Queered & Careered: Five Unconventional Ways to Honor Yourself at Work

To me, honoring myself is all about creating fun, rejuvenating, life affirming practices that can help me to stay grounded and practice self-compassion. Though many of these practices have changed over the years, I figured that I’d adapt a few of my favorite ones for the workplace.


1. Send a Letter to Your Future Self

Yes, I have done this a few times. And, yes, many people find it weird. But seriously, what an amazing affirming practice to use at work! At the beginning of each year, write a letter to yourself about what you hope to accomplish at work. Write down your goals and dreams as it concerns your current job or a job you hope to have one day. Keep this letter in your desk or tape it to the back of your planner and set a reminder in your phone to read the letter at different points over the course of the year. You can decide to write a new letter if your goals have changed or you can read the old letter and highlight accomplishments as you go along. This is a great practice to keep track of your goals and it feels like you’re having conversations with multiple yous as the year goes on!

2. Practice Visualization

My favorite story about visualization goes back to my first year of grad school. It was a stressful semester and I was getting bubble tea with a friend when she admitted: “Sometimes I just sit and daydream about the outfit I’m going to wear to graduation.” We both started laughing, but then I said “What if we actually went out and bought the dresses we’re going to wear to graduation in a year?” Though we didn’t end up doing it, I’ve thought about that concept ever since.

We should all have goals at work (even if the goal is getting out of there as quickly as possible). One of the best ways we can accomplish our goalsis by going back to our childhood selves and visualize who we hope to become. If it works for Olympic athletes, why shouldn’t it work for us? The next time you’re feeling stressed at work, close your eyes and envision yourself on your couch at home, binge watching Chopped after a productive day. Or make a list of all the people you’re going to thank when you win that next big award. Or as you’re finishing up that grad school degree start referring to yourself as Doctor in your journal. Visualization works use it to enrich yourself at work.

3. Write a Permission Slip

Before shame-researcher, writer and Professor Brene Brown met Oprah Winfrey, she wrote herself a permission slip:

“Brene, I give you full permission to be yourself and completely nerd out over the fact that you’re meeting Oprah today.”

She placed it in her purse and carried it with her throughout the day as a reminder to herself. Not everyone needs a physical permission slip, but on some days when you need the extra help, it can be a great reminder of the intentions you have set for yourself. Write a permission slip before job interviews, meetings, presentations, or difficult tasks at work. I’ll start.

“I, Tiara, officially give you, my reader, permission to take a BREAK today. You’re still enough even if all of it doesn’t get done.”

4. Make an Altar to Yourself

This is my favorite! If you have a desk at work, decorate it with some of your favorite quotes, pictures, and objects. My desk is covered with pastel post-it notes and pens, affirmation cards, journals, and whatever books I am currently reading. When I need to connect and/or relax at work, I know that I have these objects to interact with. They bring me home- back to my deepest self. What objects or items ground you when you’re at work?

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a desk, do what all the smart witches do and create a pocket altar! Keep a picture of your loved ones in your wallet or keep a rose quartz crystal in your locker.

5. Honor Yourself by Honoring Others

My old mentor once told me that “we don’t talk enough about gratitude in professional spaces.” I completely agree. Who helped you this week at work? Who said something that really made you think? Who inspired you with their words of affirmation or helped you with that task so that you didn’t have to stay late (again)? Honor yourself by honoring someone else. Write a thank you card or treat a colleague to lunch. Honor the people around you who uplift you to be your best self. Gratitude can be a powerful practice to use at work, not only for yourself, but for those around you.


Why do you think it is so important to honor yourself at work? How are you going to show appreciation to someone that honored you this week? Do you have any unconventional ways that you honor yourself, maintain motivation, or stay connected at work?

Tiara’s six word memoir is “born with questions in her mouth.” By day, she works as a sassy, affirmation-card-wielding Career Coach. After hours, she is a creative writer, book reviewer (@booknerdspells), and unofficial bubble tea ambassador. Tiara writes angsty fiction and essays about intersectionality, mermaids, reading, spirituality, being queer, and traveling. She hates beets and people who touch her hair.

Tiara has written 16 articles for us.

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