Working women are often given advice that is easier said than done. I’m not talking about how we are told to just go in the office and demand that raise we have wanted or to just go to HR and let them know of the issues happening amongst coworkers. While both of those can be frustrating, especially when said from someone that you do not work with, an even more frustrating piece of advice can be when we are told to simply start practicing self-care.
Don’t get me wrong, I think self-care is critical for everyone. Everyone man, woman, and child would love time to practice self-care! The missing piece in all the advice is HOW to practice self-care. Where to, realistically, fit in self-care with the demands of the office and home looming over us.
Without taking moments for ourselves, we eventually burn out and become useless and possibly toxic to those in our personal and professional lives. A full-time working mother cannot just “go away for the weekend.” A woman that works 80+ hours a week might not have had time to make friends that she can grab dinner and drinks with. So, until people are offering practical assistance in telling you how to practice self-care, I’ve made a list of a few things that can be worked into your life... no matter what you do or how busy you are.
1. Put your phone away. Set the alarm in the evening and at that point put your phone in airplane mode or better yet, in another room if possible. This will help you fall asleep easier and spend less time scrolling social media (while comparing yourself to others) and reading over work emails that cannot be handled until the next morning.
2. Think of the skills of those around you. Can you delegate some work? Can you delegate some household chores? It’s not handing over power; it’s handing over tedious tasks that take up time you don’t have.
3. Reflect on your day when you leave the office. It can help to look at how much you have accomplished so that you don’t feel the need to work later.
4. Activity Tracker! That “buzz” on your wrist reminding you to stand up can make you take a call while pacing the office rather than sitting still. Any movement is better than no movement.
5. Keep a calendar. Put yourself in that calendar. Sometimes we don’t write down everything we have to do so it can seem overwhelming. However, if you keep appointments written down, then you might notice there IS time for you to do something for yourself. Maybe practice some mindfulness or make a call to connect with an old friend.
Everyone’s life is different, and everyone has different priorities, and that is great! However, remembering that you are a priority and should take front row in your own life is essential. Don’t lose yourself or your family to a job. It won’t be there in the end.
If you are interested in speaking with a coach, BCG offers one-on-one coaching to give women the individualized support they need as they navigate the complex demands of life and careers. Learn more here: http://www.baumanleadership.com/coaching