If our careers are an important part of our lives, and self-care will ensure that your career doesn’t kill you. Not only your career provides a source of income, but it also helps you achieve personal goals, build a social network, and serve your profession and community. However, it can also be a major source of emotional stress. In fact, more than one-third of working Americans report chronic work-related stress.
Additionally, 79 percent report not getting enough sleep and 69 percent admit to struggling to concentrate and stay focused as a result of stress and sleep deprivation. Not only are these issues affecting the mental and physical well-being of Americans, but they’re also costing US businesses $300 billion each year in lost productivity.
This raises a few questions – what’s the antidote to all of this stress? And how can employees increase their productivity at a time when it’s steadily declining? This is where the importance of self-care comes. Keep reading to learn more about how you can practice self-care in order to increase your productivity at work.
What is self-care?
When you hear the term “self-care,” spa days and bubble baths may come to mind. But the truth is, it’s much more than that. Self-care is defined as any deliberate action you take in order to support your mental, physical, and emotional health. So, while using your favorite bath bombs can certainly be a form of self-care, so can taking a walk outside, reading a book, and chatting with a supportive friend after a rough day.
Self-care is all about fostering the relationship and connection you have with yourself. It’s about giving your mind, body, and spirit exactly what they need for you to function at your highest level, which in turn can make you more productive.
So how exactly can self-care make you more productive?
How Self-Care Practices Can Increase Your Productivity
Develop a Bedtime Routine
Believe it or not, there’s a big correlation between productivity and sleep. If you’re not getting the amount of sleep your body needs, your productivity is going to plummet. A study revealed that workers who reported insomnia or insufficient sleep spent three times as long on time management throughout the day than workers who reported quality sleep. The sleep-deprived workers also reported difficulties with motivation, focus, memory, and decision-making.
If you want to increase your productivity, you need to get better quality sleep. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night or staying asleep throughout the night, try developing a bedtime routine. A consistent bedtime routine can help signal to your brain and body that it’s time to unwind and rest. This then allows your brain to start releasing melatonin to be able to sleep.
A few hours before bed, start your routine consisting of activities that will slowly ease you into a more relaxed state. Turn off all screens including phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs at least one hour before bed. This is important as the screens emit blue light, which can inhibit your brain’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Take a relaxing bath, wash your face, change into comfy pajamas, and dim the lights. You can also do other relaxing activities such as reading or light sketching to help prepare your body and mind for sleep.
What you choose to incorporate into your bedtime routine is completely up to you. The key is to do them consistently. Eventually, your brain and body will start to associate your bedtime routine with going to bed and it’ll be easier to fall and stay asleep.
Wear the Right Clothes
It’s no secret that the clothing we wear says a lot about who we are, but did you know that what you wear can also increase your productivity? Several studies have shown that our clothing can influence our analytical skills. For example, wearing formal clothes not only helps us think properly, it also helps us look at the bigger picture of the problem at hand.
Think back to the last interview you went to. Did you feel a heightened sense of confidence wearing your interview attire? Try wearing a suit to the office and see how you feel. You may find that you feel more confident, which results in an increase in your productivity. You don’t have to go out and buy a brand new wardrobe to achieve a more confident look. You can mix and match pieces from your current professional wardrobe to create a variety of new and different looks. The key to pulling off a more professional and confident look is how you style your clothes.
The colors that we wear can also impact our productivity. Wearing colors like green or blue can improve our focus and efficiency at work. Stock up on clothing in these colors and see how it can impact your productivity. You can even score pieces in these productivity-boosting colors for less by shopping at thrift stores. Clothing re-sellers like thredUP have a huge selection of clothing from a variety of brands in tons of different colors and styles. Their colorful selection of affordable Lularoe clothing is perfect for increasing your productivity.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Let’s face it, most of us spend a lot of time stressing over the past or future. It can be easy to get stressed out over things when they’re not going as planned. However, this can prevent you from “being in the now.”
One of the best ways you can take care of yourself, and also increase your productivity in the process, is to bring your attention to the present with mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is the idea of being present in the moment. It’s your ability to focus on things which are in the here and now.
While scheduling out a few minutes each day to bring your attention to the present moment may seem like just a small act of self-care, it can actually make a big impact. People who meditate on a regular basis see a variety of productivity-boosting benefits such as improved memory, decreased stress and anxiety, better focus and concentration, an easier time multitasking, and an increase in creative thinking.