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The Importance of Self-Care

When work is overwhelmingly busy, or you’re forging ahead with goals and seeing some good progress, taking care of yourself can feel like the lowest priority on the list.

Sometimes that works out fine – a quick ready meal here, a missed shower there – and you can get back on track once everything has calmed down a bit. But let it go on for too long and you can lose track of your own health and happiness.

You are the pillar from which all the other things in your life will happen. Everything will come as a result of your hard work. If you stop prioritising yourself, your work will suffer and you’re certainly going to find hitting those goals much harder if you reach the point of burning out.

With this in mind, here are five ways to keep self-care at the forefront – even when you’re busy.

Take a day off

It may seem impossible right now if you’re really busy, but use up a single day of holiday allowance in the coming weeks. You won’t miss much in a day and you can pick right back up where you left off when you get back. For one day, allow yourself to forget about work and focus solely on the things you like doing. That may involve booking yourself some spa treatments, spending the day binging a Netflix series, or just doing nothing much at all. Taking a little time away will give you a chance to reconnect, refocus, and reenergise yourself to go back into work.

Treat yourself in small ways

Big holidays away or a new car may not be a possibility right now, but you still need to keep your happiness in check. Opt for little pleasures instead, and allow yourself something to keep you smiling through the day. It could be a nice lunch or a new lipstick, or just having a 30 minute lie-in that morning. Small changes can make a big difference to your mood.

Take an hour away from screens at the end of each day

This means laptops, TVs, and yes, your phone. Just put them away for the hour before bed. The blue light in screens will keep your mind buzzing, which is why you can find it hard to switch off at the end of a long day. Instead, take the time to read, listen to some music, or simply prepare for the next day. Stick to calming activities and you’ll be well on your way to getting a good night’s sleep and guaranteeing you’ll feel better the next day.

Try mixing up your routine

The smallest changes can make a big difference to the way you approach your day, and trying something different in your everyday routine can stop you feeling stuck in a rut or trapped in the same processes. It could be as small as changing the make up you put on that day, trying a different route to the office, or working from a different desk or meeting room than normal. Keeping your mind active in these tiny ways can help you to see fresh perspectives on the more important decisions.

Acknowledge your successes

When you’ve been working flat out it can be hard to focus on the positives of your situation. If you’re tired and worn down, you may feel like you’re still far away from reaching the goals you want. This is the perfect time to take stock of everything you’ve achieved to this point. Take 10 minutes out of your morning to look back over the past few weeks or months and realise how much you’ve achieved, even if it’s the smallest thing.

Self-care is easily one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy work/life balance and being your best self. Don’t let it fall by the wayside and allow your work to suffer!

Written by:

Katie Hopkins lives amongst piles of books and pug memorabilia. As a copy-editor and freelance writer, she is always immersed in words, and is captivated by the world of careers and the pursuit of happiness, alongside a little fascination with true crime. She tweets as @katie_louh.

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