When your schedule is hectic, caring for yourself is often the last thing on your mind. Meetings, conference calls and deadlines take precedence over healthy eating, exercise and adequate sleep. This kind of lifestyle can result in burnout, but fortunately it’s possible to avoid that outcome with a little planning. Following these tips, you’ll be able to take better care of yourself without neglecting any of your responsibilities or reducing your workload and family obligations.
1. Focus on Time Management Skills
A 2014 study published by the Journal of Marketing Research indicated that it’s not necessarily our obligations and time constraints that result in excess stress but the choices we make when scheduling our time. Inadequate time management that leads to high levels of stress can end in more serious health problems like sleep apnea, high blood pressure and insomnia. Some of the best ways to improve time management include scheduling downtime each day, using lists to prioritize your tasks and delegating work that can be trusted to another member of your team.
2. Speak with a Counselor Once Per Month
While you may not feel the need to speak with someone about how you’re feeling, a quick monthly meeting with a counselor or therapist can be beneficial to anyone — especially those who have put self-care on the back burner in favor of a hectic schedule. An estimated one in five Canadians are experiencing some sort of mental health issue, and many of those issues are the result of workplace stress. Even though you may not always recognize signs of stress in yourself, a professional counselor or therapist will have a good idea if the stress caused by your busy schedule is taking a toll on your mental or physical health fairly quickly and will be able to make appropriate recommendations.
3. Make Healthy Eating a Priority
When you’re always on the go, skipped meals and drive-through dinners become the norm. These types of unhealthy habits can lead to obesity, fatigue and an inability to focus during the workday. Be sure to start your day off right with a healthy breakfast. According to Dieticians of Canada, 40 percent of Canadians skip breakfast. If you find you’re often forgetting to stop working to eat lunch, make sure to schedule a reminder on your phone or pencil it into your daily calendar. If you find yourself pressed for time each day, make breakfast and lunch for the following day at bedtime, and if you’re finding it difficult to cook dinner each night, prepare freezer meals for the week ahead on Saturday or Sunday.