In the post I wrote last week on self-care tips, I said that I do believe that there is a place for themed self-care tips. One such themed self-care tip that I have experience in is with working long hours, hence my post for today.
Whether it be for a project in high school or college, or ending up working long evenings because of a job I have, I have some experience in trying to take care of myself through working really long hours in order to get work done.
Note that all of these tips are ones that are not time-consuming by design, not by any stretch.
So, without further adieu, here are my self-care tips for working long hours:
- Make sure you take breaks to stretch and stand up. I don’t know about others, but if I spend way too long at a computer, my productivity ends up tanking. However, by standing up and stretching, you give yourself a mini-break to recharge and refuel.
- When/if you have a longer break during your workday, try to do something relaxing that is not work related. It might be reading a book, taking a walk, praying (if you’re the religious type), or working on a crossword puzzle, but do something to take a break. Otherwise, you may run the risk of getting burnt out.
- Feed yourself. I’m going to put my foot down here—it doesn’t matter how busy you are or how much you “don’t have time” to eat. It’s difficult to work productively on an empty stomach, so eat! And ideally, eat a nutritionally balanced meal, not just a bunch of potato chips and a chocolate bar.
- Once you’re done with work for the night, take at least 10-15 minutes before you go to bed to do something relaxing. Speaking from my own experiences, if I don’t do that, I have a hard time sleeping and/or I have nightmares related to the work that I do. There was one time I worked three long days in a row, and by the end of it all I was having work-related nightmares—no fun!
- If you anticipate working long hours, do try and make sure you get adequate sleep both before and after your day of working long hours. I understand that this can sometimes be difficult depending on life circumstances, but try to get 7-8 hours of sleep before and after the long day of work you’re anticipating so that you’re well rested for the work you have to do.
- If you anticipate working several long days in short succession, and you accumulate time off with your job, consider taking a day off (or even a morning or afternoon off from work) after those long days are over so that you can get some rest. Some jobs result in your accumulating compensatory time off instead of overtime. If that is the case, then consider using some of it in order to get rest after working several long days in short succession.
These are a few of the tips I have for working long hours. If others have additional tips beyond what I have here, please let me know in the comments section below!