It’s easy to put your well-being at the bottom of the list when you’re a hardworking professional. There are always so many things to do to fit in 24 hours, so you often find yourself putting in as many hours as you can for work. Most of the time, sleep is sacrificed for another Excel sheet or Word document. However, skipping self-care compromises your overall performance at work, especially because it’s detrimental to your mental health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), self-care is “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” The popular notion of self-care today relates–for the most part–to mental health.
Sometimes, it is mistaken as an indulgence, when in truth, self-care requires an enormous amount of discipline. It’s not just ending the day surrounded by scented candles in a relaxing bubble bath. Self-care is about exercising every day, even on bad days. It’s about knowing your limits.
Why it’s all about discipline
It’s easy to mask procrastination as self-care. What other way can you take care of yourself than relaxing, right? But relaxing (or procrastination) can easily lead to future stress as backlogs can creep up on you and hit you like a ton of bricks.
Evidently, that’s not what self-care is.
Self-care is recognizing what you need to do to avoid stress and burnout. Because this is about taking care of your overall health, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and rest are essential.
That’s why self-care requires discipline. You must find the strength within yourself to wake up at the same time every day and drag yourself to the gym, the yoga mat, or the court. You must find the time to cook more than just processed food.
How to find the strength to discipline yourself every day
1. Get to work
The thing about discipline is, you have to do the thing, no matter what happens. If you’re caught up in work, and you feel like you can’t squeeze in a workout, don’t. 30 minutes of being away from work can do wonders. Exercise is known to reduce stress and improve brain activity. Imagine how helpful that is to your work.
Some days, inspiration just doesn’t get to you, so you procrastinate on work. However, inspiration isn’t the way to go. To get this done–get this–you just need to do it. You can sit in your home office or go to a shared workspace in Orlando and start with your to-do list. The rest will dawn on you later.
2. Know when to stop
If you feel like your eyes are straining from being on the laptop all day long, take the time to close it for a while. Take a walk. Hangout with friends. Play with your pet.
Knowing when to stop working is also a crucial part of setting your body clock. Even if you have so much stuff to do, sleep at a designated time.
Self-care is easier said than done; that’s why it requires a lot of strength and discipline to accomplish. Don’t forget to take care of yourself because once you get sick, work will be compromised.