Career Self-Care Mini Series

Click here to listen to this blog post on my podcast, Living to Become.

Oh my goodness!

Only two posts left of our self-care mini-series!

I can’t even believe it.

I hope you have learned as much as I have about how you can better your self-care in all the different areas of your life.

I’m so excited to dive into our next topic, which is …

Self-care in our careers.

Now all of you stay-at-home mamas out there, don’t check out on me just yet. This applies to you as well. If you are in the throws of raising little’s, then I hope that you consider it a full-time job, because it is and then some. The point of this episode is to learn how you can find self-care ways in whatever career you find yourself in i.e. in an office, school, as an entrepreneur working from your kitchen table, or as a stay-at-home mom. And even if you find yourself unemployed and looking for work, I hope that you are treating finding a job as your full-time gig and then this episode would apply to you as well.

I kind of talked about this in an earlier episode, but so many times I think self-care is looked at from a personal lens. I know when I hear the words “self-care” the first things that pop into my mind are mani-pedis, a massage, and meditation.

But the reality is we spend the vast majority of our days working, that we really should be talking about how we can widen that lens of self-care to include it in our professional lives as well.

And before you go on thinking that this type of self-care in the workplace includes a masseuse coming to your cubical during working hours or letting your children hang from the chandelier unsupervised so you can get in your hour of meditation, this is not what I will be talking about.

Of course, those options sound AWESOME (well, maybe not the children swinging from the chandelier), but the massage and meditative time…sign me up!

But for reals, I’m going to offer some ideas… take them or leave them…about how we can incorporate self-care in this essential part of our lives, our careers.

My first tip is to set boundaries.

This is such a hard thing to do, but so important!

When that email comes in at 10pm are you going to answer it even though you are in the middle of watching a movie with your family?

When you go on a hike on a Saturday, will you take work calls?

And will your kids know that bedtime is non-negotiable so that you can spend some quality time as husband and wife?

These are things you have to decide ahead of time if you will do them or not do them and I might suggest that you not do them.

Unless you are on-call as a doctor or some other emergency field, most likely the emails and phone calls can wait till the next day or Monday.

And unless you have a child with a preexisting medical condition, as much as they would want you to believe they have not just crossed the Sahara desert, they do not need the millionth cup of water and should go to bed.

So maybe make it a goal to turn off your phone at a certain time each evening. Let your clients, employees, children, whomever we are talking about here that you have times that you can be reached and times that you can’t.

Of course, let your children know that if they’re dying that they can come to get you. But for everyone else, they might be a little flustered at first, but they will get over it and will learn pretty quickly when they can reach out to you.

My next tip would be to set goals for yourself.

One of the biggest threats to growth and productivity is complacency. You should always be finding new ways to grow whether that’s finding a new skill that will help you at the office or something that will help you in raising your kids, but don’t stop learning and reaching for new heights.

These goals should be realistic, but also stretch you a bit. Maybe you will read a certain number of books related to your industry or to up your brainpower. Taking a class to learn a new skill is another great option.

There are so many online classes and if you search for them, oftentimes community centers offer some great learning opportunities as well.

Or maybe you have something that you do really well but are terrified to teach. You could offer to teach a class online or at that community center and learn to become a better teacher.

If you are an entrepreneur, you could set a monetary goal for yourself, like I want to earn X amount of dollars in the next 10 weeks.

Whatever your goal is, just make sure that it is realistic and achievable, but also a bit of a stretch because that’s where real growth takes place.

Personal Story

One of the biggest and most growing experiences that have continued to grow me, is when I decided to become a fitness instructor.

Never in a million years would I have ever thought that I would be loving exercise, let alone teaching it. But here we are!

Eight years later and I’m still teaching! It’s not always easy and I am constantly trying to learn new ways to stay fit and be healthy and how to bring that to my participants, but I am forever grateful for that decision I made to step outside my comfort zone and do something uncomfortable and terrifying. It has transformed me in ways that I never dreamt possible but has also transformed my family as well. But that could be for a whole other episode, which I might just do, but for now, just know that we should always be looking for ways to grow by setting goals and going after them.

My third tip is to rethink your lunch hour.

And yes moms, you should have a lunch hour.

Take it!

You need it!

But your lunch hour doesn’t need to be just about eating. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of eating, but using this time efficiently will still allow you to eat all the good things as well as tap into some other awesome beneficial options that can help fuel you through your afternoon.

If you’re at the office, take a walk outside or if there is a gym close by, you could squeeze in a quick 20 min. workout.

If you’re at home and have little ones have a mandatory quiet time. This was key for me when my kids were younger. They all knew that mom needed her time and that everyone would be much happier if she got it. Yes, sometimes that meant sitting them in front of the TV so that I could read a book or do a craft project, but a girl gotta do what a girl gotta do.

Am I right?

If you are an entrepreneur, this lunch hour might need to be set as an alarm on your phone. No one is going to come to tell you to take a lunch break, so make sure that you don’t work right through it.

I know so many mom bosses out there that are CRAZY hard workers and will work right through lunch and sometimes even dinner, surviving off of a package of Oreos and gummy bears, but hey! The gummy bears were organic. Not judging here if this has been you, cause I know I’ve been guilty of this! But seriously though, that is going to bite you in the butt down the road in so many areas of your life, most likely in a mental as well as a physical breakdown. So take the lunch break. Eat something nutritious and then do something for yourself. The work will be there waiting for you when the break is over. I promise!

The fourth tip I’m going to briefly talk about is getting social.

Don’t worry all you introverts out there. This is for you too. Introverted or not, we actually all need some sort of social connection with someone, and if you’re a mom, this doesn’t necessarily mean with your kids.

I’m talking about another human adult here.

And maybe even go a step further and find another human that isn’t your husband. Having another woman to relate with, vent with, laugh with, is essential. Now if you are an extrovert you may need to really schedule this with a lot of people to fill your social bucket, but if you’re an introvert, most likely you will only need one or two people to be your “persons”.

But we really do need to have that connection.

It’s in our DNA to be that way. If you are in an office building, take a stroll around your office and say hi to your coworkers.

If you are an entrepreneur reach out to your team, or text one of your clients and see how they’re doing.

And if you’re a stay-at-home mom, plan a play date at the park. Find ways to bring socialness (outside of your family) into your daily life and you might just find your mood lifted and there’s a good chance you will have lifted the mood of someone else.

Win, win!

My last tip and probably my most favorite is to dress for success

… success in the office, success in your personal business, success at home.

Even for my workouts, I dress for success. I feel way more inspired to leave it all on the gym floor when I’m in my cute leggings, tank top, and supportive sports bra than when I’m wearing yesterday’s sweat pants, oversized shirt with paint splattered on it, and an old bra that smells the minute that sweat hits it and leaves the ladies hanging down by my belly button.

Too much?

Maybe… but just being real here folks. I’ve worn both and there is a definite difference in how I feel when I wear the first mentioned vs. the latter.

So when you want success, dress for it.

If you’re at home “mom’ing” it up, dress for success.

This comes down to you, but dress in what feels good.

Note I said good, not comfortable.

Of course, you will have days for comfort, but this shouldn’t translate to every day. On normal days, put yourself together in the best way that you know how and then get to work. Sure you might have spit up on your shirt or PB and J on your pants by the end of the day or maybe even both. But when you are rocking the cute shirt with spit up vs. the oversized sweatshirt with spit up, one will definitely speak to your sense of what you can accomplish.

I know it sounds kind of shallow but seriously! There is science behind what we wear and how it makes us feel and how we behave.

Matthew Hutson said, “what you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, and even hormone levels and heart rate.”

Crazy, right?!

So dress in clothes that make you feel confident and that portray confidence. Find things that make you feel smart and sexy. This goes for moms, office goers, entrepreneurs, students, job seekers … everyone should dress for success! Rant over.

Wrapping it up

Now before I wrap up this post, I just want to say that you have the power to make your workday, no matter what it is you do, more fulfilling and enjoyable.

Bringing self-care to the forefront of your mind in your work environment will take some effort. It’s so easy with the stresses and monotony of your day-to-day that you can easily lose sight of what will bring you an increased measure of happiness.

So establish some boundaries. Set realistic goals. Figure out how you’re going to spend your lunch hour. Get social. And then dress like you mean it.

Want to find out how you can practice self-care in your spiritual life? Make sure to see my final post in this self-care mini-series.

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