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Importance of Employee Self-Care In Organisations

Employees spend much of their waking hours at work and can struggle to fit in self-care activities. Incorporating self-care into their working day can improve their day and pay dividends for the organisation.

With the increase in mental health awareness days and discussions around mental health over the last few years, more people are starting to be conscious of their mental health. The effects of work stress, financial pressures and the recent pandemic have meant more people may feel stressed, anxious or depressed. Google Trends reports show that over the past 5 years, we’ve seen an increasing trend for self-care-related searches in Australia. Both the organisation and employees can benefit from self-care.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, in the best way you can, to promote better health and general well-being. Self-care allows us to cope better, to keep up with a busy daily life and aids our long-term health. The benefits of self-care can be improved mental, physical and emotional well-being.  

Types of Self-Care

Although everyone is different and what may help one individual may not necessarily help another, there are three common categories that we can divide self-care into - physical, emotional and spiritual self-care.

Physical Self-Care

Looking after yourself physically means you feel stronger, healthier and have more energy. By prioritising enough sleep, maintaining regular exercise and eating a healthy diet you’re engaging in physical self-care. 

Emotional Self-Care 

Emotional self-care could be catching up with friends, taking time to read a book or have a bath, doing a hobby you enjoy or just saying ‘no’ to activities that cause you to stress. 

Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care for some is attending church, praying, meditating, keeping a journal or paying forward acts of kindness. 

You don’t need to engage in all three kinds of self-care. It’s important to choose self-care activities that you enjoy and help reduce your stress levels.   

Why Self-Care is Important in the Workplace

Most people will tell you that one of their main sources of stress is work. Whether it’s a conflict with co-workers, long hours, deadlines or a heavy workload, work-related stress is a big problem in all sectors of the workforce. Embracing self-care activities can help reduce some of the stress for workers. To manage work-related stress, you can try self-care activities such as meditation or mindfulness, taking time away from work, or pulling back on extra workload. 

Employee-Led Self-Care Activities

Self-care should be incorporated into every workday. At lunchtime, get out of the office for some light exercise if possible. If there is a peaceful spot close by, take some time to clear your mind and become more aware of your surroundings. Feel the breeze, listen to the sounds and take note of the smells around you. Take some time out and have a coffee break with a work friend. Or, on your commute, choose to ride a bike or walk part of the way to work to fit in more physical exercise.           

Employer-Organised Self-Care Activities

Employers can encourage employees to engage in self-care by offering a range of activities. Lunchtime yoga or meditation can encourage staff to step away from their desks and engage in a physical self-care activity. A walking group or even encouraging walking meetings to get people up and outside can be beneficial for both personal self-care and boosting team culture. A workplace well-being program and access to healthy lifestyle programs can also encourage staff to up their self-care game. 

Support R U OK? Day with a lunch to raise awareness or organise a guest speaker to talk to employees about healthy living. It may be necessary to educate employees about what self-care is and how they can increase the opportunities to practise self-care in their day-to-day. Include information on the intranet, and email regular communication about what’s on offer at work and what staff can do at home to engage in positive self-care.  

Benefits of Employee Self-Care

Employees who engage in self-care activities are more likely to be productive and motivated at work. With exercise and a healthy diet, they’re likely to be healthier with a strong immune system, which in turn leads to fewer sick days. 

When an organisation offers self-care activities, employees feel like the employer cares about their health and well-being. Employees are more likely to speak positively to their friends and family about their workplace and are more likely to stay with an organisation, reducing frequent turnover rates.  

Employee Wellbeing programs are a great way to show your employees that your organisation values them, their lives and their health. Through fully customised programs, Altius Group prides itself on running programs that offer mutually beneficial results. Contact us online or call 1800 258 487 for more information.

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