We’re all guilty of it – getting so consumed by our busy schedules and chasing those crazy deadlines that we forget to take a minute to regroup and focus on ourselves. Unfortunately, these things have a way of catching up with us and reminding us that when we don’t look after ourselves, our bodies will certainly let us know about it!
Regardless of whether it’s your work, side hustle, family obligations or other schedule intensive tasks that are taking up most of your time, you need to find a way to ensure that you make time to focus on yourself. As silly as it may sound, you need to schedule a time to do nothing. That’s right, we live in an age where we need to pencil ourselves into our diaries.
So, without going into all of the millions of ways in which we could be looking after ourselves, let’s focus on a few simple ones that can easily be factored into your day without wreaking too much havoc on your carefully crafted schedule.
Sleep time and screen time
This is a no brainer; your body needs to rest! All of the energy you expend throughout the day needs to be recovered, which means that you need to unplug – in every sense of the word. This includes limiting your screen time around bedtime. It’s recommended that you avoid using phones or watching television at least an hour before bed. This is because the blue light emitted by screens slows down the production of the hormone in charge of your sleep cycle, known as melatonin. As a result, it becomes difficult to fall asleep and wake up the following day – and we all know how it feels to try and function on very little sleep.
Rethink your eating habits
This falls into two categories: the food you eat during the day and the food that you eat at night. Let’s start with what you eat during the day. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet is always the best course of action, and to really make the most of your meals, eat them in smaller portions more often. This ensures that your body is properly fuelled for the day and is not burning excess energy trying to digest big, heavy meals that will leave you feeling sluggish. And, on the plus side, smaller, snack-like meals are easier to eat on the go.
On the other end of your day are the foods that you eat in the evening around bedtime. It’s recommended that you avoid consuming caffeine for at least six hours before going to bed to prevent it from keeping you up all night – leading to the temptation of sneaking in some work. Sugary treats are also best left for the daytime as they can result in energy spikes when you should be sleeping.
It can be difficult to take a break when you feel you have a mountain of work to get through, but even five minutes of movement can make you feel more energised and boost productivity, helping you work more efficiently. You need to get moving throughout the day to get your blood flowing and muscles working, and to take a quick break from it all. Try to get up every hour or so to stretch your legs; you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you are during the day.
Whatever you choose to do with your day, make sure that you try and find ways to take a step back and focus on yourself. You can’t help the rest of the world if you’re down for the count, so give yourself a break every once in a while.