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Papers &

Journal Articles

Developing Self-Care at Work
PhD study October 2013

ABSTRACT: This PhD Study explored the practical development of self-care at work. The study enabled an understanding of self-care at work as a phenomena, and enabled the practitioners involved to free themselves from ideological and other chains holding them back from developing their own self-care at work, to such a point that in the end, they realised ‘I matter’ at work, and that self-care at work matters.

By Jane Keep

The findings show that it is not normal for there to be a focus on ‘me’ and consider self truly during the working day, and that many people see clients, colleagues or their boss as ‘king’ consistently putting them first before considering self. The findings also show if we do not self-care at work, and, we keep working when we are feeling under ‘par’ it is uncomfortable for us to work in this way, and the quality of the services we offer can suffer.


Self-Care at work includes not only traditionally cited aspects in workplace well-being such as exercise and nutrition, it also includes preparing and planning for work, maintaining perspective, learning to say ‘no’, and, the willingness to make self-care at work an ongoing self inquiry process, using self observation, and reflective moments. With simple yet profound effects, using the physical body as a barometer on a daily basis, guiding what works and what doesn’t work is fundamental to developing and deepening self-care at work. The study showed that developing self-care at work makes a difference to the quality of services offered.

Key Words:  • Self-care • Well-being • Quality • Work

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