In a success driven society, we move from one goal to the next, looking to succeed in that next big idea or meet that next quarterly sales goal. But what about our own self-care? In such a society, you can very easily forget about your own mental health and overall wellbeing.
I myself have fallen victim to this not just once, but several times throughout my life before learning that if I don’t put effort into my own self-care, it will negatively impact my work and business.
If, like me, you find yourself lacking the discipline and tactics to help improve your self-care, consider these tips for making yourself a priority.
Learning to Say “No”
For the longest time I thought as long as I never said “no” I would in one way or another be considered successful. This resulted in a cycle that ultimately lead me to spread myself out too thin, getting overwhelmed, and burning out.
As a business owner, son, older brother, husband, and son-in-law, there’s enough to keep me busy without taking on additional time-consuming tasks or emotional labor.
I find myself always presented with additional responsibilities, whether that be at work, at home, or even within my family. For example, I run a start-up where it is very common to juggle between many different roles and at times have been tasked with duties that fall way outside of my knowledge base. While this may be a great opportunity to learn something new, there is a point at which it takes away from my primary job of increasing the startups’ market share and caring for myself.
Quality Over Quantity
After learning to say “no” to the requests that aren’t mandatory or strongly encouraged, I respectfully declined or delegated to another member. This isn’t due to laziness, unwillingness, or poor work ethic, but as an act of self-preservation. There will always be additional work that will come your way, but by keeping in mind your own self-care, you can optimize yourself to provide a higher quality of work over just adding additional work that will sacrifice your mental health and the excellence of your work.
It’s not always work that can impact your mental health. Sometimes its extraneous drama, which can consist of other’s pain, frustrations, or sadness. As a family oriented individual, it’s easy to get involved in the problems and frustrations of those around you; however, allowing my emotions to get effected by these distractions isn’t beneficial to my self-care.
Thus, it’s helpful to draw that line in order to acknowledge when the burden isn’t ours to carry. We all have a limit to how much emotional stress we can take, and when have enough of our own to deal with, it’s important to acknowledge without taking on everyone else’s emotional baggage on top of your own.
While I was going to school, I was very active in team sports like football and water polo. These activities, at the time, were due to the social aspect and my competitive nature. Once I was out of school, I no longer had that and as a result, I went straight into the workforce. For almost a year, I sacrificed putting time towards working out and my physical health for working more in the office. Not only did I gain weight sitting behind a desk, but my stress levels shot through the roof. Something had to change. One of my co-workers shared that they work out every day after work to help deal with stress and to be healthier overall.
I took his advice and I now use my daily workouts, sometimes twice a day, as a form of mental therapy. I put on my headphones and focus on my body for an hour, not thinking of work or anything else, but how my body feels. It has worked wonders for me.
Let go of negativity. Sweat out the negativity with a workout session.
It can be anything from taking a 30-minute yoga session to kickboxing sessions at your local gym. The point is to focus on you and clear your thoughts of all the drama and your workload. By focusing on your body, breathing, and muscles, you give your brain a break from life. That way you can tackle everything again the next day with a clear head space.
If you are like me and have been called a workaholic, then sitting on a couch or playing a video game for an hour makes you feel guilty. I’ll admit it. I’ve felt it and sometimes still do, but that is flat out not healthy.
Our society has conditioned us to think that “doing nothing” is wrong and not productive. These mindless activities like playing video games, which I have to admit are getting harder to play by the day, but I digress, actually are proven ways to increase the likelihood of accomplishing tasks and doing them well.
Your relaxation time your way
We all have our way of relaxing and you shouldn’t feel guilty on how you spend this time. Go binge watch your favorite NETFLIX show, read a book, play a video game, or sit on the couch and just flat out rest.
It’s not doing nothing, it’s resetting your mind, body, and soul.
Now it’s time for me to go watch Money Heist 😃