The importance of self-care
When you're busy, self-care is often something which is neglected and low down on the list of priorities! However, taking time to consider your needs is important in order to be more productive, deal with stress and prevent burnout. Whilst it is important to meet the demands of your job and be there for others, it is also vital to look after ourselves.
Self-care will mean different things to each of us. It's about finding ways to protect, maintain and improve your health and well being which allow you to be yourself. Essentially, it is about investing in ourselves and ensuring you have what you need to be effective, happy and healthy.
Simple ways to make self-care part of your busy life
Understand what you need - We all require different things to keep us well. Make sure you know what you need to be effective and lead a happy and fulfilled life. Think about what you enjoy doing, the people who matter, and what keeps you physically healthy. Be aware of what you need to work effectively, and make sure you rest and recuperate. e.g. if you have a full-on day, plan a relaxing evening.
Integrate self-care into your everyday - Self-care is not an add-on and something which is separate from your work, but rather an important part of your everyday life. Build in time each day to do the things which keep you well, e.g. take breaks, read a book or go for a walk. Making sure you integrate self-care practices into your work and life will mean you will be more effective.
Look after your health - Ensure that you get the basics right. Get enough sleep, eat healthily and exercise. It may seem obvious, but it is easy to let these basics slip, especially when you're busy.
Notice when you are neglecting your own needs - The times when you are least able to pay attention to self-care is often when you most need to. This is particularly pertinent during busy times or when you are under more pressure than usual. This can be the time when self-care is put on hold, but this is when you most need to look after yourself.
Nurture positive relationships - Spending time with family, friends and colleagues is important. Good self-care involves nurturing relationships and spending time with people who support you and provide energy. Set boundaries and limit the amount of time you give to those who drain your energy.
Make time for leisure - Plan to do things that you enjoy, enable you to switch off and have fun! Don't regularly skip leisure time in favour of work during busy periods. Value your leisure time as an essential part of good self-care that provides energy needed to meet other demands.
Express Gratitude - Being grateful has a positive effect on our well being. Each day make time to appreciate what you have in your life. Even when you are having a challenging day, appreciating what you value in life will help you to have a more positive outlook and keep you grounded.
You are responsible for your own self-care. Making time to look after yourself is an essential part of being effective and will build resilience. In order to deal with the demands of a busy role it is important to include simple self-care practices into your everyday life. This will help you to be productive and make sure you are at your best for yourself and others.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog
My name is Diane Benson and I support busy professionals to be more effective, reduce stress and achieve a healthy balance in life. Providing clarity and focus for a more fulfilling personal and professional life.
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