Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out at work? The daily grind can take a toll on our mental and physical well-being. That’s where self care steps in to save the day. And what better way to practice self care than by taking a walk before leaving work? Yes, you read that right. Walking can be a fantastic form of self care, and in this article, we’ll explore how to incorporate it into your daily routine.
The Importance of Self Care in the Workplace
Before diving into the benefits of walking, let’s first understand why self care is so crucial in the workplace. Think of it as fuel for your mind and body. Just like a car needs gasoline to keep going, you need self care to keep your work engine running smoothly.
Famous psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung, once said, “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” In other words, taking care of yourself allows you to show up as your best self at work and deal with any challenges that come your way.
Understanding the Benefits of Self Care
When we talk about self care, we often think of bubble baths and face masks. While those are great, self care goes deeper than that. It’s about taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
According to renowned psychologist, Dr. Abraham Maslow, self care is a fundamental part of our hierarchy of needs. Just like we need food and shelter, we also need self care to thrive.
Recognizing the Impact of Stress on Work Performance
Stress can wreak havoc on our work performance. It clouds our judgment, impairs our decision-making abilities, and increases the chances of burnout. That’s where walking comes in as a savior.
Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a famous psychologist, explains how physical movement, like walking, helps to reduce stress levels. It releases endorphins, those “feel-good” chemicals in our brain, which combats stress and boosts our mood.
Exploring the Physical Benefits of Walking
Not only is walking a stress-buster, but it also comes with a myriad of physical benefits. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone! Walking helps to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Famous dietitian, Joy Bauer, encourages incorporating regular walking into your routine as a way to maintain a healthy weight. She suggests aiming for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking each day.
Uncovering the Mental and Emotional Benefits of Walking
Walking not only benefits our physical health but also has a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being. It’s like giving your brain a breath of fresh air.
Dr. Dan Siegel, a well-known psychiatrist, describes how walking enhances our brain’s connectivity. It stimulates the release of neurochemicals that improve focus, memory, and overall cognitive function. So, if you’re struggling with concentration at work, a walk might be just what the doctor ordered.
Prioritizing Self Care in Your Daily Routine
Now that we understand the benefits of walking, how do we actually incorporate it into our daily routine? It all starts with prioritizing self care.
Psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, emphasizes the importance of making self care a non-negotiable part of our day. Just like we wouldn’t skip a meal or a crucial work meeting, we shouldn’t skip taking care of ourselves.
Overcoming Obstacles to Incorporating Self Care
As with any new habit, roadblocks might arise when trying to incorporate self care into our routine. Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough time or worry about what others will think. But remember, self care is not selfish.
Dr. Brené Brown, a renowned psychologist, reminds us that self care is essential for building resilience. By taking care of ourselves first, we can show up fully for others. So, let go of any guilt or judgment, and embrace the power of self care.
Setting Realistic Goals for Walking
Now that you’re ready to prioritize self care through walking, it’s essential to set realistic goals. Start small and gradually increase your walking time or distance.
Dr. Robert Maurer, a behavioral psychologist, recommends starting with just five minutes of walking each day. By making it attainable, you’re more likely to stick with it and feel motivated to increase your walking as time goes on.
Incorporating Walking into Your Work Schedule
One of the best ways to ensure you actually take that walk is by incorporating it into your work schedule. Treat it like a meeting with yourself, and block off time on your calendar.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Ned Hallowell, advises setting reminders on your phone or computer to prompt you to take a break and go for your walk. By making it a routine, it becomes an integral part of your workday.
Choosing the Right Walking Route
When it comes to walking, variety is key to keep things interesting. Choose different routes to explore the world around you.
As famous psychologist, Dr. Carl Rogers, once said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Embrace that wisdom and let your walking route take you on a journey of self-discovery and growth.
Enhancing Your Walk with Mindfulness or Meditation Techniques
Walking can be more than just a physical exercise; it can also be a chance to cultivate mindfulness. As you walk, focus on your breath and the sensations in your body.
The renowned mindfulness expert, Jon Kabat-Zinn, encourages bringing awareness to each step, feeling the ground beneath your feet, and immersing yourself in the present moment. And suddenly, your walk becomes a transformative experience.
Dealing with Inclement Weather or Time Constraints
While we’d love for every walk to be accompanied by perfect weather, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Don’t let rain or snow deter you from your self care routine.
Psychiatrist and sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus, suggests having a backup plan for indoor walking, such as using a treadmill or walking around your home or office building. Adaptability is the key to sticking with your self care goals.
Finding Accountability and Support for Your Walking Routine
Walking with a buddy can provide the extra motivation and accountability needed to stick with your routine. Find a coworker or friend who shares your interest in self care and make it a team effort.
Famous psychologist, Dr. Albert Bandura, emphasizes the role of social support in maintaining new habits. By sharing your walking journey, you can inspire others and be inspired in return.
Incorporating Other Self Care Practices into Your Walk
Why limit your self care to just walking? You can make your walks even more enriching by incorporating other self care practices.
Dr. Jud Brewer, a mindfulness expert, suggests listening to calming music, engaging in deep breathing exercises, or even practicing gratitude while on your walk. Let your self care evolve and expand beyond just putting one foot in front of the other.
Reflecting and Processing Your Workday During Your Walk
Walking can be a time of reflection and processing. Use this opportunity to review your workday, celebrate your accomplishments, and identify areas for growth.
Dr. Susan David, a psychologist and emotional agility expert, encourages using walking as a chance to check in with your emotions and practice self-compassion. Allow your walk to be a reset button for your mind and soul.
Celebrating Milestones and Progress
Don’t forget to celebrate your milestones and progress along the way. Each step you take is a testament to your commitment to self care.
Famed psychologist, Dr. Carol Dweck, advocates for a growth mindset, where effort and progress are valued over perfection. So, give yourself a pat on the back and acknowledge the journey you’ve embarked on.
Adapting Your Walking Routine to Changing Work Circumstances
Life is full of changes, and so is your work schedule. But that doesn’t mean you have to let go of your self care routine. It just means adapting it to fit your new circumstances.
Psychiatrist and author, Dr. Irvin Yalom, encourages flexibility in self care practices. Be open to exploring new walking routes, adjusting your walking time, or even incorporating walking breaks throughout your workday. Embrace the dance of change and keep your self care routine alive.
In conclusion, taking a walk before leaving work is a simple yet powerful act of self care. By prioritizing self care, understanding the benefits of walking, and incorporating it into your work routine, you can nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. So, lace up your shoes and step into a world of self care, one stride at a time.