How Self-Care Impacts Performance

woman relaxing with cucumbers over her eyes.

It’s November and that means the holidays are right around the corner. While nothing beats spending quality time with loved ones, this busy time of year can bring stress to many. If you feel your employees or coworkers may be overwhelmed with approaching deadlines or experiencing burnout, encourage them to make time for themselves. Self-care is a vital component in physical, emotional, and mental well-being, says Forbes 

What is self-care?  

Self-care is the act of paying attention to and supporting one’s own physical and mental health (keyword: own not others’), according to Harvard Medical SchoolSelf-care is also included in treatment for physical and mental health disorders.  

Why is it important?  

Routine self-care improves performance in several areas of life which leads to improved health and well-being overall. According to Forbes, routine self-care:  

    • Improves performance at work 
    • Supports healthy work-life balance 
    • Helps with stress management   
    • Improves physical health  
    • Elevateself-esteem  

group of coworkers brainstorming while one person types notes on a computer.

Categories of self-care  

There are several categories of self-care that work together to improve performance in the workplace and beyondHere are some tips from Wright State University 

    • Physical self-care – Keeping your body active, wellrested, and wellnourished will give you the energy and patience needed to succeed at work and home.  
    • Emotional self-care  Volunteer often. Helping others promotes optimism, gratification, and resilience within yourself. When you notice negative thoughts, smile more. Research shows, smiling can change your mood.  
    • Internal self-care  Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine, practice positive self-talk, be kind to yourself. Give your best effort and try not to sweat the small stuff – you are human after all.  
    • Social self-care  Build a support system of friends and family. Get involved in organizational committees or community clubs. Learn when to say ‘no’ when you’ve reached your limits. There’s no shame in delegating a new task when you have plenty on your plate.  
    • Spiritual self-care – Create a list of values that are important to you. Getting in touch with those core values every now and then can ease feelings of anxiety and stress. 
    • Environmental self-care – Make sure your desk and home are clean, organized, and comfortable. This can help reduce anxiety and increase a sense of control. 

a man and a woman sitting next to each other reading their books.

If self-care is such an important component to living a healthy life, why don’t we think twice about canceling that yoga class or working late when our workload gets heavy? The same reason we tend to ignore the physical signs we may be getting burnt out or depressed – busy is the new normal. The good news is, you can help change that societal norm. You have the power to start making a positive change in your workplace. Practice deep breathing, take evening walks, start a new book, pack healthy lunches, converse with coworkers, get plenty of rest etc.  Show your employees and coworkers it’s important to take time for themselves and take a breather from their busy routines.