Mohammad Solaiman Uddin, FCS
General Manager (Finance & Accounts)
Amber Group, Dhaka, Bangladesh
“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles”- Zig Ziglar
Me- time as per Cambridge Lexicon denotes when you can do what you want to do. It helps our busy brains to unplug and unwind. In doing so, we relieve stress which helps us sleep better, gives us more control over our moods, increases our patience level, and helps us to live in the moment. High-quality me-time not only improves your psychological wellbeing, but it can also make you a more engaged employee, scientists have found. Dr. Almuth McDowall at Birkbeck, University of London undertook two studies to ascertain whether the quantity and quality of me-time were associated with better work-life balance, wellbeing, and engagement at work. In the first study, 18 professionals completed a daily diary on their perceptions and experiences of me-time over a month. The second study involved 344 professionals who completed a questionnaire regarding work-life balance, family relationships, engagement at Work and life satisfaction.
“Overall, our research suggests if people take time out to recharge their batteries and experience the time taken out as high quality, this reaps benefits for their own psychological wellbeing, their family relationships and for their employers as they are more likely to perform better at work,” McDowall said.
Why we need Me time- Dr. Almuth McDowall’s 2015 research suggests those who experience high-quality “me time” are more engaged and therefore more productive at work. Even if it’s for 15 minutes a day, switching off mentally and enjoying your own company has a multitude of physical and mental benefits.
It’s not selfish to take me-time-While traditionally, “me time” has been considered self-indulgent; it’s actually the opposite because it better equips us for future social interaction. “Pushing through life without taking care of ourselves can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and more frequent illness,” says psychologist Dr. Marny Lishman. If we don’t look after ourselves first, then we are not fit to help others. Psychologists Christopher R. Long and James R Averill support that solitude is inherently social, that it relies upon the human capacity to reflect upon and interpret one’s own experiences.
I don’t have time- ‘A frequent Excuse’-This is for avoiding self-care, nothing else. But Dr. Lishman says it depends on your priorities, and she says alone time should be high on the list. “Make time. You do have it. You have exactly the same time as the busiest people on earth,” she says. “We need to schedule (alone time) in as though it’s as important as an appointment or meeting.” So, get up half an hour earlier to meditate, take a walk during your lunch break or run a bath. Even just closing your eyes for five minutes and concentrating on taking deep breaths can be all it takes to reap the benefits.
3 Ways to Address Employee Wellness in the Workplace
While companies may be hesitant to invest resources in mental wellness, the financial cost of neglecting employees’ wellbeing is undeniable. The wellness repercussions of this are evident: A CDC report from February 2021 showed that 41.5 percent of adults in the United States, especially those aged 18-29 years, experienced recent symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder. There are some ways to proactively address employee wellness in the workplace as we move toward a “new normal.”
1. Encourage Work-Life Integration
Work-life integration means bringing work and life closer together for the better. There is a model of work-life balance named a hybrid work model that gives employees more agency over when and where they work. This flexibility is especially appealing for employees who have long commutes or other commitments. When companies show they’re willing to invest financially in resources that encourage work-life integration, employees will take note. This can help reduce burnout across the board and cultivate a stronger work environment for all.
2. Foster an Environment of Connection and Belonging
The key to fostering a healthy environment for your workplace is to listen to employees and understand what connections and experiences they look for. Many people find that bonding with coworkers is essential to enjoying their job. Some just want to focus on the work at hand and foster connections through that, while others want to connect with people like themselves through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
3. Kickstart Conversations on Wellness
Entrepreneurs should address wellness at the workplace literally. Too often, mental health itself isn’t discussed at work and becomes perceived as a taboo subject. Most managers have good intentions but simply are not equipped with the skills to discuss mental health. Mental wellness benefits are not a corporate perk but table stakes for any organization. Taking steps to build a wellness-focused mindset will transform the way we work. More than that, it will create ripple effects that improve our wellbeing outside of work. You’ll know you are on the right track when you detect a difference not only among your employees but also in yourself.
Make Time for “Me Time”
We’re all busy. Whether it’s responsibilities at home or at work, many of us focus so much on doing it all that we forget to focus on ourselves. But ensuring your own health and happiness is critical. How do you carve out time for yourself, your health, and your needs when you’re always on?
The first step is to stop, take a deep breath, and realize that the world doesn’t rest completely on your shoulders. Many times, the people around you could help more if you simply asked and spread out the responsibilities both professionally and personally. And in some cases, you need to let go and trust that everything will be OK, even if some tasks on your list are done imperfectly or not at all.
The next step is to give yourself permission to take care of yourself now. If you put off self-care until work is less busy, your kids are back in school, your house is in order, or some other circumstances are exactly right, you may never get to it. But if you take a brief pause and go through these steps, you can begin to take care of yourself, even when it feels like the responsibilities at home and at work never end.
Set the time is to think through what’s reasonable given your current situation. For example, maybe it’s not possible to train for a half marathon right now, but you could take half an hour to run a few times a week. Maybe you can’t guarantee that you’ll sleep through the night given the ages of your kids, but you can go to bed an hour early to give yourself some margin. Perhaps you can’t see your friends as much in person, but you can give them a phone call while you’re cooking dinner or running errands. Take a look at your schedule and where there may be small pockets of time. What would work to fulfill your needs now, within the time you have?
Prep Yourself is to make this happen, you’ll need to have resolved that your self-care time is sacred and that you’re going to follow through on it. That means eliminating hurdles and putting in items that reinforce positive behaviors. For example, if you want to exercise more, clean off the treadmill, have your favorite workout videos queued up, or sign up for exercise classes in advance where there’s a penalty if you cancel last-minute. Or, if you want to eat healthier, have a standard weekly grocery list of nutritious food, remove unhealthy food from your kitchen, and have some quick pre-made or takeout options for those days when you’re in a pinch. You could also join a challenge where you have accountability, support and sometimes even win prizes for achieving your self-care goals.
Be Clear with Others is, finally, preparing others. If your spouse tends to stay up late watching TV, let them know when you need to watch the final show and then head to bed. If your kids get up super early and are old enough to safely play by themselves for a little while, explain that you’ll be exercising, reading, or sipping a cup of coffee on the porch in the morning, and they can join you if they like or play until you’re done.
4 Reasons why designing “me time” is good for your business health
As a business owner, you probably invest so much time in your business that “me-time” isn’t something you prioritize. But it should be. There’s only one “you .”If you’re not taking care of yourself, who else will? When you’re at your best, the people around you can be at their best too, which is ultimately good for every aspect of your business. Here are four reasons why making time for yourself is good for everyone.
You’ll be healthier-As a business owner; you’re working long hours, juggling responsibilities, and mitigating risks. Sooner or later, the stress you’re facing at work will show up in other aspects of your life, including your health.
You’ll be more productive-Your to-do list is never-ending. Spending an extra hour at alone time may sound like a great way to get the job done, but getting an extra hour of sleep instead will help you do the same job faster in the morning. Prioritize your own wellbeing on that list of to-dos, and you’ll be able to work more efficiently through your workday.
Investing in Yourself-Many people feel guilty about putting themselves first. But what if you were as selfish about your happiness as you are passionate about building your business? As entrepreneur Richard Branson best put it, “Many assume my business success has brought me happiness. But the way I see it, I am successful because I am happy.” Investing in yourself allows you to invest in your business. When you make time to focus inward, you show up to your relationships a much happier and more authentic person.
More Recharged, more present-Making time to focus inward also means you’ll show up to work less fatigued, more recharged, and more present in your day-to-day interactions. Using your “me time” to create a quiet space to unwind from the daily grind helps you experience a change of pace and makes you aware of your natural balance, which helps to improve focus, creativity, energy, temperament, and productivity. So, be good to yourself and take some “me time”. It’s a necessity, not a luxury.
Me time at work
“No matter where you are in the world, you are at home when tea is served.“- Earlene Grey. Basically, Me time doesn’t always denote the space of time dedicatedly for personal enjoyment, but it could be availed when we are in the workplace. We should create our environment like residence as a huge amount of time in our life is exhausted in the job arena.
Emphasis of Me-time in Bangladesh- There is customary practices in many organizations, private or public, where In-out office timing is strictly maintained like BRAC and many other NGOs. so that employees can get out of office on time to give time to their families, relatives, and friends. Two days in a week remain off by which they can have pleasure by me-time and later on, they can contribute themselves with vim and vigor in their job places. So, our entrepreneurs should take emphasis on this issue considerably.
Toxic Effects of Insufficient Me Time
- Limited thinking: The more you tell yourself you can’t do something, the more you believe it. It squeezes the pervasiveness of one’s world of thinking.
- Feelings of depression: Some research has shown that negative self-talk can lead to an exacerbation of feelings of depression. If left unchecked, this could be quite damaging. Such depressions annihilate a man completely.
- Relationship challenges: Whether the constant self-criticism makes you seem needy and insecure, or you turn your negative self-talk into more general negative habits that bother others. A lack of communication and even a “playful” amount of criticism can take a toll.
Me time as a medicinal Effect
Me time protects one from the damage of chronic inflammation. Science has proven that chronic, low-grade inflammation can turn into a silent killer that contributes to cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions. Get simple tips to fight inflammation and stay healthy-from Harvard Medical School experts. Getting sufficient me time will create a soothing & breathing environment that will reduce exhaustion and enhance Life Expectancy.
Accelerating Productivity-Me time will enable an employee more dedicated and committed to his regular jobs resulting in the improvement of overall quality production. Ultimately employees themselves, corporate itself, and the country’s economy will be bolstered significantly.
Aesthetic beauty of personal, corporate, and social life-Me Time matters but money doesn’t. Having Me time, Inner Satisfaction of Employees that have high values will make the personal, corporate, and social life a symbol of aesthetic beauty.
In fine, it can be said that Me-time isn’t just spending time on your own. It’s about being present with ourselves, mind, and body. ‘Me-time’ is the conscious effort of taking much-needed time-out to recharge our batteries. Me time can be spent in a range of ways and can vary from person to person. It can be achieved through having a bath, reading a book, going for a walk, performing yoga, getting our hair or nails done, and so many more activities. Essentially, as long as we are alone with our thoughts and undertaking mindfulness during any activity, we are successfully spending some quality Me-time. Me-time needs to be part of our regular routine.
Good quality me-time vital for home and work wellbeing, Date: January 7, 2015, Source: British Psychological Society (BPS)
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