Self-care and work: learning to switch off

In recent years, the importance of self-care next to career has increased significantly. More and more people are suffering from stress and being overworked, which can affect their health and quality of life. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a balance between professional commitment and personal well-being in a world characterized by high demands and constant availability.

In this blog post, we explore how important it is to have the ability and freedom to switch off from your professional life. We examine why it is so crucial to take time for rest and relaxation and how this skill can be acquired and integrated into everyday life. The aim is to raise awareness to the importance of self-care and introduce practical methods to reduce work stress and improve general well-being.

a woman places her hands over her heart for self-care

Self-care is a comprehensive concept that encompasses various aspects of life. Here are some important elements of self-care:

Looking after your physical health is an essential part of self-care. This includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and regular preventive healthcare.

Plan regular short breaks during the working day. Get up, go for a walk or do some simple stretching exercises to get some fresh air and relax.

Taking care of your own emotional needs is just as important. This includes recognizing and processing emotions, dealing with stress and maintaining positive relationships.

Taking care of your mental health involves promoting self-awareness, mindfulness and stress management. Learning to recognize and change negative thought patterns is also an important part of mental self-care.

Define clear boundaries between working time and free time. Avoid reading emails or taking business calls after work. Your free time belongs to you. Discover relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. These can help to reduce stress and calm the mind.

Healthy social relationships are a key aspect of self-care. Invest time in relationships with family and friends, build support systems and maintain social contacts.

Effective time management helps to avoid overwork and to plan time for relaxation and recovery. Set priorities and learn to say no when necessary.

Set up a distraction-free space in your home where you can relax. This room should be free of work utensils and electronic devices.

Pursuing hobbies and interests outside of work is a way to find joy and fulfillment. This can be creative, such as painting or making music, or relaxing, such as reading or walking. Dedicate time to your hobbies and interests outside of work. This can include reading, playing sports, cooking or creative activities.

a person reads a book in nature for self-care

There are various reasons why self-care can be a challenge for many people:

In our fast-paced society, the feeling of a lack of time is widespread. Many people are so overloaded with work or family commitments that they hardly have any time for themselves. This constant time pressure means that self-care is often neglected. However, it is important to note that investing in self-care can not only improve one’s health, but can also increase efficiency and well-being in other areas of life. It is important to set priorities and practice effective time management.

Another obstacle is the feeling of guilt when you take time for yourself. When some people focus on their own needs, they fear appearing selfish. However, self-care cannot be equated with selfishness. Rather, it is an important practice to stay physically and mentally healthy and to help others more effectively. Self-care should be seen as a sign of self-love and not a sign of selfishness.

Another obstacle to self-care is perfectionism. People often neglect themselves because of the urge to always be perfect and set unattainable standards. Perfectionists mistakenly believe that they don’t deserve a break until they’ve done everything perfectly. This attitude can cause burnout and dissatisfaction. It’s important to understand that it’s acceptable not to be perfect and that it’s important to have self-care.

Unhealthy coping mechanisms such as excessive alcohol consumption, overeating or excessive work can also leave you unable to care for yourself. These behaviors can help in the short term, but they block the ability for self-care in the long term. It is important to identify these patterns and find alternative, healthier options that support sustainable maintenance of your own wellbeing.

Low self-esteem is often a deep-rooted cause of not taking care of yourself. People with low self-esteem tend to put other people’s needs before their own. They have a misconception that they are not worth taking care of themselves. In order to recognize that everyone, regardless of their achievements or role in society, deserves to take good care of themselves, it is important to work on developing a healthy sense of self-worth.

woman walks across a meadow with her arms outstretched for self-care

Self-care at work is not a luxury, but a necessity. Here are some reasons why it is so important:

Prolonged work-related stress can lead to a variety of health problems such as heart disease, sleep disorders and mental illness. Self-care is crucial to counteract these dangers. The body can recover through conscious measures such as regular breaks, relaxation techniques and a healthy work-life balance. This includes a healthy diet, sufficient exercise and adequate sleep, all of which help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Quality of life is directly influenced by the ability to switch off at work. There is more time and energy for personal interests such as hobbies, family and relaxation. A balanced professional life not only improves personal happiness and satisfaction, but also relationships with friends and family. When you don’t feel constantly overwhelmed by work commitments and instead have time for things that are enjoyable and relaxing, your quality of life improves.

Regular rest and the ability to switch off have a positive effect on work performance. People who take time for self-care are generally more productive and creative in their work. The ability to relax and switch off mentally leads to a higher quality of work and improves the ability to deal with challenges effectively. Good self-care also promotes resilience to stress and helps to avoid burnout. Employees who take care of their own well-being can make greater contributions to the success of their company in the long term.

Switching off from work is an important skill that contributes to maintaining your own health and well-being. Here is some useful advice on how to switch off better at work:

Setting clear boundaries between work and leisure

It is important to draw clear boundaries between work and leisure time. Try not to read work emails or make calls outside of working hours. This helps your brain to distinguish between relaxation and work.

Organize your evening consciously

Plan activities that you can look forward to after work. This could be a hobby, sport, time with the family or simply a relaxing bath. Such routines signal to you that now is the time to switch off.

Use relaxation techniques

Meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga can help you to reduce stress and ease the transition from work to leisure. Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.

Plan regular breaks

You should take regular short breaks during the working day. Use this time for a walk, a few stretching exercises or simply to get some fresh air.

Set up a special workspace

If you work from home, it’s helpful to have a fixed workplace that you can leave at the end of the day. This creates a clear separation between work and leisure.

Communicate openly about your needs

It’s important that your colleagues and superiors know about your efforts to maintain a healthy balance. Open communication can help to find understanding and support.

Pursue hobbies and interests

Make sure you do activities that you enjoy and that take your mind off work. Hobbies are a great way to relax and unwind.

Take care of your health

A balanced diet, sufficient sleep and regular exercise are essential to reduce stress and feel good all round.

Self-care at work is crucial for reducing stress, maintaining health and improving quality of life. It requires conscious effort and the willingness to schedule time for relaxation and recuperation. Learning this skill can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling professional and personal lifestyle.

If you take the time to switch off at work and pay attention to your needs, you will find that you are not only more productive and healthier, but also better able to cope with the challenges of working life. Self-care should be a priority in your work life, and it will pay off in the long run.

You can find out more about self-care in the article “ Self-care for women in management positions:Plan and take breaks! “.

AI-generated content was used and revised for this article.