I need to slow down…and practice better self-care at work.
Last Thursday I burned my leg really badly at work.
“How on earth did you manage that girl?!!”
Well, It was a day when I had to be in the office super early, at 6 am, and I guess I was moving too fast? Even though I gave myself enough time to get ready. And by ready I mean all of my materials were prepared for my 6:30 am meeting and I was waiting to make a cup of tea while I waited for the contractor.
The contractor called around 6:25 am. As I stood up to go, I grabbed a case we needed for the meeting. I knocked over the freshly brewed cup of mint tea. It spilled all over my desk and splashed all over my thighs.
I have a gym bag in my cubicle so I quickly reached for the towel to dry my skirt and legs. Then I rushed off to the meeting. I felt the pain but my mind wasn’t really present. As we walked and talked it became unbearable. But did I stop?…no.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I have a very high tolerance for suffering in silence. No Bueno!
(See key articles below)
Read: Changing BEDA Schools
Read: Leaving the Peace Corps
Yea suffering was no longer an option so I went to the restroom to check my leg. I saw purple skin about the circumference of my palm with blisters that looked like bubble wrap.
After about two hours I went to the nurse to seek help. Another colleague finished the meeting.
I went home early that day and tried to reflect on what happened. Whenever God wants me to slow down or pay attention to messages I get a really harsh sign. It’s not gentle like a tap on the shoulder, haha! It’s more like being smacked in the face with a coconut. But since my response time is really slow and my tolerance is super high, that type of shake-up is absolutely necessary!
This is a picture of my burn. I snapped this an hour or so after returning home. About seven hours later after the incident. It hurt so bad!
This is a picture from the second night. I snapped this in the evening before bed. I’ve been rubbing fresh aloe gel (from the plant leaf) on the wound.
I told my brother it looks like the map of Singapore. But I think I’m the only one that sees that because I want to move there perhaps? My burn was a freak accident that could happen to anyone. But it reminded me to check in with myself periodically during the day.
It also made me think about simple self-care hacks that can be performed at work to help stay “present”. I’ll share them below!
Self-care at work
Tip 1: Go for a Walking Stretch Break!
Nothing is more important than your health and sanity. Take a walking stretch break around the building or outside if it is nice, to clear your head. Walking, combined with a few breathing exercises, can help reduce anxiety, lower your stress levels, and give you fresh new ideas on how to tackle office issues.
Tip 2: Don’t make coffee or tea at your desk!
Haha! You know I had to throw that in! Actually drinking your morning coffee or tea is a very relaxing experience. Make it at home and enjoy it in the comfort of your favorite chair in your kitchen. Or put it in your special tumbler cup and sip it during your morning commute. Honestly, I want you to get comfortable spending time away from your desk and computer to take a moment for yourself and enjoy your beverage. A happier recharged you, makes a happier recharged employee.
Tip 3: Journal!
Really? Yes! Really!! Bring a notebook to work that you keep in your backpack, handbag, or briefcase. Have you ever wanted to send an angry response to an annoying pathological liar of a coworker? Now you can! Just not for real. Write it in that notebook, read it out loud (in a whisper) and chuckle at your witting comebacks. Then put the notebook back in your bag and breath a sigh of relief that you did not accidentally send that in an email!
Tip 4: Take a day off!
If you have leave time, take a day off! Don’t let pent up stress deteriorate at your insides until you subsequently explode at the wrong person. Take time off! You have it for a reason. I really had to give myself permission to do the same in 2019. Take the time to get yourself together, spend time with God, relax, do something that makes you happy.
Tip 5: Listen to music!
I am a big supporter and advocate for listening to music WITH HEADPHONES at your desk. No, you are not being anti-social. Some folks just like to power through their tasks without distractions or office gossip.
All of these tips are golden and have been used in every country I’ve held a job (Belize, South Korea, Spain, Botswana, Amerika)
Try them out and let me know how they work for you! Do you have any suggestions for workplace self-care hacks? Share them in the comments!
See you next time!