Self-Care at Work

I left the corporate world in January 2020, so I don’t have much of a head start with the whole working from home routine, at least on a full-time basis. For about 10 years I was fortunate enough to have a hybrid schedule and worked from home on Monday’s and Friday’s – I loved it! I personally think that one of the silver linings that came from the pandemic is many companies offering work-from-home positions, or at least hybrid. As we all long to spend more quality time with our family and friends and doing the things that light us up, it’s understandable how cutting out commute time can be appealing. Plus, there are other luxuries that come from working from home.

However, regardless of whether you work from home, have a hybrid position, or are heading into the office regularly it’s imperative that you take care of yourself and build in-office comforts into your daily routine. These micro self-care activities, you can do in any office setting, will help you to be more productive while keeping your health a priority.  

Between work, transportation, eating and watching TV we sit a lot. In fact, most people with typical office jobs sit between 8-12 hours per day! And while you know your posture is important, we rarely do much about it, but here’s a reminder of why this shouldn’t be an afterthought in your “at work” self-care routine.

Neck & Back Pain 
Rounded Shoulders 
Joint Degeneration 
Spinal Issues 
Digestive Issues

I’ll bet at least a few of those are a surprise. The one that struck me was incontinence. Putting pressure on the bladder by slouching can increase your chances of developing incontinence issues. Leaking a little urine when you cough, laugh or sneeze can be a running joke for us mamas, but if you’re not a mom or things seem to be getting worse, take a look at your posture – that may just be the culprit.

  • Eyes should be naturally centered in your monitor 
  • Sit with knees and arms bent at 90-degree angles (adjust chair height) 
  • Keep neck in neutral position with your head, neck and shoulders upright
  • Keep monitor about arms distance from your eyes 
  • If chair doesn’t have lower back support, add a pillow 
  • Use a footrest (if you’re vertically challenged – in other words, your feet aren’t touching the ground)
In addition to making small tweaks to your posture when you’re sitting you can take advantage of a standing desk and they even have really fancy-pants treadmill desks or attachments you can get for your treadmill. If you like utilizing technology, and think it’s worthwhile, the Upright Go is a nifty little electronic device that’s designed to help train and correct your posture.  

Another form of self-care you should consider while working is to reduce eye strain. From headaches to blurred vision and muscle spasms to difficulty concentrating eye strain can cause major issues for us long after we’ve left the office. What can you do to help protect our eyes and reduce eye strain? There are two tips to highly consider.


Blue Light Filter – between our computers, laptops, tablets, televisions, and phones we’re exposing our eyes to a TON of blue light. Consider filtering out some of it. You can change the settings on your devices to night mode, wear blue light filtering glasses (or get special lenses if you already wear contacts/glasses), or get an anti-blue light screen filter to place over your monitor.
20-20-20 Technique – for every 20 minutes of screen time, take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away.

One more bit of micro self-care that you can do while working to have a positive impact on your overall health and productivity is to take breaks and physically move your body. If you have time for a 10-15 minute walk outside that’s my personal favorite, but taking time to stretch is great too. Stretching breaks from work should include your neck, wrists/forearms, back and hips.

STRETCHING BREAKS (while sitting):

Neck: relax shoulders and arms, lean head gently to the side (ear to shoulder) and hold for 5 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

Wrist/Forearms: place hands palm-to-palm (prayer), rotate hands so your pinkies are facing downward towards you stomach, while keeping your elbows up and even, hold for up to 10 seconds. Repeat, moving pinkies so they’re facing the ceiling and your fingertips are pointing towards your chest.

Back/Hips: bend right leg over the left and look over your right shoulder, gently press left hand on right thigh, hold for 5-10 seconds, and repeat on other side.

Full Body: interlace fingers, palms up and extend arms above your head reaching to the sky, hold and breath deeply for 10-15 seconds.
Self-care while working wouldn’t be complete without me reminding you about proper hydration - half your body weight in ounces. Plus, I can't leave you without at least touching on using your essential oils. Aside from diffusing your favorite oils to create an environment you’d like, be it to lower stress, increase focus, or boost your mood, there are two oil blends in particular that you might like to add to your “at work” self-care routine: AromaTouch® and PastTense®.
AromaTouch® is known as the massage blend. It combines Cypress, Peppermint, Marjoram, Basil, Grapefruit, and Lavender essential oils in a perfect blend that can be applied directly to your neck and shoulders to ease tension, promote feelings or relaxation and physically soothe your muscles.

PastTense® combines Wintergreen, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Cilantro, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Basil, and Rosemary. Dilute and massage into shoulders, neck or back for a cooling, soothing, relaxing sensation. If you find yourself with that unwanted head tension, rub a touch on your temples or back of neck to make that tension a thing of the past. Hahahaha, you see what I did there?

Being informed and making smart choices that fit your routine, goals, and likes will give you an advantage in sticking with them, especially when trying to incorporate these simple self-care at work ideas that will help your overall health and wellness, plus boost your productivity too! 


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