Image courtesy of the author If you don’t take care of yourself, who will, your boss? If you want to become the most productive you’ve ever been, you need to slow down the pace; it’s that simple. Where are we racing to, after all, the finish line—death? GAME OVER. The old quote associated with James Dean, “live fast, die young” should be out of style by now. When you care about yourself first and foremost, you will complete tasks quicker and be clearheaded and focused, which will mean less time doing work, responsibilities, and chores and will provide you with more time for self-care. Some may wonder, what exactly does self-care entail? In this article, we will explain how to treat yourself the way that you should. Society has evolved into a rat race; people commute to their nine to five jobs every day. If you’re in a large urbanized city, like New York City, the morning commute is not only miserable, it can be monotonous, smelly, hot or cold, and depending on the weather, the stench may worsen. You may experience grown adults in business suits heading to Wall Street who pick their nose and flick it in the subway; a jealous person may try to attack you, and people pack into each cart like sardines hoping to make it to the office on time. One uncovered cough from an inconsiderate commuter may just land you the flu. The experience can be rather dangerous on any given day, considering the crazies, terrorists, and germs that lurk on or near mass public transit systems. In 2016, New York City experienced an exploding homemade pressure cooker bomb in a trash can in Chelsea . Three bombs in the NYC Metropolitan area went off; this horrifying event injured many. Some of the explosives had to be disarmed near train stations in New Jersey. “Ahmad Khan Rahimi stands trial on charges he injured 30 people in a daylong bombing spree in New York and New Jersey.” The New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio stated it is “obviously an act of terrorism.” The homemade bombs were placed in public places where large numbers of people simply pass by each minute, many on their daily commute. If you currently love your career but are tired of your daily commute, and all you need to get your work done is your computer, phone, and fast internet service, then it is wise to present a well-researched plan of action to your boss and ask for flexible remote work capabilities. As long as you present your case well, your boss may grant you remote work, allowing you to avoid the mass transit daily commute in the big city and the ability to save on transportation costs in other states. Self-care is real; allow yourself time to sleep in and have extra time for you. If your boss doesn’t budge, you may want to engage yourself with companies that value what you do. That old concept that you have to work hard and play hard is ancient and should be thrown out the door. You can enjoy your life once you find the craft you’re meant to do and consistently perfect your skills. Forward-thinking organizations embrace telecommuting. This quote should always resonate with people trying to find what they’re good at in life: As Abraham H. Maslow puts it, “What one can be, one must be!” Think long and hard about what you are good at and just do it! Working smart starts with prioritizing your time productively and efficiently; this way, you can cut down the amount of time you’re working. As Mark Twain’s saying goes, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” When you use your brain and tap into the self-care mode, productivity will follow and you’ll get more done than you ever imagined. In a world full of prices, there are plenty of things to buy and afford every second you step out of your house. Take that back; any moment you click your mouse or tap the submit or buy button on your smartphone—cha-ching — you owe. It’s understandable; we all have to work to make ends meet, plus more. Whether you’re stuck at a job that you loathe walking into each morning or love what you do, it’s wise to practice self-care strategies; once you do, you may open your mind to larger possibilities. Stepping outside your comfort zone will help you find the skillsets and crafts you were born to do, and it may give you the courage to concentrate on your brand. Working too long without any breaks in between is not only unhealthy, but it can also be draining, which can lead to worker burnout. If you work at a computer and desk job, you must move from your seated position at least every hour. Sitting is known to be the new smoking . WebMD published an article claiming, “those that sat were twice as likely to get heart disease as those that stood” and “you’re more likely to die early from any cause if you sit for long stretches at a time.” The article also claims that you can get diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, anxiety, dementia, along with a multitude of other diseases, including cancer. Perhaps using an updated Apple Watch or FitBit is a bright idea; the Apple Watch reminds you to stand every hour. There are several technological strategies to notify you it’s time to stand up or breathe. Take advantage of progress or not. Getting up and taking breaks allows you “you” time, which is imperative to keep your sanity. Once you grab some fresh air outside, coffee, tea, or a slight standing stretch, you can go back to work. This little bit of movement will refresh your bogged down brain and give you energy to complete more in a fraction of the time. More energy goes hand-in-hand with getting work done more efficiently. Give yourself a break and finish your important responsibilities faster. Food Is Medicine; Don’t Forget It Too often, people are sick and tired of being just that—sick and tired—but what they aren’t considering is the food and junk they let enter their bodies regularly. Once people look at food as medicine, their moods will dramatically improve. When organic and zero-pesticide fruits, vegetables, good fats, and lean meats (antibiotic-free) enter our bodies, we not only become happier right away, but after enough integration and consumption of healthy food, we become optimal and healthier. Our immune systems get stronger, and you will notice a physical change for the better. Once people feel good inside and out, they will have more time to focus on the major goals at hand and can live a healthier life. Stop Living So Fast, Otherwise, You Won’t Last When you analyze life in a philosophical sense, you will realize that living fast should never be an option. After all, there are too many companies on the market that are already trying to kill us indirectly with products and food that have too many chemicals and bad ingredients in them; these toxins and carcinogens can later affect human bodies. It is true, sometimes bosses overwork their employees down into the ground. Put yourself first. Corporations have been looking at people as recyclables for far too long; set yourself apart from the rat race masses. When you slow down the pace, you can assess what is going on, feed yourself better, and stop the skewed hamster wheel mindset. Breathe—1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … Before you make any rash decisions, look outside and take a deep breath. Take a few moments and focus on your breathing, close your eyes, and think about paradise—your type of paradise. Now, count to ten as you inhale and exhale; do this as many times as you need to. Learning to breathe and meditate will calm your mind and body. When you concentrate on breathing, more oxygen heads to your brain and benefits us all with absolute clarity. Living fast can represent many different things, from high stress, destroying your mind and body with unhealthy food, excessive drinking, or drug use, to not sleeping enough. Oftentimes, we hear stories about successful people and how they’re living fast; they end up destroying their bodies early on. Some of these stars are already six feet under. Let’s face it, there is nothing glamorous about this type of lifestyle other than pure tragedy. As it is, there is an opiate and mental health crisis that runs worldwide; young and old, rich and poor are getting addicted to destructive drugs. Just say no, and for the legal choices, if you’re going to partake, always use your best judgement, and moderation is always key. Have a sip of tea or red wine and unwind; this type of self-care tip in moderation is bound to take the edge off and will allow you to plan your next self-care vacation. Give yourself time. With global inflation always increasing year after year, it’s no wonder that many of us are lacking sleep. If you don’t take this self-care step seriously, you may affect your future health and immunity; it’s only a matter of time. Our bodies come into contact with too many toxins each day; our body needs time to regenerate. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night is always recommended according to the National Sleep Foundation . If you’re feeling down and can’t seem to pull yourself out of it, you must seek help. Talk to a licensed medical professional and perhaps ask them about getting a Nutri-Panel test; this test can determine your vitamin levels in depth. Believe it or not, when our mental health is suffering from conditions related to depression and anxiety, sometimes the root of the problem stems from our gut and what we do or don’t let enter our bodies . Once you find what vitamins you’re low on, you can slowly work toward finding the root of the problem, instead of masking it with “Big Pharma” and their large list of so-called “helpful” prescriptions. The way we act and feel has much to do with the chemical reactions inside our bodies; perhaps we are low on serotonin or dopamine? (Keep in mind, anti-depressants aren’t always the answer; sometimes it is as simple as fixing and altering your diet.) Once you replenish your body with a wide-ranging list of nutrients and replace what you’re missing, your brain fog may dissipate and this will allow you laser-like focus. Practice Giving Thanks Every Day and Treat Yourself Often Every morning that you wake up, you should start by thanking the stars that you are breathing, you are living, your heart is beating, and you are here. Begin to notice the simple things in life and appreciate your relationships, memories, and all that you have. Do things that you love; it is the only way you will enjoy the life you have been given. Any time you get a chance, treat yourself to a vacation, a massage, or a walk in the park. Find a healthy hobby that relaxes you. You’ll notice that once you put work second and yourself first, you will benefit with complete relief. At the End of the Day, the Reality Is—We All Die Yes, we all have to make money to live and survive, but why stress yourself out with work to the point where it affects your livelihood and health? If this is what you’re doing, it’s wise to rethink your current position, strategy, and company; you need to determine—is your life worth your job? Reach internal levelheadedness and know what route to take next by putting yourself first before work. Don’t let your work rob you of the life you’re meant to live. Start giving to yourself and, hopefully, we’ll all live long past 120 years. Remember, self-care first, work second, die last—and not fast!