Self-care has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years, but it’s more than a passing fad. Self-care encompasses any healthy activity you do to take more ownership of your physical and mental wellness, but unfortunately, it’s often the first thing people ignore when their schedules get hectic.
In honor of International Self-Care Day on July 24, what are some strategies you can use to create more balance in your personal and professional life?
1. Recognize the Symptoms of Burnout
If you’re the kind of person who routinely pushes yourself to take on more work than you can realistically handle, you could be at risk of developing a dangerous form of chronic stress known as burnout. Burnout causes people to have low levels of motivation and productivity and experience a sense of detachment. In some cases, it also leads to forgetfulness and physical symptoms such as muscle aches.
2. Take a Mental Health Day
Are your thoughts about work mostly negative? Do you dread going to your workplace every day? Sometimes, taking a day to de-stress and center yourself can help you feel refreshed and renew your enthusiasm. Use the time for relaxing and treating yourself – not running around doing errands and chores. If your co-workers are supportive and you are comfortable doing so, you can set a positive example by explaining you’re taking a day off from work solely to focus on your mental health.
3. Practice Saying No
You can quickly earn a reputation among your colleagues for being a hard worker with excellent problem-solving skills. Soon, you might find yourself with more responsibilities on your plate than you have time for. Give your to-do list an honest assessment – if it’s already full of more meetings and tasks than you can reasonably tackle, consider delegating them to colleagues and turning down future projects whenever possible. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised how liberating it feels to say no.
4. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
What did you do last week or last month? Many busy professionals can’t remember because as soon as they finish one task, they immediately move on to the next. When you accomplish something – even if it feels small – take a moment to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
5. Update Your Workspace
Your surroundings can significantly impact your productivity levels. Gain more mental clarity by decluttering and redecorating your desk or office to feel like a reflection of your ideal self. Hang family photos or inspirational phrases. Get a plant or two to improve your mental and emotional health, boost your indoor air quality and bring a taste of the outdoors in.
Self-Care Isn’t Selfish
When you get stressed at work, you can slip out of self-care mode. In those times, you may fall into unhealthy patterns like not sleeping enough, eating a non-nutritious diet and abusing alcohol and drugs.
At Providence Treatment, we help professionals struggling with addiction and the adverse effect it has on their relationships and careers. We use a holistic, integrated approach to ensure the best outcomes for our clients. Please contact us today to learn more about what we offer.