The Importance of Work/Life Balance: How Self Care Makes You a Better Employee
Because of the speed at which the economy moves, slowing down feels like something that isn’t possible. We have multiple methods of instant communication, faster processes, and higher production demands. It is really easy to be on call around the clock in the never-ending quest to tame the to-do list. The reality is working with limited breaks actually makes us less productive. If we are in a constant state of stress and fatigue, we are less sharp, not as nimble and not as creative. Being intentional about managing our time and taking breaks makes us more productive in the long run.
What is self-care?
Self-care refers to activities and habits people engage with that improve their well-being. Self-care behaviors include personal habits such as eating well, getting enough rest, and exercising on a regular basis. It also includes maintaining positive social relationships. Having a well rounded, balance life (at least most of the time) can provide real benefits in the workplace. Read on to find four ways that engaging in self-care helps us be better professionals.
Less likely to burnout. Burnout occurs when we have hit our limit; we are operating at a pace that is unsustainable, and eventually, we crash. When we do crash, we don’t just slow down, we become unproductive, not meeting basic deadlines and tasks. You can even have physical symptoms of burnout including getting sick more often. We can prevent burnout by building self-care into our routine. Sticking to a schedule that allows us to unplug at a certain time, getting enough sleep, eat well, and engage in exercise can lower the risk of burnout. Taking a vacation and unplugging completely from work can go a long way in preventing burnout.
Maintain positive relationships. Tiredness can lead to irritability which can cause us to be less than pleasant to be around. Professional relationships need attention just like any other relationship. Engaging in self-care allows us to have the patience and the clear thinking required to work well with others and be a team player. It also allows us to navigate conflict or complex professional situations in a more competent manner. Being your best self-requires getting rest and having mental and emotional breaks form the stress of work.
Stay focused.When you’re not getting rest or eating well, it’s harder to focus and pay attention to detail. Getting good rest helps us maximize our time at work. Tired employees are more likely to make mistakes, misunderstand instructions, and miss deadlines. Burnt out employees are more likely to be careless since their commitment to the work is compromised. When rested we are more alert we are better able to accomplish tasks efficiently. Rest and healthy eating helps our brain get the support it needs to function at its optimal level.
Helps you enjoy and appreciate your job. If you feel good, you’re more likely to enjoy your work and manage the tasks that aren’t your favorite a little better. Having a life outside of work including hobbies and friendships impacts your happiness in the workplace. You’re able to appreciate the time you spend at work and the fact that it provides you with the resources to enjoy your personal life.