Working hard is a requirement to be successful in any industry. However, being successful also requires you to prioritize proper self-care.

Self-care is often forgotten in favor of hard work. The phrase “you can sleep when you’re dead” didn’t become popularized without good reason. Putting work ahead of yourself is seen as a necessity to move up at work and gain recognition. But this way of thinking isn’t only detrimental to your wellbeing, it actually does the opposite of setting you up for success in the long run.

Getting a regular night’s sleep, eating well, and exercising is the go-to advice when it comes to self-care because it works. Establishing a routine that meets your body’s needs is essential to being happy and healthy, which translates to doing your best on the job. Beyond those cornerstones of care, you might be surprised that taking regular breaks, optimizing your grooming habits, and setting aside time for leisure can have a sizable influence on your job performance.

Here are three reasons why balancing work with self-care enables success.

Regular breaks keep your mind sharp and motivated

Taking a break during work allows you to renew focus, stay motivated, and think ahead.

While you work, you’re engaging the problem-solving part of your brain known as the prefrontal cortex. During a break – whether you take a walk, have lunch, or talk with your favorite co-worker – your prefrontal cortex gets a much-needed rest period. This rest time enables you to come back to the work you were doing with renewed focus, enabling you to sustainably keep working at your best. Without that brief rest time, your reasoning ability decreases and your motivation begins to wear out. Never feel guilty about taking a break as long as it’s reasonable.

Being well-groomed forms a solid impression with your colleagues

Staying well-groomed and well-styled helps you stay confident and is a major component of the impression you leave with your coworkers and supervisors. The impression you leave on others is incredibly important in building your professional reputation and making connections. Forgetting to brush your teeth or showing up to work in sweats every other day is a fast pass to building a negative reputation, even if your work is stellar.     

The best grooming routine is one that is optimized to your specific needs. For example, if you struggle with dry skin, focusing on finding a moisturizer that matches your skin type is a must. Or, if you’re beginning to notice hair loss, finding a product that stimulates hair growth can be a life-saver. Studies have shown that staying well put together not only improves other people’s perception of your competence and work ethic, it also empowers you to work at your best as well.

Balancing work with your needs helps manage stress

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, fifty-six percent of American workers say that chronic stress negatively impacts their work performance. Being in work mode can be stressful, but staying in work mode can be disastrous. Too much stress can lead to burnout, depression, or crippling anxiety. Successfully managing stress requires you to find the balance between work and personal time. It’s the same concept as taking a break during work hours but in a broader context.

Spending time with friends, discovering a new book, or binging the latest popular Netflix series are all great ways to take your mind off work-related stress. Other trusted stress management techniques include physical activity, meditation, or journaling. By keeping your stress levels down, you can keep your productivity up.