Establishing your boundaries and having others (and yourself) respect them is essential for your holistic well-being at work.

  6. Move Regularly: Sitting all day kills (literally, but also kills ideas and creativity). Incorporate stretching or a quick walk to keep your body active and mind fresh.

  7. Seek Support: Don't hesitate to ask for help or delegate tasks when your workload is overwhelming.

  8. Positive Affirmations: Keep a list of positive affirmations or quotes nearby to boost your mood when needed.

  9. Professional Development: Invest time in learning and growth opportunities to stay motivated and engaged. Particularly, and if possible, make sure you are investing time to learn about complimentary skills to yours or your field of expertise. This will give you enough ideas that you can connect with your work and solve problems more creatively.

  10. Reflect on Achievements: Regularly acknowledge and celebrate your successes, no matter how small.

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