Did you know that making time for soothing self-care comes with the added benefit of making you even more productive at home or work?
When’s the last time you did a little something just for you? You probably already know that spending even just one hour without any distractions, crying kids, barking dogs and email notifications is essential for maintaining your sanity. But juggling your own well-being while still maintaining a productive work schedule can get tricky. Between soccer practice, Zoom calls, errands, and whatever else you have on your plate, you might feel like you just don’t have enough hours in the day to take a much-needed break.
So whether you’re just focusing on the basics or are already a master of Zen, we’ve rounded up five self-care measures for a more productive week.
Set Your Phone Down
You might think always being available to respond to every call, text, or email is the secret to becoming a productivity powerhouse. But the truth is, we can all benefit from a little focus-time throughout the day. Putting down your phone and turning on airplane mode is a great way to disconnect yourself from outside influence and step away to really focus on the task at hand. You don’t need to respond to your best friend’s brunch invite or your boss’s budget question right away. Instead, schedule some screen-free time to really get to work and knock some things off your to-do list.
Incorporate Exercise Into Your Day
At its root, self-care is about making sure that your body has the basic elements it needs to function at its best. Consider mindful movement as a way to unplug from your busy day and take a much-needed break when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Schedule a yoga class or take a short walk outdoors to clear your head and refocus before getting back to your next task. If you find that spending an hour or two at the gym doesn’t fit into your schedule, there’s plenty of other ways to make sure you keep your body moving throughout the day. Consider buying a standing desk to upgrade your WFH setup and get your blood flowing throughout the day.
Do a Skincare Routine
When you think of self-care, you might already think of fancy face masks and soothing bubble baths. But don’t discount these practices just because they’re cliché! Self-care is all about bringing your attention to the present and listening to your body. When you are applying your silky-smooth creams and serums, your attention is drawn to the feeling on your skin and the calming scent—not your to-do list. By taking a little time away and focusing on what you want to do, rather than what you have to do, you’re working on asserting your boundaries and making sure your mental energy levels are at their highest.
Take More Breaks
Spending less time at work or on essential tasks may seem counterproductive to getting things done, but self-care isn’t about creating more time to be productive. Instead, it’s all about making sure you’re at your best to be more productive. Don’t be afraid to go on your lunch break or take a fifteen minute trip to the coffee machine to get away from your workspace or to-do list. These short blocks of relaxation can help your body and brain recharge and get you back in the focus mindset. Taking the proper time for you will let you glide through your day with less effort, meaning you’ll be able to work smarter, not harder.
Surround Yourself with Nature
If you can’t or don’t want to go outside, surrounding yourself with some calming greenery can help keep you Zen, too. Interacting with plants or even just looking at them can have an extremely calming and soothing effect. Consider placing a little green friend in your office or decorating your WFH desk with a sturdy indoor plant. If you’re a stay at home mom, there’s still plenty of ways to incorporate greenery in your home. Hang soothing eucalyptus in your shower or place fresh blooms in a vase somewhere that’s just for you and far away from your kids, pets, and stressors.
Why Self Care Matters
Most of us live with a ‘do’ mindset. Our sense of self-esteem and self-worth is often defined by what we’re able to do and accomplish. We may even live with the idea that slowing down or taking a second to breath is a sign of weakness or a failure to make the most of our day. While it can take time to unlearn these limiting beliefs, it’s important to remember that self-care is often the key to succeeding and living a happy, productive life and making sure you’re recharged enough to be the best mom, friend, or coworker you can be.
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness. Follow her on Instagram @TessLynne.