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How to be your own work valentine

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Flowers, chocolates, singing telegrams... some Valentine’s Day delights are just sweeter (and less weird) when they come from somebody else, especially at the office. But there’s plenty you can do for yourself when it comes to at-work self-care. I’m not talking about hand cream and a face mask, I’m talking about how you can treat yourself to build self-confidence, set boundaries, be a better leader, and grow creatively.


I spoke to Kari Clark, Founder and CEO of Uplift, a platform for companies to advance working moms by turning motherhood into a career advantage, about what self-love looks like at work (the kind you won’t get fired for, that is).


Start With The Physical: Take Three Deep Breaths

I *know* you know this already, but a 20 to 30 second pause to breathe can change your entire day. When you feel yourself getting worked up, overwhelmed, or stuck, take your hands off the keyboard, inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat twice. You’ll get some mental space, and destress. Kari also recommends doing this between meetings or when switching from one project or task to another--it’ll help you clear your mind and focus on what’s next.


List Your Accomplishments: Micro Edition

Before you wrap up your workday, make a quick list of all the things you did today. Gretchen Rubin calls this your “Ta-Da List,” and it’s a powerful, visible affirmation of your accomplishments. Instead of dwelling on what you didn’t do and ending your day worried about what’s still on your to-do list, take a minute to pat yourself on the back for what you did do. It’s often more than you think!


List Your Accomplishments: Macro Edition

Make a list of all the amazing things you’ve done: jobs you’ve gotten, presentations you’ve nailed, kids you’ve grown and raised, 10Ks you’ve run, anything that fills you with pride, persona