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Self-Care Tips for Administrative Professionals

As a board leader and serial entrepreneur, I highly value my self-care and that of those who support my organizations. Self-care is an essential part of maintaining one’s health and impact in all the activities of a meaningful life, both professionally and personally. It’s for this reason that I take an annual solo trip to the woods, to unplug from technology as much as possible and reconnect with myself and the calmness of nature. For me, it’s as much self-care as it is reflection, and I emerge from it more focused and intentional for my future endeavors.

In my experiences of working with many administrative professionals, I’ve witnessed firsthand how they thrive on helping others. As they prioritize helping their team, they sometimes lose sight of their own well-being. I believe it’s key to value self-care and not stigmatize it as selfishness. If you’re reading this, I hope you agree. Taking care of yourself helps you feel your best and trickles through the work you do. Here are some must-do self-care tips specifically for administrative professionals to incorporate into everyday life.

  1. Prioritize Meals
    Valuing mealtimes is not only important for our bodies — fueling us with healthy food to keep us going through the day — but it’s also crucial for our mental health. Taking a break from our desk allows us to stop and refresh, returning to work feeling better. Even if we’re working from home, eating with others is a great way to break up the day. In a recent study, almost 90% of American workers said that lunch breaks made them feel rejuvenated and ready to return to work.
  2. Move Your Body
    The importance of moving your body throughout the day, even if only a little bit here and there, cannot be overlooked. Getting up and going for a short walk around the block gets the blood flowing and helps you re-energize, and it’s also an excellent way to get some mental space outside of the office.
  3. Stay Hydrated
    Something as simple as drinking enough water throughout the day is one of the easiest ways to stay happy and healthy. While the exact amount of water you need can vary for your height and weight, experts say we do need to stay hydrated to remain at our physical and mental peak.
  4. Set Boundaries
    Healthy boundaries are the key to any relationship, so it’s no surprise that they’re just as important at the office. As an administrator, your job description may constantly be in flux, adjusting to whatever the executive(s) you support needs from you at any moment. While it’s tempting to say yes to every request that crosses your desk, setting professional boundaries can help to mitigate people’s expectations, communicating politely to them that you are just one person and that you will get to their request as soon as you are able.
  5. Delegate
    Since taking breaks from the office is such a key part of self-care, it’s important to have a plan in place, so you’re able to fully step away without worrying about things while you’re gone. Having a point person in place to take over for you is ideal, so you can fill them in on all necessary details as well as create systems and workflows to make your life easier both in and out of the office.
  6. Take Your Vacation
    Once you have your systems in place, it makes it easy for you to take a holiday and enjoy it to the fullest. If you have PTO, it’s meant to be used, so plan ahead as much as possible and take advantage of it. If you don’t have anyone to delegate to, have a conversation with your manager and set the expectation that there may be some tasks that won’t get done while you’re on vacation. And, of course, use your sick days when you need them — staying home and resting when you’re sick is a far better choice than pushing through and prolonging your sickness (and possibly spreading it to others if you’re in a physical office).
  7. Communicate
    It’s important for work to be a place where you feel comfortable speaking up about both the good and the bad. Psychological safety, or the feeling of being able to speak your mind without being punished or humiliated, is crucial to any healthy workplace. Voicing your concerns about your well-being to your colleagues and superiors can help you take the steps needed to be your best, both at work and in your personal life.

Recognizing that your mental health is worth it is the first step toward establishing a self-care routine, and being the best you can not only affect your own well-being but also affects those around you. Starting with these simple yet actionable steps can have a huge impact on your role as an admin. Effectively caring for others starts with self-care.

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