Do you ever stress or feel a disconnection from yourself as life passes you by?
Stress and burn-out happen to everyone in each facet of life. As workers in the social purpose sector, we pride ourselves with considerable passion for what we do, resonating with the mission of the agencies we represent. While we continue to make our best efforts to care for others through our work, we often neglect to prioritize our own care; finding it hard to physically and mentally take breaks from our busy schedules. Our passion can only go so far without the necessary self-care and wellness practice to sustain it.
I am confident that we can counter this eventual health malady by striving to live out our passions daily, while at the same time care for ourselves. So how do we minimize burn-out and maximize self-care? Below, I offer three strategies that have helped me erase the barriers on the crucial need to take time for one self.
Declutter your schedule
Most tasks are unnecessary and unproductive. Revisit what’s on your plate draining your time and energy.
We must recognize what tasks are doable. By constructing a realistic work schedule, we can create spaces for creativity, possibilities, and success for ourselves and our work. Eventually, as we continue to integrate self-care strategies into our choices and responses, we will become better at perceiving and valuing the consequences of choices.
Be aware of repetitive habits
Habits are unconscious acts hindering us from self-care. I am vulnerable to these sometimes – eating at my desk, forcefully glued to my chair for a whole 8 hours, not taking breaks, scheduling overlapping meetings. Guilty! Try to take life slower and savor the precious simple moments we find during the day. Taking the time to share kindness with those who need it the most, finding joy in everyday miracles, and jumping on opportunities to marvel at life’s greatest blessings in the middle of a crazy day, when you’re meeting everyone else’s needs, and barely having time for yourself. In short – enjoy life while you’re living it.
One of the core values of YWCA Lake County’s mission is to empower women in our communities – to be the best versions of themselves towards self-sufficiency and better well-being. What better way to showcase this by taking care of ourselves first, so we could be better advocates and champions for others. Our Health Services Program offers a holistic and comprehensive package of services that aim to save lives and educate the community on how to be their own self-advocates.
I have made a conscious daily commitment towards intentional self-care that provides focus on my work; and that has allowed me to be present for all those we serve. We can only be great visionaries and catalysts for social change, if we stand in the flow of our own power; and are strong, nurtured and healthy to care for others.