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Optimum Talks Blog

2020: A Focus on You

by Optimum Talent

In stead of creating a new year resolution, why not focus on something a bit more attainable, and something better for you and everyone!  Self-care.

Self-care has become an increasingly popular topic over the past few years, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! In a nutshell, self-care is the practice of taking deliberate action to preserve or improve our mental, emotional and physical health. Self-improvement is often a theme in January, and with the New Year here, it’s a great time to re-evaluate our goals and how we are going to achieve them.

When properly done, self-care can have numerous benefits on your life as well as your work. More than just improving your health, it can also increase productivity, self-esteem and self-knowledge. Incorporating small acts of self-care into your workday could be a goal for you in 2020! Try it out! Here are a few ideas on how you can incorporate self-care into your day:

  • Take breaks, it increases productivity. Your break can be a brief cessation, physical exertion, or activity. “When you are doing goal-oriented work that requires concentration, the PFC [prefrontal cortex, or the ‘thinking’ part of the brain] keeps you focused” (Selig, 2017). A break can help you restore your motivation and prevent fatigue.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate your successes. When you’ve got a long to-do list or a lot on your plate it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget the small achievements throughout the day. It’s important to track progress in order to look back and stay connected so you don’t forget how far you’ve come. Consider keeping a list of ‘completed’ tasks next to your list of to-dos’.
  • Clean up your workspace. A tidy desk clears the mind and improves efficiency. Your workspace is your second home, and you should focus on keeping it clean and organized. Studies show that a cluttered desk decreases productivity and increases stress levels. “Clutter can also induce a physiological response, including increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone” (Lucchesi, 2019). So, take a few minutes out of your day to throw out trash, get organized, and create harmony in your workspace.
  • Establish your priorities and stick to them. Prioritize what is important and outline why it is. Maintain a clear focus on your goals and create a plan to reach them. This may mean writing down what means the most to you so that you can remind yourself of those goals. Then, when you feel overwhelmed with tasks or are struggling to decide, you can refer to them. It is natural to take on tasks that seem urgent, whether they are important or not. But by evaluating each task against your priorities, you can better align your work and reduce the feelings of stress from over-exertion or being inundated.
  • Laugh! Laughing can make you feel relaxed and revived. Chat with a co-worker who makes you laugh or watch a funny clip or video. This is a simple and fun self-care tactic, and it’s said that laughter can boost the immune system and reduce stress! (Robinson, 2019) So make sure you take the time to enjoy the little things and crack a smile!

 

Citations:

Lucchesi, E. L. B. (2019). The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/03/well/mind/clutter-stress-procrastination-psychology.html

Robinson, L., Smith, M., & Segal, J. (2019). Laughter is the Best Medicine. HelpGuide. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

Selig, M. (2017). How Do Work Breaks Help Your Brain? 5 Surprising Answers. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers.

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