Sometimes we get too busy with work and forget to care for ourselves. There’s no denying that your job and the responsibilities that come with it are essential. But, if you continue neglecting your well-being for your employment, it will soon become detrimental to your well-being. Your body and mind need rest too. Working without hitting the brakes every once in a while can take a toll on your health. You may experience burnout, fatigue, and, in extreme cases, complete exhaustion.
So, learn to prioritize your well-being over your job more. When you’re in good shape, you’re far more helpful to your team and can work more effectively than upholding your responsibilities when you’re tired. Below is a simple guide you can follow to avoid compromising your well-being over work:
1. Opt for an Online Degree
Specific careers, like nursing, require you to stay on top of your profession. They require the latest educational credentials and certifications to continue doing your job. Likewise, if you’re looking for a promotion, you need to qualify to apply for a higher position. Getting a degree while maintaining a full-time job is not easy. But, unless you get the required credentials, your career may stagnate. However, there is a way through which you can get an advanced degree without needing to go back to school full-time, and that is eLearning. If you’re a registered nurse or have a BSN, consider master of nursing degrees online programs to balance work and studies effortlessly. Gauge carefully on the field you want to specialize in and choose that post-graduate degree. Online degrees are far more flexible than traditional schools. You can study at your pace and steadily work through your degree without compromising your health.
2. Draw Boundaries at Work
It would help to be more assertive at work, especially about boundaries. It is not unusual for your colleagues and managers to try to pawn extra work on you. Ultimately, this can force you to put in frequent overtime and impact your health. There is nothing wrong with wanting to help your colleagues, but you need to know your limits. If you volunteer every time, they will disrespect your boundaries and ask you to fill in, even if you don’t want to. That’s why it’s best to draw boundaries and clarify that you will not be pushed around.
Ensure you keep tabs on the weekends you have worked, so if your manager tries to guilt-trip you into staying late, you can show evidence of your dedication. When you log off from work, try to switch off your phone, and don’t check your email until the next day. However, if you work in healthcare, you can’t switch off from work but can ask for a shift change. At home, indulge in hobbies instead, make room to meditate, prepare a proper meal, take a bath, and sleep early. If your colleagues and work still manage to contact you, make it clear to them that unless they’re dealing with an urgent matter, they are not to contact you in the after hours.
3. Cash in Your Paid Leaves
As an employee, you are entitled to certain paid leaves. These are mainly two weeks off from work, allowing you to travel anywhere or do anything without facing a deduction in your salary. Most people save paid leaves for special occasions like weddings or family vacations. But you don’t have to wait long to cash your leaves now. If you have a family, use your PTO to spend time with them. And this doesn’t necessarily mean take them out for a holiday, but be around them and let them bask in your presence. Spending precious time with family is good for your mental health. It’s also immensely therapeutic in many ways.
If you don’t have children or a partner, you can still use your paid time off to focus on yourself. It doesn’t matter when you choose to cash in your leaves. You get these holidays twice a year, so why not use them when the opportunity arises? It’s a great way to sign out of work and pay more attention to yourself. You can check in with a doctor to see how your health is faring, deep clean your house, rest more, and find ways to relieve stress you may have accumulated over the years.
4. Stick to a Routine
You may have heard of a work schedule, but having a routine for yourself is relatively unknown. We are all guilty of putting ourselves second and our work first. While you may be successful at what you do, it is not worth jeopardizing your health. A schedule for your needs allows you to develop rituals that boost your well-being. For example, list the activities you want to do outside of work, factor in a nap time, have a set time for your meals, and remind yourself when to take a breather at work. Use this to hunt for the best organic food products, make a smoothie, and relax in the sun.
At the same time, dedicate some time to exercise and ensure, without fail, to respect your routine. If you habitually call your loved ones at night, maintain that. Don’t neglect yourself and your space for the sake of work. Allow yourself the freedom to develop a self-care schedule. Even if you plan on doing nothing for the day, allow yourself to take a break and relax in silence without forcing yourself to be productive.
Your health is essential. That’s why you cannot continue taking it for granted. When you don’t listen to your body or your mental health needs, it can impact you severely. If you don’t stop before you hit your breaking point, you may collapse. So, every once in a while, learn to say no to work and yes to yourself. You can choose to care for your well-being in many ways, such as using technology to assist you in your work and pursuing eLearning instead of forcing yourself to return to school. Learn to pamper yourself more and draw boundaries with your colleagues. If you have paid leaves, don’t wait for a special occasion and use them for you. Finally, have a self-care schedule that focuses on maintaining your health instead of filling it with deadlines, and list what you want to do for yourself.