The Benefits of Self-Care: Slowing Down in a Hectic World
The main push in today’s climate is for people to be faster, more responsive, and efficient. Employees are working longer hours in order to achieve their department goals at work, though recent studies suggest that people actually become less efficient after a certain number of work hours. So, in a world that is zipping by, how do you make time for self-care? Here we’ll touch on some basic areas you may be overlooking that could vastly benefit your mental health.
Managing Your Sleep
Our sleep needs change as we age, so it is important to ensure that you are getting enough rest. According to Tuck, adults ages18 and over need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. The benefits of sleep are well documented and include improvement in memory, increased productivity, better heart health, and a stronger immune system. In fact, studies have found that a lack of sleep can age your brain, make you more forgetful and increase your risk of dementia by as much as 33 percent!
Managing Your Workload
With employers placing more demands on their employees, it can be difficult to say “no” when something else is added to your plate. You can combat this by developing strategies that not only manage your workload but boost your productivity as well. These strategies will likely include keeping a list of overall goals and the scheduled tasks that you must do to bring those goals to fruition. Keep your list in an obvious place; this will help keep you focused and make your workload apparent to those who visit your work area.
Carving Out Free Time
With so much going on, free time seems like an impossible task. The benefits of taking time to relax, however, make the effort worthwhile. Depending on your workload, it may be useful to write free time into your schedule. It might be difficult to follow through on the scheduled “free time” at first, but once you do, it will become easier to achieve. Better yet, you create a beneficial loop. You are more likely to complete your work in time to get to your free time, which improves your mental health and makes you more efficient at your job.
You can use this free time to read, tackle a hobby or even catch up on your favorite shows or listen to music. Watching TV can actually be beneficial since it promotes relaxation, and a streaming device is a convenient way to watch TV without having to pay for pricey cable packages. If you don’t already have a device, research and compare options that fit your budget and your TV’s compatibility. Then you’ll be ready to load it up with a variety of apps to enjoy everything from movies to shows to workouts.
Taking on Physical Activity
According to Medical News, research shows that just an hour of exercise per week could improve your mental health, so it’s important to find a form of physical activity that you can enjoy doing in order to reap the benefits for your mental health. Don’t be afraid to try new types of exercises as physical activity is not limited to aerobics or jogging.
Managing What You Eat
According to MentalHealth.org, there are recent studies linking what you eat to your feeling of general well-being. While it’s not suggested that you use your diet alone to control illnesses, there is a link between maintaining the balance of bacteria in the gut and good mental health. In fact, not taking care of your gut health can lead to anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mental health issues. It’s in your best interest to look into what types of foods and supplements encourage gut health.
Overall, it works to everyone’s benefit when you take care of yourself. Your mental health is at its peak, you’re better at your job, and you have better personal and social relationships. No matter how hard it is, make sure you take the time for self-care.
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ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.