Thanks to our Admin Week festivities, Admingling events, and vibrant online community, we get to spend time talking shop with Office Ninjas from all over the country. Between productivity hacks and goal-tracking strategies, we cover a lot of ground and touch on a variety of different topics. Yet, no matter what’s being discussed, one issue always seems to come up: self-care.
Ninjas value self-care. They know that overall wellness is important. Yet many struggle to prioritize it. It’s the whole “cobbler with no shoes” predicament; when it’s your job to make sure others have what they need to succeed, you don’t always remember to do the same for yourself.
Ready to finally prioritize self-care?
We combed all of our recent Admingling discussion notes to find what self-care savvy Ninjas — the pros who get it in theory and execution — have told us about their practices, including what self-care really looks like (hint: it’s more than just pedicures) and how to find ways to fit it into your everyday. We picked out the pearls and shared them below.
Note to Self: Care in 2019
There are many ways to start practicing self-care this year — or take your current routine to the next level. Here’s what wellness-focused Ninjas have to say. Pick two (or as many as you like, you overachiever!), and commit to more self-caring today.
Let Go of “Work-Life Balance”
It sounds counterintuitive, but chasing after an abstract concept of work-life balance may actually increase your stress level more than any perceived imbalance.
Savvy Denver and Los Angeles Ninjas have learned through experimentation to blend personal and professional demands, knowing that a 9-to-5 schedule or “leaving work at the office” just isn’t always realistic.
Maybe they answer emails at night BUT also periodically work from the comfort of home. Or they accept the long hours that come with big projects BUT make sure to be 100% present when they spend time with their friends and family.
Bottom line: the ideal work situation is the one that both you and your manager negotiate in partnership — and these Ninjas agree that taking the first step is on you.
Invest in Your Career
When you feel strong in your career, you feel good about yourself. Commit to making time for professional development, whether that’s taking a course, learning a new skill, reading educational material, or attending a professional networking event (like Admingling!).
In their notes, Dallas Ninjas were adamant that this is another case where you’ll need to take the initiative. Not every manager is clued in; so, if you wait for your boss to suggest professional development, you may be waiting a long time!
Make Time to Move
The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are undeniable, but remember, you don’t need to spend an hour at the gym every day to be fit.
Busy San Francisco Ninjas find creative ways to sneak movement into their packed schedules. Biking to work, lunchtime runs, breakroom yoga, 10-minute stairwell sprints — it all counts.
Bonus: Exercise is also a great way to clear your head or calm anxiety.
Approach the Day With Mindfulness
Worrying about the past or constantly fixating on what comes next only robs you of the present. But the anxiety can be difficult to silence. A study from the Max Planck Institute found that meditation not only changes the structure and function of the brain; it also changes how you think moment-to-moment.
Meditation and mindfulness practices help some Ninjas, including San Francisco Ninja (and 2018 All-Star) Mimy, feel calm and present, even when they’re surrounded by chaos.
Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D
The majority of Ninjas we spoke to agree — there’s no better elixir than a simple breath of fresh air.
Make it a goal to step away from your desk and get outside at least once a day. Chances are you won’t have any trouble convincing your colleagues to have lunch al fresco, trade the conference room for a walking meeting, or join you for a coffee run.
Find Your Mantra
Washington D.C. Ninjas shared the personal mantras that help them remain calm and focused, especially during challenging times. Ninja Ali likes to keep her mantra front-and-center at her desk (see above).
To create your own mantra, choose a quote, phrase, or word that speaks to you (scroll through Instagram or Pinterest if you need a little inspiration), print it out, and post it in a place you see every day.
If you’re feeling particularly motivated, turn your mantra into a piece of visual art, like a vision board, mixed media collage, or painting.
You’ve noticed the connection between your nutrition and your productivity, right? Junk food gives you a temporary rush… followed by an inevitable crash. While healthy snacks (like the ones curated in an Oh My Green subscription snack box!) fuel your brain for hours.
Keep a few nutritious goodies at your desk or, better yet, use your Ninja powers to overhaul the office pantry and fill it with wholesome options for the entire team to enjoy daily.
Go Ahead and Get That Massage
Yes, there’s more to self-care than massages, manicures, and fizzy bath bombs.
But, as noted by Ninjas at Admingling events in NYC, SF, Denver, and Dallas, sometimes simply rewarding yourself with a spa-like treatment after a hard week really is the best medicine. Yet, many, in the same breath, admitted it’s way too easy to wave off those ideas as unnecessary…
In 2019, let’s stop categorizing self-care as a luxury or self-indulgence, and as the priority it ought to be instead.
Now, let’s hear from YOU!
Are you ready for a healthy change in 2019 or are you already self-care savvy? Which of these tactics will you try to prioritize your own self-care?