By Barry Fields, Vice President – Employee Benefits
Whether you are a leader, an employee, or starting up your own business, the chances are that you don’t make enough time for self-care. Modern society tends to prize those willing to work the longest hours while simultaneously scorning those who look after themselves well.
Yet if you want to be a true success, regardless of what capacity you work in, it’s absolutely essential to look after yourself. Gradually working your body into a state of total exhaustion is not beneficial for anyone, and in the end, you’ll find it hard to bounce back. Here’s a closer look at self-care and why it’s so crucial for real success.
Whether you’re in a manual job where you need to stick to production targets or a high-flying businessperson under pressure to keep the company on track, stress is the one universal factor.
No matter who you are, the physical effects of stress on the body can be extensive, increasing blood pressure causing chest pain, headaches and digestive disorders. Psychologically, the effect can be even more devastating, making it hard to concentrate or relax while lowering mood and self-esteem.
One way to manage stress is to take regular exercise, an important component of self-care. You don’t have to hit the gym. It might be a round of golf, a walk with the dog, or even a night out shaking your funky thing on the dance floor.
Taking time out to exercise isn’t a luxury. It’s an essential part of making sure you’re able to function at optimal levels for as long as possible.
To stay mentally sharp and keep your immune system strong, you should be eating a healthy and varied diet. Everyone has days when they grab something on the move, but this should be the exception and not the norm.
Eating well doesn’t need to be time consuming, and you don’t need top-notch chef skills to have a balanced diet. But if you want to exude energy and radiate a healthy glow, you’ll need to take the time to nourish yourself from the inside out first.
A Clear Mind
If you’re tired and struggling along, the chances are that you’re more likely to make a mistake. This may not just be difficult to sort out; it could cost you financially too.
To try to avoid making preventable errors, you need to look after your mind. This means not just making enough time to sleep but also scheduling in time to relax and unwind. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but setting aside a slot that is dedicated just for you can make a real difference.
You might want to book a massage, meditate, or just enjoy a long, warm bath. Whatever you choose to do, it’s your time to switch off and focus on yourself. This may feel indulgent, but in the long run, you’ll perform better and be far more mentally agile too.
Achievable for All
What self-care looks like depends on the person, but it’s important to take the time to really consider what you need. If you don’t look after yourself, no one else will, and in the long run, you’ll directly impact your performance and ultimately your success.