Some time ago I was teaching a class when it occurred to me that those preparing for employment and those currently employed share a common need. The need for self care. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or your education if you are not taking care of yourself, your health can easily be compromised.
It is common for us to focus outward and neglect the signs that our work life is taking over. The assumption is that if we push hard enough we will get where we need to go faster. It will get easier from there and we can rest later.
The push can be for financial reasons, in that there is self/family to support, increased debt or lavish lifestyle to fund. It can also be forced upon us if the expectation of our position means a twelve hour day shows dedication, anything less shows weakness. Still for others the drive may be self inflicted, a feeling that they are not good enough and in order to be noticed they must go the extra distance, even if it kills them.
There are other reasons for us to focus outward but what I would like to explore is a holistic approach to work. I have compiled three main areas of focus for you to consider:
Feed the Body – Proper diet is essential. Prior to re-entering the workforce try to get yourself on a similar schedule to a work day. Give yourself the gift of a diet that will help sustain you from hour to hour. Often, people in my class brought coffee, pop and treats for their breaks; that doesn’t nurture the body and is very unpractical considering the time and requirements associated with a workshop. Appropriate exercise. Get in an routine with an activity that stimulates you, it gets the blood flowing. Walking is great for that and can be easily adapted for pre and post work. Rest when needed. If you have any health concerns in which a full day can be difficult, try to find even fifteen minutes to rest. Many times I have gone to my car in lunch breaks, ate my lunch and rested my eyes before returning to work. Use your office or find a quiet space to meditate it can make a huge difference.
Feed the Mind – Learning and developing ideas. Keeping the mind active is essential, whether currently employed or not. Taking an extended brain break while off work can make returning to work ten times harder. It is exhausting to learn a new job and especially so if you have not continued in some way to keep the brain stimulated. Equally, if you are on the job, it is not uncommon to fall in a rut. You may question the point in learning anything new as you’re employed, so why bother? That is a mistake, it is the prime time to educated yourself further and develop ideas that keep the job or job prospects interesting. A strong word of advice – upgrading while you are on the job is far better than waiting till you are unemployed,stressed and desperate for work. Keeping yourself current is a line a defense against extended unemployment.
Feed the Soul – Find the passion. Being passionate about what you do goes a long way. There are plenty of studies to suggest that when you enjoy what you do, money, contacts and opportunity comes to you. It is not to say that sometimes we must do things that we are less than passionate about in order to pay the bills. There are times in our life when that is necessary and not beneath us. There is no shame in that, it is called survival. However, embracing passion instead of chasing the dollar, can make success taste that much sweeter. Chasing the dollar feels good only on a superficial level, passion is deep and many doors open as the passion exudes from you. Just watch what happens when someone talks about something they love, facial expressions and hand gestures are more noticeable, they light up. Their speech is more confident and the knowledge pours forth effortlessly. That is what is captured in the passion, confidence, an inner knowing “this is right for me.”
The holistic approach to working makes sense no matter who you are. No matter your age, location or employment status. Tap into these things and you will see differences in your perception of self and work.
If you need further clarification on incorporating this into your life or other career coaching services, please feel free to contact me.