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Self Care for Career Success: 6 Tips to Balance Work and Life

Wake Forest School of Professional Studies has partnered with Career Maven Tiffany Tate to offer SPS students relevant career resources. As Founder of Career Maven, Tiffany works with clients to demystify the job search process while also partnering with organizations to reimagine the future of work.

In the whirlwind of deadlines, meetings, and job responsibilities, self-care often takes a backseat for working professionals. But what exactly is self care, and why does it matter for professionals?

In this blog, let’s dive into a deeper understanding of self-care and actionable strategies for balancing work and life for career success.

Understanding Self Care 

Self-care isn’t just about indulgence, bubble baths, and spa days. Think of it as a holistic approach to nurturing your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It includes all actions that restore and rejuvenate while positioning you for resilience in the face of everyday challenges, which in turn enhances your productivity by mitigating stress, enforcing boundaries, and promoting overall mental clarity. 

The (sometimes) relentless pace of the professional world can lead to burnout and decreased effectiveness if we aren’t careful. When professionals neglect self-care strategies, the following can happen: 

  • The quality of our work suffers
  • Our level of engagement in the workplace dwindles
  • Our creativity and drive often take a hit.

Career Maven Tiffany TateIntegrating self-care into a busy work life might seem daunting, but it’s feasible with a mindful approach to everyday habits.

How to Integrate Self Care into the Work-Life Balance Equation

Balancing self care with professional commitments might seem like a luxury, but it’s a critical step in optimizing performance in the workplace as you advance in your career. 

Here are six self care recommendations to consider for professionals at every career stage. 

  1. Boundaries
    Define clear boundaries between work and personal life, including:

    • Establish set work hours
    • Refrain from checking emails outside established work hours
    • Create a designated workspace to delineate the boundaries between work time and personal time.
  2. Mindful Breaks
    Integrate short breaks throughout the workday to recharge. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, stretching, or practicing mindfulness for a few minutes can boost your focus and energy levels.
  3. Physical Well-being
    Prioritize physical health by incorporating regular exercise into your routine and maintaining a balanced diet. Simple changes like opting for a walk during lunch breaks or choosing nutritious snacks can significantly impact your well-being and focus.
  4. Mental Health Check-Ins
    Schedule regular moments to check in with your mental well-being. Consider reflective activities like journaling, meditation, or professional therapy when needed. Making time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy can also nurture your mental health outside of the day-to-day responsibilities of your job.
  5. Support Systems
    Recognize the power of seeking help when necessary. Whether it’s delegating tasks at work or seeking advice from mentors or peers, utilizing support systems can alleviate stress and foster a sense of community.
  6. Time Management
    Master the art of effective time management by prioritizing tasks and avoiding procrastination. Some tools for optimizing productivity and reducing stress for this include: 
    • Creating to-do lists
    • Setting realistic goals
    • Breaking tasks into manageable chunks 

One of my favorite strategies for time and energy management is the pomodoro technique for brief work sprints, like powering through emails or wrapping up a project with deeply focused time and attention.

Self care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity for professionals striving for long-term success and well being. Integrating self care practices into the fabric of your approach to work-life balance is essential

By recognizing the significance of self care and implementing practical strategies to achieve it, working professionals can navigate their careers with renewed energy, resilience, and a newfound sense of fulfillment. Remember, success isn’t solely defined by achievements at work, but also by your ability to maintain overall well being outside of work, too.

Wake SPS students can access Tiffany’s webinar, “Wellbeing @ Work: Navigating Work & Life Integration” in the Pearl Cafe here