We get so caught up in what we are doing for everyone else that we often forget to do it for ourselves. This isn’t the healthiest way to live our lives, and it always pays to prioritize yourself every now and again. After all, not doing so can leave you running on fumes and failing to be your best at work and at home. It’s time for a change, and the self-care tips for busy professionals below can serve as a refresher on how to handle self-care when you need it most.
4 Self-Care Tips For Busy Professionals That Are Important
At the end of the day, health really is a race against the clock.
And when we get so caught up in what we are doing for everyone else without prioritizing ourselves from time to time, we could end up running on fumes and fall behind completely.
But, prioritizing yourself requires making some changes in the way you do self-care before it goes too far.
So, as a busy professional, here are 4 self-care tips for busy professionals that are important.
Food and family
The first two self-care tips for busy professionals are 1) Food and 2) Family.
If you’re like most busy professionals, work is always at arm’s length.
Whether you are checking your email or Slack channel on your phone or logging into your VPN to provide support for your nightshift, work is ever-present.
The US has been called the “most overworked developed nation,” a fact supported by food statistics — 20% of all American meals are eaten in the car.
This on-the-go-eating is just one side-effect of overworking that has to stop.
Instead of taking yet another trip through the drive-thru, learn how to pack meals that you can enjoy at work.
Also, spend some time in the evenings without your device and prepare a healthy family dinner (more on family time and health later on).
You’ll soon find that, in addition to a smaller waistline and less digestive upset, you’ll feel better emotionally, too.
What many people don’t realize is that mood is linked to the foods you eat and is impacted by how well you feed your gut microbiome, which is a massive cluster of microorganisms that inhabit your body and affect your neurotransmitters.
Another way stepping away from work can benefit your mental state is by allowing you to be present where you are needed most, which, if you are a spouse or parent, is at home.
Being with your family is associated with greater happiness overall.
It certainly beats staring at your computer screen stressing out over an incorrect piece of code or a missed order.
So, food and family – are super important.
Let’s now look at two more self-care tips for busy professionals, namely 1) Sleep and 2) Exercise.
Sleep and exercise
The amount of time you spend in bed also correlates to your overall health.
Sleep is one of the first things that gets compromised when we have what we perceive to be more important obligations on our plates.
But you have to remember that there are almost no more important obligations than sleep.
Failure to get enough quality sleep can nosedive your productivity, make you gain weight, and may even leave you feeling anxious and depressed.
However, Jenna Fletcher and Dr Deborah Weatherspoon point out to MedicalNewsToday that health professionals associate quality sleep with a stronger immune system and less inflammation.
A good average to strive for is eight hours each night.
If you have trouble getting to sleep, think about what you’ve done throughout the day.
If your daily to-do list doesn’t include exercise, it should be moving forward.
While you probably should not do jumping jacks right before climbing into bed, there is evidence that exercising during the day can help you conk out quicker and stay that way.
Johns Hopkins Health notes that there are many reasons for this.
Most notably, aerobic exercises trigger the release of endorphins and exercise elevates your body temperature.
When you begin to cool down, around an hour after working out, your body becomes more conditioned for sleep.
However, you don’t have to stick to an afternoon-only exercise regimen to reap the benefits of sleep.
Many people report that a morning workout has the same positive impact on their ability to sleep at night.
What all of this boils down to is that you have to make time in your schedule for the things that make you healthy and whole.
While this might seem difficult when you are working 60-plus hours each week, by setting aside some time for yourself, you’ll be more efficient and may find that you don’t have to race against the clock anymore.
I trust you’ve enjoyed this article by guest author, George Mears, on the 4 Self-Care Tips For Busy Professionals.
At the end of the day, as George said, health is a race against the clock.
And if we want to show up as the best versions of ourselves, both professionally and for our families, we need to make the changes required to function at our best.
Starting with taking care of what we eat (food), who we spend time with (family), how much we recover (sleep), and finally, how much movement (exercise) we introduce into our regime to maximise and enjoy all its benefits.