An obvious thing we keep overlooking: Prioritizing well-being

August 11, 2022

An obvious thing we keep overlooking: Prioritizing well-being

“There is wealth but no wellbeing. What are you going to do with this wealth?” —Jaggi Vasudev

We are a nation of hustlers. A lot of people say working harder is the key to success. Even before the pandemic hit, burnout from overwork has already been a global issue.

Take a minute to stop and think - Why are you even ‘hustling’ this hard in the first place? We all want to succeed so that we can be happy, and we can’t deny the fact that money is integral to achieving happiness: we need money to eat, have a safe place to sleep, provide for our family, and do the things that make us happy.

But when you are working too hard to achieve more money at the expense of yourself and your wellbeing, is it still worth it?

It is not just employees who are overworked, either. Leaders in the workplace suffer from burnout too. In fact, people who want to be good leaders tend to neglect their health to keep the company going. At what expense? Time for yourself and your family?

We live in a fast-paced world. It feels like pausing is wasting time, but rest is a vital part of productivity, and self-care isn’t being selfish. This is why flight attendants tell us to put our oxygen masks on ourselves first before helping others put theirs on.

We all need to reframe and prioritize our well-being. Think of it this way. 

If you are too tired, stressed, and anxious about showing up to work, chances are high that you won’t be able to finish all the tasks expected of you. Or, if you do, they are subpar in quality. It is hard to focus, and you get irritable. You get mad and snap at your co-workers too!

You get home, tired, and you are faced with chores. Your kids are excited to see you after a long day at work, and you snap at them for being too rowdy or noisy.

Your spouse asks you, “How was your day? Was it stressful at work?” and you snap at them too.

The trip you’ve been planning to take kept being postponed, and it’s been a while since you took a day off and just took time to rest and relax.

But you have a hefty bottom line in your bank account, so you should be happy, right? Are you?

Balancing life and work seems difficult for some people. Circumstances are different for each of us. Some work full-time jobs but never have enough to pay all the bills, the rent, and the debt from school. Others need to take a part-time job or two to make ends meet.

Then the pandemic came, and suddenly our lives got a bit more complicated. Personal and professional lives are getting more intertwined, and everything is just so stressful.

All the more reason to start prioritizing our wellbeing. It is more than just physical well-being too. After all, wellness is a lifestyle, not a 30-day diet plan or workout routine. It is also about taking a look at your emotional, mental, social, financial, and spiritual needs.

Maybe we need some time to check and re-organize our priorities.

This is especially true for leaders. In order to lead our teams or families well, we need to be fully present and in good shape holistically.

“Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.”—Simon Sinek

But in order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first. You can’t pour out on others if you are running on empty yourself.

One of the ways I take care of myself is through mindfulness. I make sure to spend some time on myself each day. It could be through journaling, meditation, a short walk, or a few minutes of engaging in some form of leisure activity to destress and reset my mind.

I make sure to evaluate my priorities before I start my day, and try to check if I’ve accomplished all that is needed before I end my day.

Not everyone can fit a full workout routine into their day (or have the motivation to do so), but a few simple stretches and a bit of cardio activity are more than enough.

I say “No” to things that will take time away from the things that matter to me. It’s okay to say “no”.

The point is, take some time to take care of yourself and make your well-being a priority.

Then you start to see a bit of magic. The more happy and healthy you are, the more energy and creativity you can put into your work, the better your quality time and relationship with your family improve, and the more present you will find yourself in every interaction, personal or professional, that you have.

When you come to life, the people in your charge follow suit.

So, stay healthy, make time for yourself, and thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.