How a few minutes of self-care can change your outlook

When things feel unsettled and uncertain, it’s important to remember that you matter too. Self-care isn’t selfish—it’s necessary. Whether big or small, self-care gestures help ground you, ultimately giving you the strength to help others.

Now more than ever, it’s critical for organizations to foster a culture where everyone values employee well-being. Booz Allen’s PowerUp program aims to help our people improve their physical, emotional, and financial wellness. “Our approach is to look at well-being holistically,” says Booz Allen Director of Benefits Carrie Oman. “Emphasizing the importance of emotional well-being at work is essential to our people-first culture.” From online health coaching to a dedicated well-being flexible holiday, employees are encouraged to take time to care for themselves when they need it most.

FOUR favorite ways to regroup and reconnect

1. Practice 4-7-8 breathing

Breathing deeply sends extra oxygen to your brain and triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes calmness. You can practice deep breathing with the 4-7-8 breathing method: inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and breathe out for a count of 8. Just a few minutes of deep breathing will help you disengage from distracting thoughts and refocus.

2. Think thankful

What are you grateful for today? Write down three things, however small, that you’re thankful for in this moment. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” can help reduce anxiety and depression and create a peaceful, happy outlook.

3. Be mindful

If it’s time for a break from your hard work, take a few minutes to be still. Paying attention to the present moment without judgment is a component of a technique called mindfulness. Allow whatever you’re feeling or sensing to just be there. After a few minutes, you may find that you’re calmer and more centered.

4. Give a little

There’s never been a better time to give of yourself, and people have never needed more support. Ask yourself, “How can I help my community?” Donating to a food or clothing drive or making a small monetary donation to a cause that you’re passionate about makes a difference. A little giving can go a long way—especially if we all do it.

5. Make a new connection

Although many of us are working remotely, there’s always someone new to meet—even virtually. Send an email to a new teammate or someone whose career you admire and invite them to chat. Time may be limited, but right now, everyone is grateful for a little extra human contact. Making connections with our colleagues can make collaboration, and work, more fruitful and fun.

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