I received an email today that made me pause for a brief second. The subject of the email was “Take Care of Yourself,” and it was addressed to my entire Division. You see, we have wonderful IT people who keep things running seamlessly at work. It’s a job that’s often under appreciated – and met with frustrated customers. Add in a completely remote environment – and tensions have been high over the year to say the least. They have a tough job.
When I first started in my department just over five years ago, this wonderful gentleman helped get me all set up. He helped set up my work phone, my laptop and fielded too many calls when I encountered technology problems. I was always met with kindness, courtesy and positivity.
I haven’t physically seen him over the past year, but he’s always been a phone call away whenever anyone on my team needed something related to IT. And, trust me, the transition to remote work was far from seamless. But, he’s got bigger things ahead on the horizon, and he chose to spend his last day at my organization crafting a beautiful reminder that we all need to take care of ourselves.
He wrote “the impact one has on another’s life cannot be calculate display by time or the title of a person. You never know how your presence can simply be an inspiration to others. A Simple head nod or a phone call can uplift the spirits of those whose feel as though they are under appreciated. Recognizing people who hold value in your life is not something you should wait until life has escaped from their body. We take for granted people who are shining bright in our lives. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.”
And gosh, isn’t that the truth. I stopped, read and re-read this email several times today. I was so encouraged and motivated to tell not just my co-workers, but my friends and family how they are valued. He’s right: we spend more time with technology than ever before. Conversations with colleagues have been reduced to staring at each through a computer screen. While the merits of technology are certainly prevalent, sometimes, we can forget to be human.
I know that I’m certainly guilty of sending a friend a birthday text message – when maybe a phone call – or an invite to dinner might be better received. I’m guilty of not checking up on colleagues that I would normally talk to every day on my way to the conference room or a meeting. And, I’m just as guilty as seeing friends, colleagues and family, but not really feeling them on a deeper level. Now, more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves so we can be present for our people.
That email was the nudge I needed, and one that I’ve printed out as a reminder to be more present. So friends, in the spirit of taking care of ourselves – what are some thing that you do as a form of self care? I’ll share some of my favorites.
Spending time outside
You all know that my evening walks are sacred to me. Without a physical commute “home from the office” every day, I really needed to find a way to unwind at the end of my work day. To create that separation of work life and home life. And my walks with my husband and my pups at night are just the thing. The act of shutting down my computer, changing into my walking clothes and heading out to walk the neighborhood is my nice, hypothetical commute to start my evening routing. Get out there, friends. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, it can change your perspective.
I’m my best self after I’ve gotten a good sweat in for the day. It doesn’t matter when I do it, and my schedule doesn’t always allow for consistency. But, I get it in when I can. Sometimes that’s during my lunch – and sometimes it’s the thing I do at the very end of my day. It’s my favorite me-time of the day!
Finding a hobby
For those who had to move to working from home all of the time – how do you feel about it? I’ve been a mixed bag. I miss the people, certainly, but it has a ton of positives too. I found myself missing the human interaction. Sure, I see my husband, my dogs and countless people in Zoom meetings, but I missed people. Starting tennis lessons has done a lot for my morale – and gives me some time away from the house. I always come back feeling refreshed!
This blog is another hobby of mine. I’m so glad I started it back up a year ago today. It’s given me a creative outlet to share – and interact.
Taking time off
It doesn’t matter whether you work or not. Giving yourself a day off to do whatever it you want to do can do wonders for the soul. Knowing that I have a day set aside to do whatever it is I want to do every now and then, feels freeing. I’ve done all kinds of things on those days: slept in ( one of my favorite things to do), go on an impromptu middle of the day lunch with a friend, go on a long run, go get a pedicure, browse a store – and I certainly try not to look at email. I am always ready to hit the ground running when I return!
Maybe you don’t have a form of self care at the moment – and maybe you need one. I encourage you to try to find something that makes you happy so you can be in a better space to be fully present for the people in your lives who need you! Happy Thursday, friends!!!!