Self Care is Not Selfish (Part 1)

By Diana Lopez

Part 1Apr 1 2022

self-care-part1

Choosing a job can be a powerful tool for both personal fulfilment and emotional balance. It’s an opportunity to define our sense of purpose and to feel good about ourselves on a daily basis. But when stress and tension become unmanageable, it can take a serious toll on our overall health and well-being, impairing not just our mental and emotional state, but our enjoyment and ability to excel in our chosen profession. It’s important to prioritize mental health alongside career goals to maximize fulfilment and success.

Finding emotional balance is like walking along a tightrope. Sometimes we feel steady and secure, taking each step with confidence. Other times, the rope seems to sway beneath our feet, making it difficult to keep our footing. But the good news is that emotional balance is within our control, and when we are able to achieve it, we can feel a sense of peace and clarity. On the other hand, when we struggle to maintain balance, we may experience difficulty processing our thoughts and emotions, which can lead to negative consequences for our well-being. So, whether we are navigating major life changes or simply dealing with everyday stressors, finding ways to stay mentally and physically balanced can help us to live more fulfilling and productive lives.

Understanding Stress

In our fast-paced world, stress is an everyday experience that we all must navigate. However, not all stress is bad. That jittery feeling during a job interview? It could be just the thing that helps you perform your best. But when workplace stress starts to pile up, it can lead to serious health risks and exacerbate existing conditions. So, it’s important to manage our stress levels and find healthy coping mechanisms before they spiral out of control.

Why Emotional Balance Is Crucial

Maintaining emotional balance is key to leading a fulfilling life, but it’s not always easy. Stress at work and in your personal life can impact your emotional health, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and burned out. To combat these effects, it’s important to learn how to recognize when you’re experiencing stress and take action to manage it.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to emotional balance since everyone’s circumstances are different. However, there are several daily practices you can adopt to improve your well-being. By being mindful of your stress triggers, scheduling downtime, and prioritizing your responsibilities, you can create a more harmonious and balanced life. So take the first step today and start making your emotional health a top priority!

To thrive both at work and in your personal life, it’s vital to make self-care a priority. By nourishing your physical and mental health, you’ll be able to maintain a sense of balance and purpose, which will ultimately translate into better performance on the job. Plus, by carving out time for the people and hobbies you love, you’ll feel more fulfilled and energized in all aspects of your life. So remember: taking care of yourself isn’t selfish—it’s the key to thriving.

At work

The place where we spend most of our waking hours, our workplace, can have a profound effect on our overall emotional well-being. While some factors are out of our control, we do have the power to shape some aspects of our workday to ensure we feel centred and balanced. So, whether it’s carving out personal downtime, creating a stress-reducing workspace, or simply taking deep breaths periodically throughout the day, it’s important to focus on small routines that support our mental health in the workplace. After all, when we feel better at work, we show up as our best selves both on and off the clock.

These are some tools:

  • Learn how to prioritise and identify the steps and necessary processes to achieve the target
  • Taking regular breaks, even a five minutes break to stretch, drink water and practice breathing exercises is still good
  • Try not to take work home
  • Take your holiday leave
  • Set realistic deadlines
  • Set boundaries, it is okay to say “no”, you just need to learn how to do it appropriately
  • Have a technology break
  • Make use of the Employee Assistance Program – EAP
  • Good communication skills with peers and clients or customers can also support the work environment and relationships
  • Ensure you are clear on the rights and responsibilities related to your role
  • Be proactive in your performance reviews and let your manager raise areas of concern so you can make realistic adjustments.

Lifestyle

Transforming your lifestyle to prioritize nutritious meals, consistent physical activity, ample sleep, and steering clear of detrimental substances is crucial in maintaining emotional stability. By implementing these habits, you can conquer symptoms of depression and anxiety while simultaneously boosting your overall state of wellness.

Exercise

Moving our bodies is key to keeping our minds and bodies healthy, but let’s be real, it can be tough to prioritize it. Luckily, exercise is a powerful tool for reducing stress, anxiety, and even depression. Plus, it doesn’t have to be a solo gym session or a long run – there are endless ways to be more active and social, whether it’s taking a dance class or going on a group hike. So let’s prioritize our movement, not just for our physical health, but for our emotional well-being too.

Relaxation

Unwind and de-stress with a variety of relaxation techniques! Breathe deep and feel your worries melt away with simple breathing exercises. Or, try progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, meditation, mindfulness, or get moving with gentle physical activities. Thanks to YouTube and downloadable apps, there are endless ways to find peace and relaxation at your fingertips. And don’t forget, disconnecting from electronics and spending quality time with loved ones or just on your own are powerful ways to find inner calmness. Let stress be a thing of the past with these go-to relaxation methods!

Easy and practical tools for relaxation:

  • Make a list of positive things that help you to relax so you have it on hand when you need it and place it somewhere that you can see it often
  • Go outdoors, look for nature spots or at least take a walk on a quiet street
  • Yoga and meditation are good sources of relaxation
  • Read an inspiring book or magazine
  • Journaling, there is no right or wrong way of doing this, the purpose is to put down your thoughts and find insights
  • Go to a market
  • Learn simple cook recipes
  • Listen to uplifting and positive music
  • Play with your children or pets
  • Buy some colourful flowers or plants
  • Take a relaxing bath or get a massage

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to our well-being. The consequences of poor sleep or sleep deprivation go beyond just feeling tired. It can have serious effects on our health, weaken our immune systems and hinder our ability to function at our best. Without quality rest, our moods may suffer and our safety could be at risk. It’s clear that sleep is essential to living our best life.

Easy and practical tools for better sleep:

  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
  • Practice sleep hygiene and assess your sleep environment  and make the necessary adjustments
  • Stick to a regular sleep pattern – even on the weekend
  • Cut out naps, which can interfere with your quality of sleep
  • No phones, TVs, work or laptops in the bedroom and eliminate blue lights at least an hour before going to sleep

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