10 Useful and Engaging Self-Care Activities for Groups
Updated June 24, 2022
Because working in a team and regularly meeting deadlines can affect you both physically and emotionally, performing self-care activities with your group can refresh your minds and bodies. This can improve your efficiency and help you enjoy your work . Knowing some of the most effective self-care activities for groups can be a valuable piece of information, and it can lead to better team cohesion and productivity . In this article, we discuss why self-care is important for teams, provide a list of self-care activities for groups and give tips on how to encourage teammates and coworkers to practice self-care.
Why is self-care important for teams?
The main reason self-care is important in a team environment is that it can prevent premature burnout, which is a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by long periods of constant stress. You can help prevent burnout by giving team members ways to take care of themselves and promoting a culture that encourages self-care. Besides higher productivity, self-care can also strengthen team bonds and improve employee motivation and loyalty.
Related: Guide to Group Dynamics
10 self-care activities for groups
Consider using these 10 self-care activities for groups that you can practice either outside office hours or at predetermined times during the workweek :
1. Having mindful conversations
Productive communication among team members can help participants relieve stress and help them learn good habits from one another. By having mindful conversations, people can candidly express their feelings without the fear of other participants judging or criticizing them. A team can practice mindful conversation either as a group or split into multiple groups of two or more . Although you can have mindful work-related conversations, you can also discuss a wide range of other topics.
2. Exercising outdoors
While exercising in any setting is usually a stress-relieving activity, doing so outdoors can have an even better calming effect. They can comprise group exercise classes, like yoga and aerobics, or various group activities, like hiking, walking and riding bicycles. Taking a break from modern life and technology while engaging in physical activity is beneficial for both your physical and mental health.
3. Sharing old pictures
Sharing childhood pictures among teammates can be an effective bonding method. The team can agree on a day when everyone brings one or more photos and set aside some time for everyone to gather and discuss them. Getting to know such intimate aspects of your teammates' lives can improve your relationship with them and the time you spend looking at pictures of them as children can improve your emotional state.
Related: 22 Trust-Building Activities
4. Practicing mindful eating
Teams can use meal breaks to practice mindful eating, which is the practice of eating a healthy meal within a group while keeping out all other distractions. You can practice it at work by having all participants avoid mobile phones, discussions and other distractions during meals and fully focus on eating. This usually means eating at a slow pace, thoroughly chewing your food and having a grateful attitude regarding the food you're eating.
5. Starting a book club
A book club can be a great way to promote bonding and open communication among team members. It can also act as a distraction from work, as it gives groups other topics of conversation. Having a weekly discussion about a certain book usually motivates participants to read more than they would have otherwise, which can improve their culture and vocabulary.
6. Allowing teams to bring their pets to work
Most people enjoy having pets around and being alongside friendly animals improves their mood. Encouraging team members to bring their pets to work on specific days or whenever their owners want to can improve morale and reduce workplace stress. It's also helpful for the owners, as they don't have to go home to feed and walk their pets during work hours.
7. Practicing group volunteering
Volunteering essentially refers to helping other people while expecting nothing in return and can be an effective self-care practice. Volunteering as a team can help strengthen group bonds. Also, being exposed to people or animals in less fortunate situations than yours can increase gratitude and help team members understand the positive aspects of their lives and careers. You and your team can either choose certain days of the month to take a break and do volunteer work or do it every weekend.
8. Playing board games
Board game creators specifically design them to help people relax and enjoy themselves in groups. Finding a board game that multiple team members are interested in playing and setting aside a few hours at the end of a workday can help everyone unwind and stop focusing on work-related stress. It also improves team cohesion and communication.
9. Watching movies and TV shows together
Having a movie night or watching a TV show that all team members enjoy can help everyone relax. Doing so can also improve inter-team relationships and help team members get to know other aspects of each other's personalities. You can arrange it by setting aside a few hours at the end of the workweek for watching a full movie or a few episodes of a show.
10. Having a karaoke night
Karaoke is a form of entertainment where people sing popular songs while using prerecorded backing tracks. It typically takes place in clubs and bars, making it a team self-care activity that's appropriate for outside office hours. Besides helping team members relax and reduce their stress levels, this also promotes communication among team members and strengthens team bonds.
Tips for encouraging self-care
Consider these tips for encouraging self-care methods within teams:
Understand the team members' needs and preferences. When encouraging self-care among team members, it's usually more efficient to take your time and understand what kind of self-care would work best for that specific group. This usually requires open conversations with each team member to discover what motivates them and what their biggest sources of stress are.
Encourage courses on time management. Not being able to effectively manage time is a common source of stress and dissatisfaction. By teaching team members ways they can use their time to help them prioritize their tasks and create a realistic schedule, you can reduce stress levels and help team members find the time to take care of themselves.
Acknowledge all team members' accomplishments. Having team members who feel appreciated for their work is typically an effective way of promoting self-care. Besides improving morale and confidence, it can also give them a sense of self-worth that motivates them to take better care of their bodies and minds.
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