It's Time To Prioritize Yourself Over Your Job

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By Marissa Ann Selemba

How many of us can say, “I’m overworked and I need a break”? Probably every single one of us.

And how many of us can truly say that they actually set time aside to take care of themselves and put work and responsibilities on the back burner for once? Most likely not many of us can say that. 

How is that really affecting our mind, body, and all-around self? It certainly can’t be good.

As a child welfare caseworker, I can tell you it’s very easy to let my job encompass me and not make time for myself.

It’s very easy to burn out and end up on the verge of quitting. I wake up each morning dragging along this anchor because I need some time to get myself together, but it’s hard for me to pick up the damn phone and call in sick.

It’s the guilt of not coming into work that makes me put the phone down and force myself to get ready for work, even though I get paid time off work. But am I really taking care of myself by doing that? No.

So many people forget the importance of prioritizing themselves that they make their health a last priority.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Make Time For Yourself To Do What You Want Most In Life

They could have a cold and the doctor could tell them to rest; however, they would allow their work to determine when and how often they get to relax.

Have you ever heard the saying: "Don’t kill yourself over a job that would replace you within a week if you were to drop dead"? It’s true: you need to take care of yourself today. Your job will still be there in the morning.

We live in a world where we are constantly pressured into working well above our means.

Do for others. Put others first.

We are told these things from a young age and it becomes ingrained into our brains and makes it difficult as adults to break the habit. Why are we told these things? Why are we told to not do things for ourselves, to worry about what others need and not about what our mind and body need?

It’s a nasty cycle and it is not doing anyone any good.

Instead of telling our children: "Help others, and remember others come first," we should start telling them: "You matter, and you need to put yourself first. If you’re sick, rest. Everything will be here tomorrow."

That way, when they grow up, they are not faced with a situation where they compromise their health for their job. They can put their needs first. 

But we don’t and that is something we need to address.

We’re working ourselves to death and we’re going to develop health issues as a result.

RELATED: I Left My Toxic Job & It's Time That You Do Too

Not only can we end up with unaddressed health issues, but we can also affect our minds in the process. By putting our work ahead of ourselves, it can result in anxiety and depression.

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If you want to be a better you, then know when enough is enough.

Know when to listen to yourself and tune into your own personal needs. If your body is telling you: "I need rest. I’m not feeling the greatest today," that is when enough is enough. That is when the work switch needs to be turned off, and your focus should be on you.

We are all human and cannot be what everyone wants us to be at every second of the day. There are times when we need to be what we want us to be.

No one is saying to give up on your job completely; unless you discover it is not the job for you. The truth is, it is not selfish to put your well-being first; a good boss will understand at the end of the day.

Keep in mind, it’s very difficult to put your all into your job and be successful if you are not at your absolute best.

Too many times have I compromised myself for others. It’s my turn to better myself because no one is going to do it for me.

If that means I need to utilize my time off when needed to help me succeed in my personal self and well-being, then so be it. The time is now to put your needs first and take care of yourself.

I need to do it, and so do you. We’ll only be better, thriving people in the end because of it.

RELATED: 5 Damaging Effects Of A Toxic Work Environment On Your Body & Mind

Marissa Ann Selemba is a writer for Unwritten whose work focuses on lifestyle, pop culture, and career topics.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.