Self-care is typically considered a solo activity; however, when combined with socialization, camaraderie and mutual support, self-care activities for groups can be a fulfilling addition to your workplace.
An important step to creating a group activity targeted toward self-care is to gauge the interest of your potential participants. For example, some groups may be more interested in physical fitness, and others may prefer to learn new recipes. Bring one or more of the following ideas to your participants and see how they would like to invest in group activities for self-care.
Group fitness is a great way to integrate self-care into the workplace. Large, successful companies such as Aetna and Twitter offer yoga classes to their employees. But yoga isn't the only group fitness option. Consider walking groups, Zumba class or circuit training at the company gym.
Exercise has both physical and psychological benefits, and engaging in these activities as a group can encourage people to be consistent and reap those benefits in abundance.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Modern workplaces are full of distractions. Our email, social media, business phone and personal phones are all competing for our attention, which ultimately hurts productivity and affects our mental state.
Offering courses on mindfulness, or providing meditation classes for employees, can help them regain their focus on their current task, improve their working memory and reduce stress. Carving out time for your office to take a few minutes of distraction-free focused relaxation can make a big difference to the meaningfulness of your meetings, managing coworker conflicts and producing quality work.
Dog Walking or a Pet-Friendly Workplace
There's something about having your best friend at work with you that makes the work much easier. Having dogs or cats in the workplace take some special considerations — food, water, elimination, allergies, etc. — but if it works out, it can have many benefits.
Taking the dogs out for a walk can qualify as physical activity, and reduce time spent sitting. Dogs are routinely used as therapy animals in a hospital setting because of how they help to reduce anxiety and alleviate boredom for patients. Additionally, workers who are worried about leaving their pets at home for an extended period of time won't feel like they need to rush home to their animals.
Healthy Food Potluck and Recipe Swap
The modern workplace is adept at using food as a way to increase socialization. We often find ourselves at odds with our desire to go out for a tasty lunch and chat with our coworkers versus eating the healthy lunch we packed for ourselves. We socialize by bringing bagels to training meetings and eating cake to celebrate birthdays. But an important part of self-care is to choose healthy, nourishing food.
A healthy diet can do wonders for both our emotional state and our physical health, but sometimes we can get stuck in a rut. Of the group activities for self-care, a healthy recipe swap can be the most delicious and fun. Hosting a healthy food potluck with a recipe swap on a monthly or quarterly basis can provide important socialization and camaraderie, as well as help people reach their personal health goals.
You don't have to do self-care alone! Self-care for groups is a great way to enrich your workplace, and increase satisfaction and overall wellness for your employees.