As we get close to the end of summer, how much time did you take for you to re-charge? When you prioritize your career over your well-being, you hurt yourself and others. By focusing on your well-being, however, you can improve your life both professionally and personally.
The Japanese have a word for someone who dies from working too much: karoshi. It happens often in Japan. This prioritization of work over health exists in the United States as well.
People who strive in their careers often experience significant physical and mental stress. They believe doing well in their careers is more important than pursuing personal well-being. The reality is that you can do both.
Do you have days where your mind is moving from one idea to another and it’s hard to focus? Most of us do. When you find yourself struggling with “monkey-mind,” stop, and breathe. You may need to dialogue with your unruly thoughts, tell yourself that you will work out the issues behind your mental turmoil. You should not respond to emails or conversations when you feel scattered. Reply later, when you are in a calmer state.
Meditate daily, starting with just a couple of minutes and increasing the time over the course of a month. It can help to do it as part of your morning ritual. In time, you can employ the mindfulness you’ve achieved in meditation as you do any daily tasks. The goal is to use your senses, and remain present in whatever you are doing. When you are able to energize yourself and be present, you will make better decisions and experience improved relationships. Sit in silence for a minute or two before you enter a business meeting. To avoid thinking badly of people, pretend others can see your thoughts.
Something to Think About
If an issue is something that you can deal with, develop a plan of action. If you have too much work, perhaps you can delegate or reprioritize tasks. Checking in with yourself during the day can also help. Pay attention to your breathing, posture, and facial expressions, as well as what you’re thinking and feeling. This simple practice can remind you to stay present in the moment.
Having time away from work to restore energy and balance is important. Schedule personal activities just as you would work events. Sleep for seven to nine hours per night. Allocate time to engage in personal interests. This downtime will allow you to be more productive each day.
Words of Wisdom
Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. – Parker Palmer
Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. – Oprah
A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life. – Andrew Matthews
Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical. – Sophia Loren
Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down. – Roy T. Bennett