When you spend your days in a coffee-fueled haze while rushing to be effective and productive in your work and home life, burnout is inevitable. You may make it to the weekend, but how much of your personal time do you spend just trying to recover from the chaos of the previous week? If you feel physically and mentally drained all the time, you may not be taking adequate care of your mind and body. Here are some ways to care for yourself when you’re extremely busy.
1. Nourish Your Body
As a busy professional, your daily habits matter. It can be easy to fall into a routine that seemingly makes your life easier but ultimately impacts your health and wellness. Replacing a balanced breakfast with an extra-large sugary drive-thru coffee may save you a few minutes of your morning, but you’ll likely feel anxious and unsatiated throughout the day. Taking care of yourself means being intentional with the types of sustenance you consume. If you simply don’t have time to prepare meals, consider nourishing meal replacement shakes as a healthier option.
2. Prioritize Your Sleep
One of your most basic human needs is sleep, and chances are, you don’t get enough. Sleep is often the first thing you sacrifice when your work/life balance becomes unbalanced. You think you can make enough time to get everything done, but the truth is you lose your ability to concentrate and make good judgment calls when you’re sleep-deprived. By setting a clear and defined bedtime routine and sticking to it, you can make sure you wake up each day feeling refreshed and motivated to take on the world.
3. Get Your Workout In
According to experts, you only need 20 minutes of physical activity each day to maintain a healthy fitness level, and it doesn’t have to be cardio-centric. When you spend most of your day caring for others, it can be extremely hard to shift your mindset to self-care, but it is necessary to maintain your strength and sanity. By making your exercise routine a priority, you can ensure you maintain optimal physical and mental health while also setting and achieving important personal fitness goals.
4. Pause and Breathe
When you feel overwhelmed, there’s no shame in taking a timeout. Pausing to take deep long breaths and adopting a meditation practice gives you the opportunity to calm your mind and body at the moment. When you’re stressed, you hold tension in your head, neck, and back, which can leave you feeling terrible and lead to chronic pain and fatigue. Giving yourself the opportunity to release this pressure allows you to release this pressure and resume your busy life.
5. Reduce the Noise Around You
In your life as a busy professional, you’re surrounded by stimuli and stress triggers. While you may not always be able to ignore your responsibilities and quiet your brain, you can take measures to quiet the space around you. Reducing the noise includes removing yourself from a social space, disconnecting from your devices, and finding a relaxing place to just be for a while. Your quiet time may manifest as a hot bath, a long walk, or even a 30-minute nap in your car between meetings.
6. Compliment Yourself on a Job Well Done
Maybe you’re not a validation-seeker at work or at home, but you can’t deny that it feels good to hear someone say you do a good job. Because everyone gets busy, you may not hear those words as often as you’d like to. When you feel like you could use a pick-me-up, feel free to give yourself the compliment you deserve. What is something you know you did well today? Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments, even if you’re the only one who recognizes them.
All the big-name healthcare professionals and gurus tout the importance of self-care, but not everyone realizes the time commitment that’s required. Luckily, with a bit of planning and self-awareness, you can give yourself the care you need to get on with your busy schedule and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
We hope you found these tips for taking care of yourself as a busy professional helpful. Do you have any tips to share with your fellow travel nurses? Comment them below.