By Kayla Bayens
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives we often forget to take care of the most important thing, ourselves! If you don’t start doing the little things to take care of you then you’ll easily become sick, tired, rundown, and maybe even have a breakdown or two. So lets nip those budding problems before they even start by giving you some easy to follow advice on how to take care of you. Because yes, its a very important task and one only you can do.
Food and beverage, the things your body runs off of. As with anything the type of fuel you put in determines the performance you get out. Filling your body with sugary, fat, greasy things just slows your system down. I know we’ve all heard this before. But you need that number 5 with fries and a large soda, right? You actually don’t but your body has become so addicted to these things that it makes it feel like you do and gives you that release of endorphins when you get them to help reinforce that. I’m not saying to go cold turkey or go on some crazy caveman diet. What I am saying is that you need to start looking at what you put into your body and determining where the changes need to happen. Then work slowly to make those happen. Slow change actually ends up holding up better in the long term as our bodies don’t even notice the lack of something it use to crave. Make sure you are also drinking plenty of water, since our human bodies happened to be made mostly of the stuff.
Exercise: Mind & Body
Don’t veg out. Yes veggies are good to eat, but being a vegetable is not. Your body and your mind both need to be exercised to stay in top shape and to help combat any health risks. I suggest picking an activity that challenges you in each regard. Maybe for you mind its learning something new, reading, or figuring out a puzzle. I try and pick a project or skill I want to learn and use that as my free time. Pick something fun like learning how to program, make a game, learn a language, or how to play an instrument. For your body it could be working towards that goal of running a 5k, doing a quick workout video, or simply walking around a track a few times with a friend. Whatever you do make sure you are taking care of them both. As these two things work together to help keep you on track.
Its important to be getting enough sleep. This period of time gives our bodies a chance to undo the wear and tear that happens to us when we are on the go. Muscles rest, your mind takes a break, and everything gets ready for another day of work. Without allowing yourself to get the proper amount of rest, 8 hours a night, you put needless additional strain on yourself. To make up for it your body does it best to keep up but will end up sending out warning signs that it needs rest. Fatigue, achy muscles, migraines, irritability, short temperateness, and the inability to focus are just a few of the warning signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep. You work hard everyday so you need to make sure you give your body that time to recoup before throwing it back into battle. Otherwise you are likely to get sick as a tired body is one with a weak immune system.
Just as important as sleep is relaxation. Take 10/15 minutes out of your day to do a task that you enjoy that has nothing to do with work. Read, write, listen to music, walk around, or just sit there with your eyes closed. It will do wonders on helping you be hyper focused and ready to tackle the rest of the work day. Make sure you put it at the same time everyday if possible in order to help make this is a natural part of your routine.
Personal hygiene goes a long way to taking care of you. Bathing regularly, washing your hands, brushing teeth and hair, trimming finger nails all go a long way to your presentation. If you feel clean and good about your appearance you will be confident. This confidence will smoothly transition over to many things during your day. Interactions with your co-workers or boss, your daily commute, your outlook on the day, your first impression on others, and it can even help determine your attitude for the day. For best results you should do all of these suggested tasks regularly in order to keep a happier and healthier you!
Friend Time & You Time
It is important to spend time with your friends and family. This feeling of closeness outside of your work helps to ground you and lets you know that you have a support system. Mental health is just as important as your physical health, so having a sound support circle is imperative. They will help you out through difficult times or transitional times at work and will help you keep things in perspective. Making sure to take sometime out of each week to hang out with friends and family will also help you to relax and unwind from whatever trails my be going on at work. It will even give you an opportunity to vent in a safe space free of prosecution.
Just as important as friend and family time is you time. You work hard everyday, and deserve to do something just for yourself. Schedule time for you to do something you want to do. Walk a trail on the weekends to enjoy a sunset, curl up on the sofa on a Saturday and ready a good book, or learn how to paint. Pick an activity that is just for you to give yourself time to reconnect with the you that isn’t working. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of things we forget that the person we are at work isn’t the only us that there is. Remember don’t let your work define you, you should define your work.