December 3, 2022

LucianaJury – Arts & Music

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When was the Last Time You Treated Yourself?

3 min read

When was the Last Time You Treated Yourself? | Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

Luciana Jury | When was the Last Time You Treated Yourself? | Stop what you’re doing right now and listen to what your body is saying to you.  Do you feel some aches in some areas of your bodily physique? Do your shoulders and back feel like they’re carrying a ton of weight? Are your eyes telling you to rest for a while? When you take a deep breath, does it seem to yearn for some fresh, outdoor air?

Many times during the day, we forget to listen to our bodies. To pause and allow some time for pure enjoyment seems to be the last on our list of to-dos. Many of us even struggle with feelings of guilt when we do indulge in small pleasures. But studies show that long periods of denying oneself of the simple joys in everyday life lead to a general feeling of discontent in life, and even burnout and a load of mental health challenges.

Practicing self-care is as essential as giving food to our bodies.  But more than nourishment to the body, it is giving sustenance to our minds and souls as well. It could be spending a couple of hours playing your favorite sport with some friends, or even as basic as having coffee with a friend. It is granting yourself an hour of break time to hit the gym instead of focusing on a report that was asked of you as if it calls for life-and-death urgency.  

Spending time with friends has been proven to have a significant positive effect on mental health. Making time for loved ones will boost your mood and change the way you approach routine tasks. When you give yourself the break to refresh your mind and rejuvenate your body, you’ll see that you’ll be able to write that report in just one hour instead of two.  Not only will your boss be pleased, but your body will be grateful too. 

Sometimes, all that is needed is a little effort to shift our mindset to choose to take care of one’s health of mind and body.  Doing this is certain to improve both our productivity and our well-being at work and home. The next time you’re undecided about taking a break in the middle of a huge task or responsibility, stop and think about how your mental, social, and emotional well-being will be more at risk if you don’t.  Decide that treating yourself once in a while will give you more energy and focus, thus making it easier for you to handle daily tasks.

It will take a while for you to get used to prioritizing your needs, and of course, there will always be cases when you need to put others before yourself, but not to the extent that you will end up feeling drained of life. Soon enough, you’ll learn that prioritizing your own needs isn’t selfish, and the usual guilt you feel when choosing yourself will fade away.  Because now you know that ultimately, taking care of yourself will result in the best version of you, both for your work and for the people whom you love.