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The term resilience has been tightly referenced with working through the pandemic. For companies, teams and individual contributors, we have all had to be resilient whether onboarding in a new role, juggling parenting and remote work or leading a team and pretty much everything else in between.
But how far have we taken it?When does our courage kick in? Vulnerability? Empathy? Self-care?
Have we become too resilient that we are constantly pushing forward, putting our head down and getting back in the game? At what cost?After nearly two years of working through a pandemic, is it acceptable and welcomed to raise our hand and take a break, pause and reset.The pendulum has significantly shifted pre-pandemic, will it ever return to what it was before or are we continually chasing the proverbial carrot while flirting too closely with mental health?
Companies promote self-care, flex hours, employees' first culture but are they truly creating a safe space to take advantage of these? Are they modelling the behaviour, showing their team, peers, and organization what it looks like?
What is self-care? Is it getting a massage? Getting our nails done? Turning email off after 7 pm? Sleeping in on the weekend? Self-care is different for everyone.
Look inward, what is fueling your soul? Supporting your desire to keep your candle lit?Finding something that fills your cup is so important, it may only be important to you, but it’s your worth, your value. Prolonging it only means long-term damage- not having the staying power for yourself and or those around you who need you.
The stigmatism surrounding it cannot be weakness, lack of commitment or not being a team player. Self-care is Survival!
Most people I work with, network with are all on autopilot to an unhealthy level, yours truly included. The well we are drinking from is running dry, but also the quality of water is not what it used to be. When we operate from a depleted well or dirty water, our outlooks, motivations, and approaches are hazy and not reflective of our best true self. Driving a car with dirty oil, we can expect compromised performance, engine damage and long-term keep of the car, how are we any different?
Working parents, caring for the elderly, feeling isolated living on our own, everyone is working through their own unique challenges. The common thread is that very few are taking time to acknowledge their situation, check-in and provide some compassion, grace and love for ourselves.
Is it weak?
Do we not know how?
Are we afraid to slow down?
Is it not supported within our organization?
Long after the pandemic, the damage will continue to live in us if we don’t interrupt the pattern. The way in which we deal with stress, adversity, and our ability to control what is in front of us creates new neural pathways; these paths impact the choices and decisions we make. Left untouched, they will create ones that do not serve us.The aftermath of the pandemic will continue to live within us unless we lean in and help ourselves.I am not a physician, professional healthcare provider but what I can share is what is working for me and others around me. I am sharing three ways to help yourself in the short and long term with self-care.
Check in with yourself, find a quiet space to connect with yourself, observe your breath, thoughts, and behaviours. What trends are you seeing, what is triggering them? This may be hard for some, our thoughts can come rushing in, focus on what you can control. What is your natural default? Negative? Hostile? Doubtful? Lean into where this is coming from. Over time, quietness will become your friend, drowning out the noise is like opening the curtain to your mind, only then can you see inside. Awareness is the first step.
Get curious, what is the underlying motivation behind this? Can you control it? Why are you reacting so strongly to something? Is there something else masking as the situation in front of you? Were these issues there before Covid and are only revealing themselves now? Separate thought and scenarios, avoid layering them and giving them weight and legs to have greater impact. Once you recognize patterns you can start proactively looking for them and staying clear of them.
Carve out time in your calendar to regularly practice self-care, whatever this means for you. Something to quiet your mind, focus on something that brings you joy, peace and purpose. Nature is very grounding, 30 min walk outside will provide great perspective and create a physical separation between what is happening and how you are perceiving it, shining an unbiased light on what actually is. Exercise, are we moving our body enough or sitting in a chair and eating lunch at our desks?
This does not represent love.
Give to yourself as much or more as what you give to your friends, family, partner. Don't shortchange you.
These are only three examples; I encourage you to dig deep and find your own ways to implement self-care. Give yourself the tools and staying power to see the light and goodness within you and in front of you, through the purity of the water in your well.
What can you do to keep your well from running dry?
Break the cycle, starting today.
For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.
Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.