5 ways to give yourself some TLC at work

Chained to your desk all day? Don’t forget to look after yourself – here are some easy ways to weave self-care into your work life.

With more and more of us doing longer hours, it’s not surprising that we’re getting very acquainted with our desk at work.

Being time-poor and busy can often mean we let self-care fall further and further down our to-do list but what if you could turn your workspace into a wellness-friendly zone?

These simple tweaks can help you do just that – and the great thing is, they’re so easy to do.

Introduce plants

Clear your workspace and introduce some greenery.

Research has shown that plants increase attentiveness, improves wellbeing and can lower blood pressure.

With the trend towards minimalist offices, a study from Exeter University also found that the introduction of plants into an otherwise “lean” space can improve productivity by 15 per cent.

Keep essential oils on hand

If you’re familiar with aromatherapy and the therapeutic benefits of essential oils you’ll know that certain scents can improve wellbeing in different ways.

In the office, keep rosemary on hand to help improve concentration and promote productivity, or lemongrass to encourage alertness.

Or if you’re feeling stressed, bergamot can help boost mood and bring on feelings of calm.

Pop your chosen oil on a cotton ball and sniff the scent as needed.

Stash healthy snacks in your drawer

“Without a satiating healthy nibble, we can easily become the sugar monster and devour the biscuits in the kitchen office or worse, want to break into the chocolate-filled vending machine,” says nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge.

“Having nuts, seeds, plain yoghurt and some berries, brown rice crackers with some nut butter and a nourishing cup of tea can calm any bored, stressed, or simply hungry moment – not to mention fuel your brain.”

Boost your positivity about the future

Feeling a bit down about work?

Pop a positive affirmation in your workspace.

A study in the US found that having future-oriented affirmations, such as “think about a time in the future when you will experience career success”, resulted in better self-affirming brain activity than statements that focused on the past.

So if there’s a big goal that you want to accomplish don’t be afraid to leave a little reminder on your desk.

Spend a few minutes being mindful

Every day, make a point of pausing for a few minutes to pay attention to your surroundings mindfully.

This could be everything from listening to the sounds around the office, noticing the temperature in the room, to the sensation of sitting in your chair.

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of mindfulness on everything from stress to anxiety, attention and cognition so it’s an exercise that’s worth making time for.

Written by Tania Gomez.