Everyday chores and responsibilities require attention, energy, and dedication. The more tasks we take on the busier we become. Whether we are doing school work, building a brand and a business, answering emails, attending meetings, going to the office/other work locations, or taking care of our families, busyness demands time and effort. While our daily schedules influence and prompt us to prioritize work-related tasks, it becomes difficult to slow down and also include self-care habits and routines that are important, too.
When much of our time is dedicated to working, when do we incorporate self-care and breaks into our daily schedule? How do we know when to effectively manage our time, so we are not forced to take a break because of burnout?
Constant busyness causes burnout. Burnout negatively affects mental, physical, and emotional health, performance, and productivity. A lack of rest results in procrastination, exhaustion, irritation, and stress, causing brain fog, lack of motivation, and feelings of anxiety. The more energy externalized, the less energy there is to complete tasks and goals effectively.
Combating burnout means knowing when to take breaks, putting mental, physical, and emotional health first, and honoring our needs.
Note: It’s okay to be busy, but understanding the balance between work and rest can help us establish a healthy relationship with our limits and boundaries.
Honoring Our Needs and Taking a Break
Taking a break from busyness means realizing that it’s okay to take a step back. Taking a step back does not make us lazy or unproductive. Taking a step back means we are honoring our needs and recharging our mind and body.
Here are some questions to help us honor our needs better and prioritize self-care:
Self-Care Check-In Questions
- How do I feel?
- Do I feel tired, irritated, or annoyed?
- Am I anxious or worried?
- Do I feel down and unmotivated?
- What do I need a break from?
- How long will my break be?
- How will I prioritize myself?
- How will I practice self-care today?
- Should I go for a walk?
- Should I call a friend?
- Should I ask for an extension on the work I have due?
- When was the last time I ate my favorite food or watched my favorite show?
- Can I treat myself to a spa day?
- Do I need to meditate or find a quiet room to relax?
- Do I need a breather?
- Can I ask anyone for help with my responsibilities?
“Doing” Does Not Equal Worth
Glorifying “doing” traps us in the mentality that actively pursuing a goal or motive adds to our worth. “Doing” does not take away from our “being.” We are who we are despite how much we accomplish. It’s okay to take our time, ask for help, and slow down when our body tells us we are doing too much.
Affirmations to practice when prioritizing self-care:
- My commitment to self-care does not make me selfish.
- I will honor my mental health by taking a step back.
- I am in control of my life and my decisions.
- My worth is not determined by how much work I get done in a day.
- My self-care is worth setting time for.
- I am enough.
- “I am” no matter what I’m doing or how much I’ve accomplished. Each breath I take makes me worthy and valuable.
Note: No matter how much or how little we feel we accomplished today, we are still worthy of life, peace, and happiness. Anything we accomplished today is good enough.
Nina is a Latina from Brooklyn, NY who struggles with depression and anxiety. She finds refuge and healing through her writing since she graduated from college in 2016. Nina writes to spread awareness and hope to those who struggle with their mental health silently. She also strives to motivate and encourage self-acceptance. She enjoys creating creative and uplifting content on her blog SparklyWarTanks.com where she shares her experiences, notes, poems, quotes, and articles