Virtual Primary Care

Self-Care at Work

Healthy Habits for Professional Productivity and Well-Being Series Pt. 4

This month’s blog is centered around self-care at work and general health habits for professional productivity and well-being. It emphasizes the importance of self-care at work.  

Welcome back! In our previous Healthy Habits series, we discussed the importance of and provided empowerment strategies for sleep hygiene, establishing a healthy morning routine, and goal setting for professional productivity and well-being. As the Director of Behavioral Health at Lyric Health, our monthly virtual care blog is centered around work productivity and well-being.  Ask yourself how often you focus on your self-care at work and how it can help you stay energized, focused, and balanced. I’d like to

I have often discussed the importance of self-care at home, primarily through proper eating, exercise, and spending quality time with family and friends. However, self-care should not only be restricted to home or leisure activities. Most people believe the most stressful part of their day is associated with work. 

According to the American Institute of Stress, these are some of the latest statistics around stress (Feb. 15, 2023).

  • 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress
  • 25% of US workers say their job is the number one stressor in their lives 
  • One million Americans miss work daily because of stress
  • 76% of US workers report that workplace stress affects their relationships

These are staggering numbers reported by US workers, so it makes sense that self-care should also be extended and practiced in our work environment, whether at the office, at home, or both, as part of a hybrid work schedule.  

What are some easy-to-implement self-care habits?

Let’s discuss some easy-to-implement self-care and healthy habit strategies we can establish as part of our work routine. By this time, we are all educated enough to know that our body is our temple, and if we want to be energized and productive, we must enrich our bodies with healthy foods. Believe it or not, it’s not just manual labor or constant movement that burns calories, but it turns out that the brain also burns calories to perform basic functions. Therefore, it is unsurprising that while in the fervor of work activities, we have the unhealthy habit of reaching for sugary snacks to replenish our energy or feed our anxiety. Over time, this can contribute to poor health and obesity. So, instead of unhealthy snacks, keep a few healthy options like nuts, granola, bananas, and peanut butter at your desk to stay energized, especially when there isn’t enough time to grab a proper lunch or meal.  

Speaking of lunch, a heavy meal requires energy for digestion, which may leave you feeling tired or sleepy. Instead, try having a light lunch, such as a salad, a small sandwich, or even an energy shake, to stay energized for the rest of the workday. An unbalanced diet can affect your overall health, especially your gut health.  They say the road to good health is paved with good intestines. To learn more about Gut health and how the US diet can be changed, read the Lyric Health blog titled Nourishing from Within: Gut Health.

Remember that part of your daily diet is also what you drink. Drinking or sipping water throughout the day can quench your thirst, reduce your appetite for snacks, and stay hydrated. It is no wonder that designer water bottles are such a thing! They are portable and pretty. Socializing is also a very healthy habit and part of self-care, so when you can, try to share a meal with your office mates or have an online lunch date.

Tips on how to break up your workday as part of your self-care

While it’s great to be hyper-focused while doing your work, that constant energy level could be more sustainable and may cause you to get tired and drift cognitively. This can be counteracted by scheduling or taking spontaneous breaks throughout the day. Get up from your desk and take a short walk. When working from home, every hour or two, I will spend five minutes in my garden getting a breath of fresh air or taking in some sun. Also, consider keeping plants in your work environment in that they connect you to nature and bring a sense of calm and beauty. 

Adding stretching as part of your daily self-care

I have often discussed the importance of stretching, especially before bedtime. But stretching is also helpful at the office because prolonged sitting at your desk or computer terminal can cause muscular tension and pain. Take a five or 10-minute break two or three times a day to do a series of stretches so your body and mind can feel better. You can go to, which will show you a series of simple breathing and stretching exercises that you can do from your desk and chair.   

Finally, it is important to acknowledge your work throughout the day with a shutdown routine that will give you a sense of accomplishment and well-being. You can do that by reviewing the completed tasks from your to-do list, writing up new goals for the next day, closing your computer windows, tidying up your space, and calling it a day by rewarding yourself with whatever brings you joy.

Next month, we will wrap up our Healthy Habits series with self-care empowerment strategies for overall physical and emotional wellness.

Dr. Jeffrey Gardere
Dr. Jeffrey Gardere


Dr. Jeff is a monthly contributor for Lyric Health and one of the most widely sought-after experts in the mental health field.

About Lyric

Lyric’s virtual primary care improves employees’ lives with personalized primary care, urgent care, mental health services, and caregiver support leading to better health outcomes while reducing employer costs.

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