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How to Incorporate Self-Care Into the Workday

Written By Amy Friederich, Licensed Attorney and Certified Yoga Teacher at Amy Lynn Yoga

A simple google search of the term “self-care” will generate nearly 3 million results. Go ahead and try it. I will wait here…

Yet, it is a difficult concept to understand. That is because there is no correct definition. It means something different for everyone. What works best for me might not work for you and vice versa. All you need to know is that it is imperative you set aside time every day to do something for you, even if it is just five minutes. Start with Rule #1: Be Gentle with yourself. We are all living during unprecedented times and doing the best we can. Do not compare yourself to others.

Below are some examples of things you can do during the workday to ensure you are staying healthy, both physically and mentally:

• Create a Zen desk and office space free of clutter and unnecessary papers. Do include a few favorite personal items. For example, I have an elephant figurine, a small plant, and a picture of my fiancé and me in Helsinki, Finland.

• Take breaks away from your desk and stay off your phone to limit screen time. Take a walk, read a book, or chat with a coworker.

• Eat your lunch away from your desk so you can be mindful while you eat and enjoy your food.

• Go outside! Take a few minutes to walk around the block, especially when the afternoon slump hits.

• Practice good posture and use a standing desk on and off throughout the day.

• Stretch from your chair or your standing desk periodically throughout the day.

• Set an alarm or use a Fitbit to remind you to get up and walk around every hour or two.

• Practice simple breathing techniques to help you stay calm and focused. For example, inhale for 4 counts and exhale for 4 counts. Repeat for one minute.

• Drink plenty of water. Weigh yourself in pounds and divide by two, that is how many ounces of water a day you need to drink.

• Socialize with your coworkers even if it is virtually. Having a friend or confident in the workplace increases workplace satisfaction.

• Ask your company about its employee wellness program. You might be surprised to learn they offer free counseling, gym memberships, or even something fun like lunchtime yoga!

The above examples are from my Self-Care for Professionals Webinar where I share additional benefits, examples, and resources. I also lead attendees through a brief office yoga routine and breathing exercise to get them out of their comfort zones. This program is eligible for CLE credit in certain states.

To learn more about all things self-care, mindfulness, employee wellness, or yoga, please contact me directly at or visit my website at

The above blog was written for Emily Hirsekorn, J.D., of Hirsekorn Coaching. Emily offers life and leadership coaching for lawyers.

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