Self-care is often brushed aside for things seen as more important; business meetings, social commitments, family obligations. While these things are important (and can in some cases contribute to self-care), it is important that we take time to ourselves when we need it. This personal investment will not be for nothing; in fact, self-care is important if we want to optimise our performance in any area of our lives. Taking the time to maintain our physical, emotional and mental health can lead to success in many ways.
Helps us to maintain perspective
Self-care, regardless of the form, allows us the time to reflect and therefore better understand ourselves as individuals. We are better able to identify our triggers and put things in to perspective, rearranging our priorities to understand what is important and what isn’t. This perspective contributes to a healthier life as we understand where stress is justified and where we should be more relaxed.
Helps us to keep positive
Self-care is great for our mental and emotional wellbeing. People who invest time in taking care of themselves are more likely to be more optimistic and see the silver linings in bad situations. It is an effective way for maintaining positive moods, rather than succumbing to darker emotions.
Improves our relationships
By investing time in ourselves, we are better placed to interact with and support others. Self-care allows us to maintain our own health and therefore put us in a good place to be able to engage with others and maintain strong relationships.
Improves our work performance
While self-care is sometimes seen as indulgent, it often has a much broader impact that goes beyond our own lives. People who invest in self-care are more likely to be healthier, both physically and mentally, and are therefore better prepared to perform at work. They are likely to be more focused, more emotionally stable and form stronger, more positive relationships. All of these things are highly beneficial in the workplace and will lead to greater performance.
It does take time to invest in self-care, although the benefits far outweigh the price. Take the time to establish a good routine that includes self-care practices, whatever this looks like to you, and you will be sure to reap the rewards. If you are struggling to find time left for self-care, try these four tips to incorporate good self-care habits in your routine.
Establish a morning routine
Starting the day right is a good way to ensure your mental and physical health is maintained. This might include a healthy breakfast, daily exercise or meditation; figure out what works for you and implement it daily. Over time this will become a habit, helping you to take some time for self-care every day.
Schedule time off
It can be easy to find yourself in a cycle of continuous activity, moving from one activity to the next until it seems you are just going through the motions. Make sure you don’t get lost in the chaos by scheduling some time off. It might be an afternoon away from your normal routine, or something more extravagant like a weekend away or vacation. Whatever you choose, taking a break will allow you to relax and rejuvenate.
Get enough sleep
It can be easy to prioritise other commitments over sleep, but the importance of sleep should not be underrated. Getting good quality sleep allows your body to heal and re-energise, helping you to perform in all areas of your life. It can also be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle without proper sleep as we tend to make bad diet choices and avoid exercise when we are sleep deprived. Sleep is critical for physical and mental health, which is why it should be made a priority regardless of how busy you are.
Set realistic goals
Manage your mental health by setting realistic goals. There’s no point committing to something that is unachievable or will put so much pressure on you that you feel like a failure. Spend some time considering your aspirations and make goals that are challenging, but possible for you to reach. You also need to set realistic goals when it comes to your self-care commitments. Add things to your routine that will work long term with your lifestyle.
With limited hours in the day, it can be nearly impossible to make time for self-care. These tips should help you incorporate self-care into your schedule so that you can live life successfully and to the fullest.