Mynurva’s Dr Zain Sikafi shares his top tips for promoting self-care in the workplace


Encouraging employees to practise self-care is key to reducing burnout and ensuring your employees stay happy, healthy and thrive. Self-care is about maintaining good mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing, and it’s different for everyone. What’s relaxing and calming for one person, may not be for another. Understanding yourself is critical to good self-care. As our lives become busier, and the boundaries between work and home get blurred, employees often struggle to find time for themselves, and everyday stresses start to spiral.

You can support your employees to practise good self-care through a number of ways:

1. Get the message out there

Educate employees on the importance of self-care. Share ways in which they can embed self-care into their daily lives. By talking about self-care and driving awareness, you are saying that as an employer, you value and encourage self-care.

2. Offer mental health tools and resources 

This could be giving employees access to meditation and mindfulness exercises, or offering therapy. Therapy is often thought of as something employees engage with when they are really struggling, but it can also be key to protecting and maintaining good mental health. 

3. Be flexible

Offering flexible working patterns is really important. Everyone’s lives are different. Flexibility in the workplace can help employees to manage life’s stresses, and support them to do the things that have a positive impact on their wellbeing.

4. Address the meeting culture

Meetings can be really effective if executed properly, but when they become the everyday norm, they can add stress and pressure. Often employees find themselves in meetings all day with little time to do their actual work. Actions from the various meetings build up, and employees can soon feel overwhelmed.


5. Encourage boundaries 

Changes in work practices and an always on culture, means the boundaries between work and personal lives often become blurred for employees. It’s important to encourage employees to set boundaries.

6. Talk more

Try to create space to talk and listen to your employees. Encouraging open conversations is really important.  Find out how they are doing and how you can better support them. Listen to their ideas. What could you, as the employer, do to encourage better self-care in the workplace? By normalising the wellbeing conversation, employees will be more likely to open up about their own challenges and the ways in which you can support them. 

7. Lead by example

And finally, make sure you yourself are leading by example. Employees will often imitate the behaviours they see around them. If you truly value self-care, then show it. Make sure you take time out for breaks, share your own self-care practices and how they help you. Recognise and reward those who are practising self-care and who have a healthy work life balance. 
A workplace culture begins with care and communication. Encourage open dialogue about self-care and provide the tools necessary for mental wellbeing. Flexibility and respect for boundaries are crucial. Reduce meetings to a maximum of 30 minutes and set agendas, inviting only necessary participants. Lead by example, demonstrating the value of self-care through your actions. By prioritising the wellbeing of your employees, you not only enhance their lives but also cultivate a healthier, more productive workplace environment.

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