The Health Benefits of Self-Care


In order to perform at our best, we must take care of ourselves. If we are not well-rested, running off of quality meals and getting enough daily exercise, then we are not going to be in tip-top shape to get the things done that we need to at work and at home. Everyone has had that worn-out feeling after they’ve worked themselves too hard. They can’t concentrate enough to get anything done and might even get physical symptoms of burnout such as headaches and exhaustion. To combat burnout and help you continue to perform at your best, you simply must meet all of your needs. This is often called self-care and here are a couple good places to start:


Meet Your Body’s Physical Needs


Your body has physical needs for it to stay healthy. Because your brain is located in your body, if your body is poorly taken care of, your brain isn’t going to be able to function either. One of the most overlooked needs of your body is sleep. Humans require sleep, though how much is debatable. Generally, though, if you are tired, then you are not getting enough sleep. Your goal should be to sleep just enough so that you are not tired the next day, but not so much that you are oversleeping. Oversleeping causes more health problems than under-sleeping, according to Bulletproof.


Eating healthy is also a huge aspect of our physical health. We should eat a healthy, balanced diet that is free from lots of sugar and unnecessary chemicals. Luckily, there are lots of ways to eat healthier, even for those who might not like vegetables.


You should also regularly exercise. According to Women’s Health Mag, to begin seeing the health benefits of exercise, you need approximately 150 minutes of exercise a week. Each exercise interval should be at least 10 minutes long, and you should spread them out if possible. Of course, more exercise is better, but you do not have to practically kill yourself every time you slip on your workout clothes. In fact, if you cannot hold a conversation while you’re working out, you are probably pushing yourself too hard.


Don’t Forget Your Mental Needs


While our bodies’ needs are obvious, our mental needs can be a little more confusing and complicated. However, our mental needs require just as much care as our physical ones. Taking time to relax is extremely important according to Psychology Today. Downtime is important for everyone, especially if your job is stressful or you’re going through a major life change such as recovering from substance abuse disorder. Of course, relaxing doesn’t necessarily mean that you can only sit around and do nothing. Trying new hobbies such as meditating and practicing yoga are both great ways to relax that don’t involve just lounging on the couch.


You should also ensure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew in any aspect of your life. From agreeing to take up extra chores at home to volunteering for more responsibilities at work, saying ‘yes’ to too many responsibilities can cause you unnecessary stress, which can hurt your performance everywhere. Remember, it is OK to say ‘no’ if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Keeping your mental health in good order so that you can perform satisfactorily at the responsibilities you already have is better than taking on more tasks you can’t really do.


Taking care of your health is important and can benefit you in a variety of ways. Self-care cannot only reduce your risk of various illnesses such as heart disease and anxiety, but it can also improve your productivity. Taking an appropriate time off of work can actually help you get more work done.


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