Many people end up more or less sacrificing their lives to their careers. Health is thrown out of the window in the pursuit of ever-greater productivity, and ever-longer working hours. As sleep is sacrificed, caffeine goes up to help you get through the day. Similar sacrifices are frequently made, consciously or not, with regards to such matters as spending time with loved ones, working out, indulging in hobbies and side projects, and so on.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with being an ambitious person — ambition is, in fact, a great trait to have if you can balance it properly — it is often the most ambitious people who experience the greatest blows to their health and well-being as a result of working full-time, and turning full-time into over-time.
If this description hits a bit too close to home for you, and you feel like you might need to commit to a bit of introspection and consider making a change, here are some things you should do for your well-being while working full-time, in order to establish and maintain balance.
Dedicate some time to self care
Everyone likes to feel good about themselves, and to a substantial degree, feeling good about yourself is tied to being properly attentive to your self care, grooming and presentation.When you like the way you look, you are naturally going to feel more confident, and can expect to have a somewhat higher quality of life and sense of overall contentment, even if you don’t adjust any other variable in your life.
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If you have problems falling asleep, consider a long bath and epsom salt and lavender essential oils to help you fall asleep faster. This is my go-to remedy also for soothing sore muscles from sitting at my desk too long. If you don't have time to keep up with your hair color routine, we have our at home hair color for you. If you feel like you keep getting sick because you work so much, it may be time to up your vitamin routine or even see your doctor. If you’ve got chronically dry skin, consider adding more water to your day and, whatever you do, don’t decide that you’re just going to put up with it. You are worth the time to invest in your wellbeing and there are lots of resources, such as 12 easy tips for hydrating and healing dry facial skin, in order to address any issues you may have.
Another great thing happens when you start being attentive to your presentation, and taking pride in how you present yourself. You begin to reinforce the idea, on a deep psychological level, that you are worthy of care and respect. This message, that you send to yourself, can have a dramatic and positive spillover effect to the different areas of your life.If you treat yourself with a degree of care and respect, you are that much more likely to demand a basic level of respect and decency from others, and to advocate for your interests.
Be sure to sleep enough
Sleep typically goes out the window as soon as the going gets tough in the office, and you’ve got to spend more time working on various projects or attending to family needs. For many people, sleep is nothing more than a “buffer” of sorts. Some kind of luxury downtime which can be disposed of as needed, whenever you feel like either doing some late-night TV watching, or need to put in some extra work at the office.
But sleep is not a “luxury”, not even close, and you may not realise the full depth of the ways in which sleep deprivation can and will devastate your health — both physical and mental — as well as your overall sense of well-being. Put simply, sleep is vitally important for the proper function of every process in the body. While you may feel that you’re able to get by on 6 hours a night, after getting heavily caffeinated in the morning, you’re likely wrong.
The vast majority of people need around 8 hours of sleep a night in order to perform at their peak, to be as healthy as possible, to not experience cognitive decline, and to have their hormones properly balanced.
Socialize with friends and loved ones as often as possible
Socializing with your friends and loved ones may also seem like a “luxury” when put up against work, but it’s only a “luxury” insofar as you don’t consider this dimension of your life to absolutely fundamental to your well-being.
The sad reality is that, if you fail to make time for your friends and family, you will one day reach a point when they are no longer around, and another point when — looking back on your life — all you can see is an endless blur of days spent working.
Make time to socialize with your family and friends as often as possible. Do whatever is in your power to make time for these regular moments, and if you can’t possibly make it happen within the confines of your current job, consider looking for a new job. I like to plan time for walks with friends because you can get in a workout and get to catch up with your friends.
When you spend time with the people you care about, life seems brighter, you share laughter, you let yourself be reminded of the essentials of what truly matters to you, and your health will likely improve as well due to the positive emotions and feel-good hormones flooding through you.
Do things which allow you to get a bit of “quiet time”
This is the hardest one for me to do but I do love it even if only for a few minutes each morning. Getting away from the chronic noise, the hustle and bustle of your work life, and of life in general, is a very important practice for boosting your sense of well-being and allowing you to decompress, come to terms with things, and relax, especially in-between bouts of intense activity.
For that reason, one of the best things you can do for your overall well-being is to set aside time, as often as possible, for that kind of relaxation. This should, ideally, involve things which give you a deep sense of calm, and which distract you from the general concerns you may be facing in other areas of your life. I like to have a quiet time each morning and also frequently like to schedule a time for a massage - if it is on my calendar I will actually do it!! I love for hobbies and activities such as yoga, running or traveling — things that get me away from the normal digital environment I occupy 80% of the time.
Have a hobby or side hustle
You know I am a big advocate of a side hustle. Polished Professionals blog started as a side hustle and has grown to so much more. A side-hustle can take just about any form, but it should be something that you find interesting, that you’d be very happy if you succeeded with, and that opens up various doors to you, merely due to the fact that you’re dedicating a certain proportion of your time to it.
Trying to write and publish a novel could be considered a side-hustle. Likewise, building an amateur video game in your home, or starting up a small business selling hand-carved ornaments, or affiliate marketing, or any number of other things.
When you dedicate some of your time to a side hustle, you learn new skills (and become a more “effective” person in life, in general, as a result). I would never have learned about social media, website management, marketing, styling - all the things I have learned with my blog if I hadn't just started with my passion and purpose to help professional women conquer the workaday world with style and poise. I have something - besides my job - that I get really energized about each day.
So what is the one thing you will do for your health this week? I have put some of my favorite self care products in the links below. Use the arrows to scroll left and right.
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M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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