12 Self Care Ideas for When You’re Overworked

by McKenzie Chapman   Ulticareer  | Advice  | Life lesson  | Choose happiness  | Job satisfaction  | Stress  | Work tips  | Self care  | 

Most of us are overworked. We’re stressed out, spend late nights in the office, and sometimes that can mean we let other parts of our life fall further down on our list of priorities.


While you should work hard and do your best job, you also need to take care of yourself. If you don’t nurture your mind, body, and relationships, then you’ll start to fall behind at work too.


One of the most important coping skills you can learn is how to deal with stress. Learn what self care activities work for you, and possibly make lifestyle changes if you need them. Depending on your daily living and other various psychological factors, your coping strategies may differ.


Regardless of which coping mechanism works best for you, learn how to handle stress with a self care plan. Read on for self care tips and reminders about how to keep yourself healthy and happy:



1. Prioritize

Start by reflecting on what’s most important to you and prioritize accordingly. Don’t forget to think about prioritize caring for yourself! There are many coping mechanisms in everyday activities you can employ to avoid social isolation, relieve emotional labor, and focus on stress reduction.

2. Try not to eat junk

It can be hard to prioritize cooking after a long day of work, but eating junk food can make you feel sick and will hurt you in the long run. Try to have just a few easy recipes that you can quickly prepare, or try preparing a large amount of food on weekends to last you through the week.

3. Remember to exercise

Taking care of your body should be a top priority. If your body breaks down, then you won’t be able to work as efficiently. Plus, exercising can help you with sleep problems, boost endorphins (they make you happy!), and can help with your stress management.

4. Get enough sleep

Set a specific amount of time for winding down. Put an alarm on your phone if you need to, and then turn your phone off and put it away. Reading is a great way to get ready for bed, so always have a few books in mind that you’re interested in.

5. Make time for friends

Don’t let work negatively impact your friendships. It’s important to make your friends a priority, even if you feel too busy. Send them short texts to let them know you’re thinking of them, and make plans with them when you can. Practicing social skills can be the same as practicing coping skills for when you’re full of emotional stress due to being overworked. Relying on social support outside of the work place can really help in managing stress and contribute to a better work-life balance.

6. Delegate

Don’t try to take on everything by yourself. Learn how to effectively delegate. This can mean delegating in a work environment, but also for stressful household chores. Ask for help when you need it and don’t be afraid to rely on family support!

7. Learn how to say no

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you can’t realistically complete something, say no. Even say no if you know you can do it, but it isn't necessary and you don’t want to.

8. Take a coffee break

Or a tea break, snack break, fresh-air break—whatever! If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work then take a quick break to focus on a warm cup of your favorite beverage, your breathing, or a quick walk around the block. Whatever you can do to quickly relax and take your mind off work for a few minutes will help alleviate your stress and leave you refreshed.

9. Leave work at work

Set clear boundaries between work and your home life. Don’t bring your laptop home, don’t check your work email at home, try to unplug as much as you can while you’re enjoying your time off.

10. Organize your space

Keep your space decluttered and you’ll instantly be relieved of a common source of stress. If you can easily find things you need, you won’t be worried about losing them and eliminate nervous searches for misplaced items. Plus your mood will improve if your space is aesthetically pleasing.

11. Create routines

Repeat outfits, meals, workouts, etc., and you’ll have less decisions to worry about. If you get bored, shake it up, but having a routine can help you manage stress and spend more of your time getting things done, rather than worrying about your next choice. It can free up time for relaxing!

12. Find a hobby you love

If you don’t already have a hobby that you love, find one! It can feel incredibly rewarding to work on something outside of your job. Explore a variety of things to find what you’re passionate about.


How much of this do you do? Don’t feel like you need to do everything all the time. Just be conscious of the things you can do to make yourself happier, and to take care of your health. Coping with stress is an important way to protect your psychological health, avoid emotional problems, and stave off low self-esteem. Work can feel overwhelming a lot of the time, and it’s easy to get sucked into the daily grind. But taking care of yourself is equally important! We hope these self care ideas have helped you get a head start!


How do you make time for yourself? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by work? Share your story on UltiCareer to help students and others learn what your type of job is really like.

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