This is a topic that I’ve touched on a few times in other blog posts: Sustainability Starts With Self and How To Balance Your Personal And Professional Life. And when I mention self-care, I am not referring to ‘treating yourself’, busting out the credit card for some lavish expense: a fancy meal or a massage or a getaway. Nothing wrong with any of those by the way. But what I mean here is nuts and bolts maintenance.
What I notice with many of my one-to-one clients – a lot of them movers and shakers, which is great! – is how often they chase after their to-do lists, going from one urgent project to another. And when I teach them how to plan ahead, to better their relationship with their scheduling system, an interesting truth comes out. Every appointment is booked back to back with no space whatsoever in between. “Ok, great job on the calendar,” I’ll say. “Although I have to ask, do you not plan on using the restroom at all today? Or eating? Sleeping? Cleaning your house?” Sometimes, there isn’t even any commute time calculated into the day, as if each expected to teleport from one location to the next. This is all perfectly normal. It is also – and I say this with love – insane.
When self-made men and women are interviewed on television or in magazines, you’ll hear a lot of talk about boot straps and overtime, and rarely, if ever, about their prioritization of sleeping well or drinking lots of water. In this world of go, go, go, few people recognize their physical and psychological health as major contributors to their success. Sadly, this is especially true in many nonprofits where burn-out has become a normalized aspect of the employment cycle. The mission statement says something about service to the community but for some reason those values and support aren’t extended to the folks that all make it happen! The people in-house.
Of course, this needn’t be a fixed reality. We’re all in charge of our own destinies. Here are some easy self-care tips we all need to be practicing and gently reminding each other to practice more often – including me.
Discipline isn’t only about meeting project deadlines, it’s also about honoring one’s personal time – not to be confused with your boss’s definition of PT, those few allotted days out of the year that your company ‘allows’ you to take off from work. This is about checking in with yourself many times throughout the course of every day. Wealth may be measured by one’s public and glitzy accolades. It may also be recognized in one’s unassuming but especially important sense of general well-being. Self-care your way to success today.
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