How Self Care May Increase Productivity (Though We Aren't Really Sure)


In the media lately, self care has been a hot topic.  "Self Care Sunday" is a popular hashtag, with people posting pictures and ideas for how they spend their time in self care.  Mindfulness and meditation is often tied to this concept, as well as fitness and wellness exercise.  Sometimes self-care can also involve treating yourself to an ice cream sundae.  The most important piece of self care, is that it is self initiated.  It is yours.  It doesn't need to be shared with the world, since it involves just you in the process.

Ultimately, I have found that by creating space in my daily schedule for self care activities such as running or meditation, or reading my favorite trashy romance novels, have allowed for the other parts of my day that are scheduled for work and teaching to be more productive.  During productivity periods, I find I am more focused on the task at hand, and can complete tasks quickly.  

Interestingly enough, though there are ample self reports of self care being a way to increase productivity, there are very few studies documenting this.  The Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy published some articles documenting its benefits with specific populations in the late 1990s to 2009, but when searching for research for this blog, it was difficult to find empirical studies documenting its benefit.  

Clearly more empirical research needs to be done in this realm to test the thousands of self reports on social media about this topic.  

So what do you think?