As many of us know, likely all too well, this time of year can get a little chaotic. And when things get really busy, self-care often falls by the wayside. But it really shouldn’t – in fact, when we stretch ourselves too thin, productivity often decreases, along with personal happiness.
Each of us can take steps, personally and professionally, to better care for ourselves and ensure we are as productive and happy as possible, even during hectic times. Here are our steps:
We don’t know about you, but when we’re busy, things can get sort of messy – from our computer desktops to our actual ones. For many, this only leads to more stress and anxiety. Taking a few minutes to get your spaces and files organized will set you up for more focused thinking (AND stop you from doing it when you should be focusing on real work… we’ve been there!). If you’re not all that into physical organization, it might be helpful to just make a list: get your scattered thoughts out of your head and onto a piece of paper. However you go about it, don’t underestimate the power of organization in a busy moment.
The thing about to do lists? They can be incredibly daunting when you’ve got a lot going on. Sometimes you feel like you just need to get started – right now – and tackle it. When you’re really busy, prioritizing is absolutely essential. What are the things that you really want to do, and the things that you really have to do? Make note of them. The other items, anything that can be done later, should drop down to the bottom of your list. You can always do them if you have more time, but if you don’t, you know they aren’t essential and can focus on them later.
This applies to social events too. As much as we may want to connect with everyone we know, and make it to every event and networking opportunity we’re invited to, it’s probably not going to happen. Take a minute to actually think about which are truly important to you, and say no to the rest. People will understand – we’ve all got a lot going on.
Prioritizing allows you to do and be the best you can possibly be, while staying present in the moment.
This one extends to all areas of your life, but is particularly important when busy. Setting boundaries is different from prioritizing; it’s about setting limits for yourself based on what you know is good for you. We’ve talked about the power of saying no to protect your own well being, and the benefits you’ll likely see when you do. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t challenge yourself or step outside of your comfort zone – that’s important too. But listen to yourself, and allow yourself to say no.
Give Yourself a Break
No matter how much we may want (and try!) to, none of us can do it all. And that is okay. It really is. Even if you’re perfectly organized, prioritized, and have set boundaries, you still may not accomplish everything, or something unexpected may pop up. Cut yourself some slack. More than likely, it’s not the end of the world. If you need it – and, let’s face it, we all do – allow yourself to take breaks. Whether you read, meditate, watch TV, or just hang out, breaks are allowed, and vital. Don’t feel guilty – you don’t need to be productive or busy all the time.
How do you do to take care of yourself when you have a lot going on? Share with us – we’re all in this together. Here’s how: