Prioritising Self-Care as an HR Professional
HR professionals: The unsung heroes of the working world.
As an HR professional, you are responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of your organisation's employees. You have to deal with the challenges of managing a diverse group of people, each with their unique needs and preferences.
While you strive to support them, it's easy to forget to take care of your own mental and emotional wellbeing.
This May, we’re supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 and its theme of anxiety. Anxiety and stress are common emotions that can affect anyone, including HR professionals. It’s one of the many reasons mindfulness in the workplace is so important.
This blog discusses the importance of looking after yourself as an HR professional, especially during the "new normal" of remote work, and provides some tips on how to do so.
Why Self-Care is important in HR, too
Taking care of yourself should be a priority, especially when you are responsible for taking care of others.
According to Leeds Mind Mindful Employer Network, 1 in 6 workers report experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses. HR employees are often the first point of contact for employees who are facing difficulties. It could be anything from a conflict with a colleague to a serious personal problem that is affecting their work. While you are there to support them, it can be difficult emotionally and mentally to deal with everyone else's challenges on top of your own.
This can be made all the more complicated with the new normal of remote work bringing about its own set of challenges. Remote working from home - full-time or hybrid - can make it a lot harder to switch off, and blurring the line between ‘home’ and ‘work’.
Self-care is a form of mindfulness (and if you are not quite sure about what Mindfulness is, have a quick look at this blog article 'what is mindfulness?'). Mindfulness can help you manage stress, improve your overall mental and physical health, and enable you to be more effective in your role through workplace wellbeing training.
It's vital to have your own staff wellbeing ideas and coping mechanisms both in and out of work. By doing so, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout.
Top Tips For Practising Self-Care
As an HR manager, it's easy to get caught up in the demands of your role and focus solely on the wellbeing of your team. It can be difficult managing the demands of others as well as yourself, personally and professionally. Plus, in the new normal world of remote and hybrid work, it can be challenging to separate work and home life.
If you’re looking for some wellbeing ideas for staff to implement into staff wellbeing policy, or are interested in mindfulness for yourself, here are some tips for practising self-care as an HR professional:
1. Set clear boundaries
It's essential to set boundaries between your work and personal life. Set clear working hours and avoid checking work emails or messages outside of those hours.
2. Take regular breaks
Taking short breaks throughout the day can help you recharge and refocus. Take a walk, stretch, or do some deep breathing exercises.
3. Connect with others offline
Connect with your colleagues, friends, and family members. Having a healthy relationship with technology by disconnecting can help you manage stress and improve your overall wellbeing.
4. Prioritise your rest
Getting enough, consistent sleep and effective rest is key to your mental and physical health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and if it is too challenging right now, look into restful breaks throughout the day: a 20 minutes nap after lunch can do wonders if you're working from home!
5. Practice mindfulness habits
Mindfulness can help you reduce stress and improve your focus. Take a few minutes every day to practise mindfulness exercises like meditation or deep breathing.
6. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall health. Find an activity you enjoy, like yoga, running, or swimming, and make it a part of your routine. If you’re working remotely, try going for a walk during your lunch hour, or try stretch exercises at your desk.
Develop a Wellbeing Strategy
A wellbeing strategy is a structured plan that outlines how to promote and support mental and physical health among the team. This can include initiatives such as regular check-ins, flexible work arrangements, and access to employee assistance programmes.
Having a wellbeing strategy is important to ensure the team's physical and mental wellbeing and, in turn, maintain their productivity and engagement. This is particularly important in today's remote work environment where the line between work and personal life can become blurred. Without a wellbeing strategy, it is easy to overlook your own wellbeing and that of your team members.
A wellbeing strategy also provides a framework for evaluating and addressing your own wellbeing needs.
By leading by example and making self-care a priority, you can create a culture of wellbeing within your team.
These are the five main benefits to a consistent, well-structured wellbeing strategy:
Demonstrates a commitment to employees and shows you care
Can help to increase staff productivity
Reduces sickness, absence, and presenteeism
Attracts new talent and increases retention rates
Ultimately, a wellbeing strategy is an investment in your team's health and happiness, which can lead to increased retention and a more productive, engaged workforce.
Find out more about the benefits of and how to implement a strong wellbeing strategy for you and your organisation in our blog.
Workshops & Webinars for Self-Care and Corporate Wellbeing
“Self care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” - Elanor Brownn
HR professionals play an important role in supporting the wellbeing of their employees, but it's equally important to take care of yourself. By prioritising self-care, setting boundaries, and utilising available resources, you can enhance your wellbeing and better serve those around you.
Remember, self-care isn't selfish – it's a need!
Looking for health and wellbeing courses online and in-person? Mind It offers tailored mental health and wellbeing training and corporate mindfulness workshops, including:
Dealing With Anxiety & Fear - A session covering the origins of anxiety and fear, common signs to look out for, and effective strategies to help improve your resilience.
Digital Wellbeing - A workshop or webinar that focuses on work-life balance strategies, with tips to get away from screens, logging off, and using digital tools in a way that serves your wellbeing.
Declutter Your Space (And Mind!) - A workshop or webinar offering practical tips for decluttering mentally and physically, which is key to making space for connection, productivity, thoughts, feelings, and overall wellbeing.
For more guidance and information, get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.