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Here's Why You Should Do One Thing Just for You Each Week

Self-care is essential. It means putting yourself first and listening to what your body and mind need. If our needs are met, we're more emotionally available to others and can be present for them.
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It can be difficult to make time for yourself every week. With all your family and work commitments, you often put yourself last. Running errands alone, your commute to work and doing laundry don't count as time to yourself. To reap the rewards of the "me time," you need to do something nice just for yourself. Although it may seem like a frivolous luxury, taking time for yourself every week is important. Here are five reasons why.

You'll Sleep Better

Sleep is essential for the body and mind to work well. During sleep, our minds sort through the events of the day, fuse memories and process emotions. If you can't sleep due to overwhelming situations at work or in your personal life, your outlook will suffer.

When you do a kind and loving activity for yourself, it can help to ease your stress. It can be a soak in a hot tub, a massage or a yoga class. By taking the time to love yourself, you will enjoy a better night's sleep and a more positive attitude.

You'll Be More Focused

When trying to problem solve, it's best to take a break and come back to it. The break is essential in resolving challenges. Step away from it and concentrate on something else altogether.

A productive pause allows the brain to reset. It's especially effective when we move onto a task that is mindless, because allows the brain and body to relax. This incubation period doesn't require much thought, so it frees up your unconscious to work and results in creative sparks.

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You'll Be Able to Help Others

You have many people who count on you at home and in the office, but unless you take care of yourself, you won't be able to fulfill your commitments to them.

Self-care is essential. It means putting yourself first and listening to what your body and mind need. If our needs are met, we're more emotionally available to others and can be present for them.

Keep in mind that we can't fill the holes in other peoples' souls. Author Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D said, "Wouldn't we all like someone else to do the hard work necessary for helping us grow up? But growing up by definition requires effort."

You'll Be More Positive

Taking time out from your roles and responsibilities allows you to be more positive. A Harvard study discovered that people are happiest when making love, being physically active or in conversation. The study revealed that people are least happy when resting, working or using a home computer.

Without time for yourself, you're only focusing on responsibilities and you aren't engaging with happiness and positivity. If you can integrate time to take care of yourself, you'll bring positivity and lightness to the forefront of your life and be able to apply it to everything you do.

You'll Increase Your Energy

By setting aside time for yourself, where you are the singular focus, you reset your regulatory capacity. It puts a halt to other people and issues sucking energy from you.

When you step away to take care of yourself, you have time to tune out responsibilities. You can recharge your battery and replenish your energy reserves. It's an opportunity to refresh yourself.

Whether it's a manicure, a jog, a coffee date or a guilty-pleasure TV show, taking time for yourself has major benefits. It can help you in the moment as well as the minutes, hours and days that follow. Carve out a little bit of time to reengage with yourself. Take a step away from job stresses and family responsibilities, and you won't regret it!

This post was originally published on ProductivityTheory.com.

Image by Jon Houldsworth.