By Jasmine Pathak
The term self-care has gained popularity in recent years, with brands, celebrities, and
even fitness gurus using the word to promote various products or programs. While self-
care can involve a day at the spa or a relaxing bubble bath, it does not have to.
What is Self-Care?
Lynda Monk, a certified life coach and registered social worker in Salt Spring Island,
B.C., calls it “showing up” for yourself. Similar to how you take steps to look after a
client, friend, or family member, you must remember to take care of your own needs,
Moreover, in 1988, the activist and writer Audre Lorde revolutionized the term by
declaring self-care a powerful act. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-
Self-care is not something that is packaged and purchased, but rather, is any activity
that we actively choose to do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and
physical health. Simple in theory, yet simple to overlook.
Taking long breaks or vacations is not always realistic; however, there are easy ways to
incorporate self-care into your work day.
1) Take Advantage of Lunch Hour
While it may be tempting to work through your lunch break to finish an important
project, taking breaks throughout the day is vital to your well-being and productivity.
Instead of eating lunch at your desk, challenge yourself to do whatever you need to do
in order to feel refreshed for the remainder of the day. This could involve going for a
walk, eating with friends, or simply taking a few moments for yourself.
2) Organize Your Workspace
We all have different preferences, but a messy space is rarely conducive to a productive
space. By taking steps to declutter, you are doing your future self a favour. Even a
simple planner or agenda can have a huge impact!
3) Set Boundaries
Sometimes, self-care involves saying no to things in order to set your future self up for
success. Skipping out on a work social or an extra commitment may be tough in the
moment, but can save you from feeling drained later on. Setting boundaries for yourself at work is just another way to practice self-care, and a simple example could be actively
deciding not to check emails or voicemails during your lunch break.
Self-care needs to be something you actively plan, rather than something that just
happens. It is an active choice and you must treat it as such. It is also not easy!
Knowing your limits and sticking to them is difficult, so remember to keep practicing.