Self-care. You’ve heard of it, but are you actually practicing it?
If you’re skeptical, I get it. In a world of non-stop emails, endless opportunity and other people’s ‘hustle’ all over Instagram, it’s easier said than done.
And let’s face it… many of the people who preach about self-care seem to be yoga bunnies without bills to pay.
But self-care isn’t just another social media trend. It’s a mindset. Trust me when I say self-care is key to building a successful career you love, no matter what your situation.
And you don’t even have to quit your job, or move to an eco-farm to get started. Here’s how…
Set an email curfew (and stick to it)
My boyfriend and I recently instated a rule that I love: An email curfew. From 8pm onwards, we don’t check or reply to ANY work emails. No excuses. No exceptions. Instead, we actually talk to each other! At first, it wasn’t easy. I’m ambitious, and the struggle to not reply and seem productive at all hours is real. But having an email curfew has helped me sleep better and given me a point of distinction from my working day, my commute and my own personal time. At 8pm, my working life ends and my personal time commences. Try it. And if you want to take it to a whole new level? Try a nightly technology curfew, too.
Limit work talk to weekdays
How much unpaid overtime are you doing? And I don’t just mean getting to work early and leaving late, but MENTAL overtime? How much time do you spend thinking and talking and worrying about your day job? Because, real talk, you’re not being paid a cent for that time. Not a single cent. My rule is simple: I don’t talk about my day job on the weekends. If my mind goes there, fine, but I don’t bring it up in my weekend conversations. Instead, I talk about ideas. Articles I’ve read. Things that are inspiring me. Not only does banning work talk allow you to take back some control, but it leaves you motivated and refreshed come Monday. Yay!
Work on your identity outside of work
This is a lesson I recently learned and can’t preach enough: to have a healthy approach to your work, you need to work on your identity outside of work. (FYI, the same rules apply to romantic relationships, and your career is no different.) But HOW, I hear you ask?
Start by paying attention to what you pay attention to. You know, outside of work. Think about what you loved doing when you were a kid and work back from there.
Being Brazilian, I’m a huge samba lover — singing and dancing badly to it. It may sound simple, but my time spent enjoying samba is mine and mine alone. It’s so far removed from my work, and it reminds me that there’s a whole world out there. A world away from the constraints of my desk.
Be less harsh on yourself
Girl, I see you freaking out about that comment you made to a co-worker. But if you want to make it (without burning out) you need to let shit go. Why? Because nobody (and I mean nobody!) is watching anywhere near as closely as you think. They’re just not. They’re way too busy worrying about themselves.
Pep talk: Be less harsh on yourself. Start talking to yourself as a coach, not a commentator. Replace your thoughts of “wait, is that comment I just made really stupid?” to “well done for speaking up in that meeting”.
A healthy career requires self-kindness. Lots of it.