The stress of working from home, sitting at a computer all day, and meetings can play havoc on the body and the mind. What is the answer? Self-care. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can perform at the highest level possible, prevent disease, and promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Incorporating self-care throughout the day can increase productivity, energy levels, and reduce burnout. Gina DeLapa (2021) suggests that creating a culture of self-care in an organization can prevent burnout and promote higher levels of productivity.
Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can perform at the highest level possible, prevent disease, and promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Taking a few minutes throughout the day to practice self-care can be beneficial for the employee and the company. Research shows that employees would like to take more frequent breaks throughout the day and 90% of North American employees feel refreshed after taking breaks (Tork, 2018). Other benefits include staying focused on the task at hand, processing and retaining information, and developing healthier habits. Promoting self-care and regular breaks throughout the day can promote healthy behaviors, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the bottom line.
The science behind self-myofascial release is to increase the function of the parasympathetic nervous system to promote relaxation. (Beardsley & Skarabot, 2015). Promoting relaxation or “rest and digest” as it is commonly known is good for the body. Kim, Park & Headrick (2017) further supported relaxation activities such as stretching during micro-breaks further promoted relaxation and increased job performance.
What if we called these micro-breaks “recess” or “recess at work”? Sounds like a fun way to take care of the mind and the body while at work. Other beneficial self-care treatments that are easy to do include breathing, muscle engagement, changing your environment, and moving frequently throughout the day. These activities produce the same benefits as kids get during recess at school. Recess at work could include self-massage or self-myofascial release using tools such as a hand-held foam roller or compression ball. So, Get Your Recess Rolling, get moving and have fun!! We can even make a game out of it to engage co-workers and promote friendly competitions.
One area of self-care that is beneficial and easy to do is incorporating movement, breathing, muscle engagement, and change of environment throughout the day.
Beardsley, B.A., & Skarabot, J. (2015). Effects of self-myofascial release: A systemic review. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 19(4), 747-758. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2015.08.007
DeLapa, G. (2021, January 18). The Importance of Implementing Self-Care Into the Workplace. https://www.smallbizdaily.com/importance-implementing-self-care-workplace/
Kim, S., Park, Y., & Headrick, L. (2018). Daily micro-breaks and job performance: General work engagement as a cross-level moderator. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103(7), 772–786. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000308
Tork Take Back the Lunch Break Research Survey. (2018). https://cdntorkprod.blob.core.windows.net/docs-c5/763/185763/original/tork-takes-back-survey.pdf