Self-care is something we all need to do, but many of us don’t accomplish it as often as we should. When you work 9 to 5 (or more), have a family, and other adult responsibilities, it’s tough to carve out time for self-care. But while your attention is focused elsewhere, your body and mind might be taking a hit. Keep reading for a few ideas on how to replenish yourself from the inside out without dipping too far into the income you’ve worked so hard for.
It’s easy to think that you don’t have the time to exercise. Well, it turns out you do, and even your employer wants you to work out. The physical benefits of exercise are obvious: weight loss, muscle definition, flexibility, etc. But there are other perks associated with hitting the gym. First, stress relief. When you work out regularly, your stress hormone levels drop and your “feel-good” hormones surge. You’ll also have more energy and a sharper memory.
A good way to fit fitness into your day is to pack a healthy meal and split your lunch hour between eating and exercise. Keep a bag in your vehicle with workout clothes and shoes, and make arrangements with a coworker for a run or jog around noon. You’ll also want to have a few essential toiletries handy to freshen up after your sweat session.
Take a vacation
Being overworked is more common than you might think. The Nation explains that one-third of workers clock more than 45 hours each week, while millions more easily dip into the 60-hour mark. Sadly, like many Americans, you probably have lots of vacation time that you let go to waste. Keep in mind, however, that companies offer this as a benefit for a reason. People who take vacation arrive back at work energized and ready to tackle problems.
A vacation does not mean you have to spend a ton of money on an international destination or a two-week trip on the beach. If you are strapped for cash, you can enjoy a staycation by booking a rental with a group of friends or family. In Austin, Turnkey suggests boating or swimming on Lake Travis, attending the Austin City Limits Music Festival, or grabbing a bite to eat on Rainey Street. Whatever activities you’d prefer, make sure the rental you book is close by for fast access.
Get some sleep.
Everyone knows that sleep is not optional. However, many people aren’t getting anywhere near enough. Staying up until midnight looking for that one piece of broken code that has your company’s systems at a screeching halt might seem like a good idea during an emergency, but it’s not. In reality, humans are meant to go to bed around three hours after sunset. Anything later puts your body into survival mode, which can make it that much harder to go to bed. Not only do sleepless nights make you tired, but sleep deprivation, according to Alaska Sleep Clinic, can cause a failure in your ability to focus.
In other words, getting more sleep at night will make you more productive during the day. Pay attention to your body, and send yourself off to slumber when you begin to feel fatigued. To speed things along, shut the phone, tablet, and computer down about an hour before heading off to bed. An inexpensive sound machine and a new pillow may also help you drift off into dreamland without spending a ton of money on a new mattress or soundproofing your bedroom to block noise from the outside.
Self-care is something you have to work into your schedule. It doesn’t matter if you are a college student fresh into the workforce or a veteran of your industry, you’ll be a more productive professional if you prioritize yourself. Using the tips above, you also won’t have to drain your savings to make it happen.