Imagine this scenario. You’re overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do, way too many projects have piled up at work and in your home, and your calendar is overflowing with overdue tasks. To try and take on these endless tasks you slowly give up aspects of your social life, skip meals, and stop exercising. When we get stressed out, self-care is often something that is sacrificed. The problem is that this actually causes us to have even higher levels of stress.
In our busy society, we can easily sacrifice taking care of ourselves with the belief that the harder we work, the faster we can get it all done. But this approach can end up being counterproductive if your ability to function efficiently is compromised as self-care is essential to daily productivity and overall health.
First, it helps to prevent complete burnout. Also, tending to your needs can reduce the unhealthy effects of stress as self-care is crucial to keeping the body and mind functioning properly. Finally, self-care promotes focus. If you take breaks after intervals of work, you perform at much higher levels of productivity.
Aside from taking regular breaks, it is also important to take the time to eat meals and exercise regularly. Taking the time to nourish the body and work out should be given the same consideration as an important appointment. It may feel like an easier choice to skip exercise due to the amount of time preparing, commuting, working out, and showering, but the payoff of feeling healthy decreases stress levels, and a stronger immune system is all worth the effort.
Include enough time for proper eating and exercise in your daily schedule and you’ll notice that you perform at a higher level and get more work done in your day. Find a way to hold yourself accountable by working out with friends, participating in group classes, hiring a professional trainer, or using an app like All Day or Lift Log.
Additionally, we all know it can be difficult to make healthy eating choices when we’re surrounded by processed foods that are easy to access. Instead of attempting to eat a completely healthy diet, you may find it helpful to focus on one specific eating goal at a time. Try cutting out most saturated fats, reducing carbohydrate or sugar intake, or eating more fruits and vegetables. If you rethink your approach to eating more healthy, the process will be a lot more manageable as you build good eating habits.
Practicing self-care can work as the foundation that allows you to take care of everything else in your life. Isn’t it ironic that the first thing we sacrifice in an attempt to be more productive is our own well-being? If you read this and find that you have fallen out of the practice of taking care of yourself, then follow these tips to help get back on track.