Give yourself that much needed downtime.
And you won’t perform your best if you don’t give yourself time to rest. I came up with that. I’m pretty proud of that.
If you can manage to make time for yourself to do something you really enjoy and has nothing to do with work or research or teaching, you can help battle those weeks where you just feel burnt out.
Your boss won’t like it and maybe even you will feel like you didn’t meet your usual goal.
Furthermore, half or more of all employed Americans consider themselves workaholics, are currently stressed about work, check their work e-mails while waking up, spend hours staring at a screen (which could have profound impacts to your eyesight with time), and more. We have a serious problem. The same survey I am getting this information from (click here for the NY post just published in Feb of this year) says the following of the Americans who completed the poll:
- 54% said they prioritize work before personal life
- 51% said they worry about work on days off
- 50% said they struggle to switch off or will actually work while on vacation
- 48% said they check their e-mails in the middle of the night (that’s just crazy)
- 46% said they are the first person to get to work and the last to leave
- 46% said they feel pressured or too busy to take annual leave
- 45% said they work through lunch
- 45% said they feel anxious if they don’t check in or do not know what is going on at work
- 44% said they are being told by friends and family that they work too much
- 39% said they check e-mails first thing in the morning
No guilt, no strings, no consequences. Just you being you being with yourself doing something you want to do.
I’m still learning how to stop and give myself a break. It’s definitely easier said than done, especially when you add other factors into the mix like mental illness, physical illness, children and spouses, personal duties at home, etc. So giving yourself a nice work-life balance is essential. Getting those basic skills down like managing your time can not only alleviate a lot of worry and stress but can also provide you windows of time for you to relax and not think (if that’s what you want) without any guilt. But, if you ever do need to check out but feel like you might be letting someone down, reach out to them and let them know your struggling. If they don’t understand, consider cutting that person out of your life if you can. If it’s your boss, certainly consider working somewhere else.
You deserve to have a boss and work environment that supports you and encourages you to take care of ALL of you, not just the part of you that generates good work and if you don’t have that, I urge you to try to find it elsewhere. It can make a world of difference.
Learn to say “no”. Don’t take on too much. Don’t force yourself to do things when all you feel like doing is resting after working hard for long periods of time. Not only will you thank yourself in the long run but your body and mind will thank you with a happier, healthier, and longer life because your needs have been met properly. Your personal and work life will thank you, too, because you’ll be performing better in all areas when you make sure you take a break once and a while.
Self care: Doing something you purely enjoy just because you want to do it.
- Get enough sleep
- Regularly exercise
- Eat a balanced diet
- Don’t skip meals
- Socialize with close friends and/or family
- Keep up with medical care (daily medications, meditation, going to regular counseling sessions, going to the doctor when your sick, paying attention to that nasty cough)
- Manage your time wisely
- Give yourself at least one day off per week
- Do at least one enjoyable non-work related activity a day like reading, writing a journal entry, writing a blog post, watching TV, talking on the phone to your long-distance BFF, whatever floats your boat