Self-care at Work (wk 41)

This week is about self-care in the workplace, and is also where the author and I stand divided. The author gears much of her suggestions for this topic to people that are either self-employed or employed at firms where employees actually have a say in their office management.

I work at neither and this book doesn’t include self-care in a high paced retail business for those doing the grunt work. Since I am not about to quit my job just yet, I can only do things on a minimum level in the work zone.

That being said, this past month, I have begun to implement various actions that help towards that end. Starting with my work locker, which is a tiny square of space, where I used to keep my sweater and keys and purse, I now have added a magnetic holder that keeps my phone and keys on the door allowing me more room on the interior. I have then added a tea cup to use during my breaks and I bring one book to read during that time. I no longer stuff junk in it that will fit. This new streamlined version of a coffee/tea locker is very gratifying.

Then on my breaks I started listening to meditation/spa/classical/guitar or piano music. I find this brings an extra sense of peace to my day and my co-workers that have had their breaks with me all comment on how relaxing it has been to be on break listening to the calming refrains of the music of the day. That makes me happy.

We can only do so much with what we are given but I am finding that even the smallest changes can have lasting effects.

Here are the author’s suggestions on changes to try for an experimental period of 30 days to see if it makes a difference.

~At lunchtime, take a walk, listen to relaxation tapes, write in a journal, read a book, or visit a friend. [I usually listen to music, write or read a book]
~Work reasonable hours. [I work the hours I am assigned. It is what it is.]
~Schedule breathing room each day to reevaluate priorities, to ensure you are working on what really matters. [my work breaks are limited so I will not spend that precious time prioritizing my work schedule. That would be redundant.]
~Do whatever it takes to create a healthy work environment. [I work in a deli. That’s not going to happen.]
~Have an absolute Yes list for work.[That would be an absolute No. My work duties are always needing to be done. My NO list is absolute. What I Absolutely will not do or put up with. It’s not long but it does set boundaries.]
~Consistently look for ways to delegate work to empower others. [Not management, so that wouldn’t go over too well. That’s an absolute NO.]
~Hire only highly competent, talented people to support my efforts. [Again. Not management and have no say in who is or is not hired.]
~Ask family and friends to honor work time by eliminating nonessential personal calls and interruptions. [Seriously? This isn’t even on my radar.]
~Coordinate work schedule to remove distractions and interruptions. [Ha. That would be all the customers I see daily. Not going to happen.]
~Stop taking on more than I can handle. [Maybe if I owned my own business, this would be an idea to consider seriously. With my job, once my shift is over, it’s over. Not a problem.]

Homework:
Create your own twenty-first century job profile. Retype the above list and customize it to fit your needs. With your new rules in place, print out the list and hang it on the wall…[in your office. So presumptuous.] Review the list each day this week and pay close attention to how your workday and personal life improve over time.

I would add to that if you do not own your own business and are not in control of your work environment, make your profile. Add to your list of what you want and don’t want and when that time comes to step into your own power, this part of the leg work will already be done. There is nothing wrong with working for someone else or in a deli or in a menial service job. What matters is always looking for ways to improve your little corner of the world wherever that may be.
Good luck to you.