You’ve heard it before on airplanes. In the event the cabin loses pressure, do not assist others before putting on your own oxygen mask. This advice can be applied to everyday life.
The world moves so fast these days that it can often seem impossible to keep up. Here are a few tips for taking care of yourself, so you’re better able to deal with your obligations to others.
Get enough sleep. Different people are capable of functioning with various amounts of sleep. However, those of us living in the U.S. tend to de-value the amount of sleep as it affects performance or productivity. We are a sleep-deprived nation, working, driving and living on autopilot. Getting enough sleep is important, and has a positive affect on mindset and productivity. So, be sure to allow enough time at night to get the rest you need. If you have trouble sleeping, address that issue head-on by consulting a health professional.
Allow time every day for exercise. Whether your exercise consists of a walk or a workout at the gym with weights or a kickboxing class, it’s essential to exercise. A regular exercise schedule helps keep your body and mind in good shape. I’ve noticed that, even if I’m tired, a little exercise will get the blood flowing and improve my mood.
Take breaks when needed. No matter what kind of work you do, if you feel the need to stop for five minutes and simply tune-out, you should do so. Trying to work on something while feeling overwhelmed will only lead to more problems. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and just let go of the stress and overload. Taking a short walk (even if it’s only down a hall and back) can help immeasurably, if numerous duties are taking their toll on you.
Do not multitask. Just don’t. It’s been proven through more studies than I can cite that trying to multitask causes a drop in productivity and work quality. And no one can really do it. In order to do one thing effectively, you need to focus on what you’re doing. By trying to do two or more things at once, you’ll just sacrifice quality and do a poor job on all the tasks you’re attempting.
Napping is good. Again, it’s been shown that taking short naps during the day helps workers do their best. It is not a sign of laziness. Europeans don’t take siestas for nothing. A quick nap (like the quick break mentioned above) will invigorate you and make you better prepared to handle daily life.
Finally, keep in mind that life is a marathon, not a sprint. And yes, that’s a well-worn cliché. But it’s true.