3 Min Read
The corporate world can breed some pretty destructive habits and routines – days that spill into nights, non-existent lunch breaks and caffeine addiction to name a few. The thing is, subscribing to a culture that demands personal sacrifice over personal wellbeing is simply a recipe for burnout and a long list of other health complications.
So how do you protect yourself from the corporate plague? The answer is painfully simple – put your mind and body first, always. There is no magic pill or vaccine that offers immunity.
The idea is to make more mindful choices that when braided together, create your own personal protective shield. To get you started, we’ve compiled 4 of our favourite self-care rituals below.
Meditation is such a powerful tool that can help dilute your stress levels, filter out internal and external “spam” and activate a more “present” state of mind. A 10-15 minute meditation in the morning can relax your mind, allowing you to move into your day with patience and ease.
Mini-meditations are also hugely beneficial as they are an opportunity to reset and “top up” your patience levels, especially when your sense of calm has been obliterated by a client confrontation or some other form of chaos. When you take a moment to reset, you allow for more mindful, conscious decision making rather than hasty, emotion-driven actions.
There are plenty of meditation apps which you can download for free.
Our favourites are 1 Giant Mind and Smiling Mind.
This will likely be met with scepticism but there is an abundance of scientific evidence to validate this ritual. Dr Rhonda Patrick, Founder of Found My Fitness and all-round scientific guru, wrote a report that covers this topic in depth: Cold Shocking the Body.
If you want the TLDR, here it is. Consistent exposure to cold water benefits the nervous system, our circulation, stress response, speeds up recovery and activates a natural high. The cold exposure releases the hormone norepinephrine (one that calms you down) to the blood, which has been proven to improve your focus, attention and overall mood. Studies have also found it to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.
When you take a cold shower, it activates your “fight or flight” response. Naturally, you want to run, but embracing the discomfort is like a simulation for facing your demons, coping with painful experiences and climbing out of your comfort zone.
Building mental resilience enables you to bounce back in the face of challenging circumstances – something we all want to be able to do. Cold shower therapy is just one of the many ways to strengthen your protective shield.
“It’s not about finding the time, it’s about scheduling it.” – Noah Kagan
With deadlines, meetings, social commitments, family life and personal errands circulating our minds on a daily basis, balancing everything can feel like an amateur circus act. While it won’t magically extend the hours in your day, using a 2019 diary, planner or journal can help you download your intentions, map out your week, prioritise your tasks and schedule time for yourself.
As soon as you put pen to paper, you’ll begin to feel more organised and in control of your schedule, not to mention the satisfaction that comes with physically ticking an item off on your to-do list. You’ll also be able to mitigate a lot of the stress that stems from the deadly combination of poor planning and an overactive mind.
If you’re a desk warrior by day, you won’t be a stranger to the aches and pains of the sedentary lifestyle, also known as sitting disease. All that can change with a daily stretching regime. Whether it’s yoga, pilates or a simple floor workout, this is one habit worth adopting.
Aside from obviously loosening your tight muscles, it promotes better circulation of blood throughout the body and improves the range of motion in your joints which subsequently reduces your risk of injury. Relieving the tension in your muscles can also help improve spine alignment, thereby improving your posture. So many wins!
The human body really wasn’t designed to sit at a desk for prolonged periods of time, so set a reminder to move around for the benefit of your present and future self. You’ll probably want to bookmark the following: Exercises for Office Workers and 17 Desk Exercises That Might Save Your Life. (You’re welcome!)
Self-care is not something that comes naturally to us. However, embedding it into your daily routine is the most effective vaccine against burnout and its horrible, horrible friends.
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