Working for a charity can be incredibly rewarding, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its stresses. It can seem like every decision you make is being closely watched and scrutinised by supporters and the media, which can feel very intense.
To help you keep helping others, we have listed our top tips for practicing mindfulness and keeping yourself emotionally energised.
1) Start the day with a mindful minute
Begin each working day with a fresh outlook by choosing a positive message or mantra that you can repeat every morning. When deciding on a phrase, ask yourself what is your goal for the day, how do you want to feel? Your mantra could be as simple as “I am capable, I am focused, I am ready for the day.”
2) Become a single-tasker
Multi-tasking sounds like a great idea, but constantly switching from one task to another can leave you exhausted and frustrated. Let your mind focus on one thing at a time and set some boundaries. This will allow you to give each piece of work the attention it deserves.
3) Set yourself reminders
It can be easy to let your brain go on auto-pilot when performing routine duties, but this means you’re not giving conscious thought to what is in front of you. A simple way to snap yourself out of it is by setting an alert on your phone or computer. Every time your alert goes off it is a reminder to re-focus.
4) Change your mindset
A negative outlook won’t improve a situation, so try to re-program your way of thinking by adopting a growth mindset. A growth mindset is about looking at every situation as an opportunity to learn and expand your knowledge. If you receive negative feedback then don’t see it as a sign of failure, instead, treat it as a starting point to develop your talents and try something new.
5) Practice gratitude
When you’ve worked in the same role for a few years it can be easy to take the things for granted. Try taking a step back to appreciate the positives and learn to let go of any minor inconveniences. An example of this would be if you’ve had to deal with a difficult supporter, afterward take a moment to remember the supporters you’ve helped and the relationships you’ve built with them.
6) Make the most of your breaks
It’s easier said than done when you’re having a hectic day, but it’s important to take a break and let your mind recharge. If possible, use your break time to go outside and take a short walk. Or if you’re having a meeting with a colleague, consider making it a “walking meeting” outside. The change of scenery will give you a break mentally and the gentle exercise will allow your body to feel energised.
7) Be in tune with your body
When you suppress emotions, they can quickly manifest themselves physically. This could be in the form of tensing up, aching or even a headache. If your body is giving you signals that you need to pause and address an issue, make sure you listen. Take a moment to find a quiet place to sit or meditate and reflect on what’s happening in your day.
8) Learn to accept situations
Acceptance can be misinterpreted as giving up, but actually, it shows that you are fully present and acknowledging a situation. There may be times when a project or campaign does not go to plan, but if you can calmly assess and accept any errors then you are giving yourself the opportunity to self-improve.
9) Pace yourself
When you have a full day ahead, slowing down sounds like the last thing you should be doing. Slowing down and immersing yourself in your work will help you to avoid making little mistakes that could easily be avoided by paying closer attention.
10) Leave work at work
Work isn’t going anywhere overnight so let yourself have mental space. Create separate work and home lives, take days off and embrace self-care. When you’re happy and healthy it will show in everything you do.
Start your small steps to mindfulness
Mindful behaviour can take time to master, so try one or two of our tips to start and see if they make a difference to your day. You can then find more tips for creating a happier workplace at www.actionforhappiness.org who have lots of wonderful resources you can share with your colleagues.
Already practice mindfulness? Then share your tips with us in the comments below.