Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Self-Care on the Job

We spend the majority of our waking hours consumed with work. We are there five out of seven days. On those five days – we get up and spend our mornings preparing for and getting to work. We stay at work at least eight hours. Then we spend time commuting home from work, trying to leave work at work and then preparing for our next day at work. We spend more time with co-workers than we do with families. So finding out how to care for ourselves at work is critical.

On the Commute: Listen to your favorite CD or radio shows on the way to and from work. Maybe just enjoy the silence before you get home to a loud house full of kids! You might even want to use that time for a little prayer and meditation (of course, you don’t want to close your eyes while driving!).

During Lunch: Of course, you should have something health. But I say you should also have something yummy that you look forward to eating. Make the most of your lunch by eating it away from your desk and with co-workers you enjoy. When I worked in DC, I found a nice little park to steal away to and eat my lunch. It was great to have a peaceful and beautiful outside experience in the middle of my day. I also have had a favorite restaurant close by I can go to and enjoy.

During Breaks: I am a big proponent of getting away from the desk, or the cube whenever possible. I get a big boost when I take a short walk during my breaks. You can also use breaks to talk and reconnect with work friends.

During my Coach University training, one of my instructors gave me a great way to remember to take care of yourself. Use the ESC key on your keyboard as a reminder to engage in Extreme Self-Care!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Work-Life Balance? Maybe ...

Lately, I’ve had to work a ridiculous number of hours at my day job to complete a major project. It’s really got me thinking about this concept called work-life balance. Since the past six weeks have been decidedly unbalanced, I think this is a great time to cover this concept and the three things I have realized.

1.      Being out of balance sometimes is part of being in balance. In other words, balance isn't perfection. It isn’t a perfectly divided pie. It’s part of life and life is messy and never symmetrical. For six weeks, my work took precedence and that was fine for me because there was an end date. At other times, my family and my health have taken precedence. That’s fine too as long as I’m dealing with a temporary situation and not a permanent life change.

2.      As soon as possible, reestablish old routines. I routinely get up at 5:00 AM, go upstairs and work out. I follow that up with prayer and meditation and then head back downstairs to get ready for work. I love this routine. It keeps me focused, sane and on track. However, being at work by 6:00 AM made this impossible. However, as soon as possible, I got back to it. My body and mind thank me for it.

3.      Do what you can, nothing more, maybe a bit less. While I was burning the morning and midnight oils, my blogging took a back seat. I spend weekends on the sofa instead of running a long list of errands and tasks. I realized that I could only do so much, so I accepted that. I was too tired and frazzled to do everything I had been doing. Working out in the evening would have been nice, but frankly, I didn't have the energy. Instead, I tried to focus on not eating too much junk. That much I could do.

The moral of the story is life happens. Part of being balanced is being flexible and realizing that what balance looks like will change from day-to-day. And that is okay. There will be times when one area takes a lion’s share of your time. Do what you can with the rest. But start by being gracious and realistic enough to recognize your limits and your limitations.