To those of you working corporate jobs with career ambitions to sit in the C-suite, to those that show up to work just to squirrel away enough money for your next vacation, your ability to practice self-care should not be dependent on the type of job you have or your career track. Practicing self-care is equally as important to everyone.
No “one size fits all approach”
First off, how do you define self-care? If you asked 10 people that question, I bet you would get different answers. That’s because self-care needs to be defined by you and there is no “one size fits all” approach. I define self-care as any activity that helps recharge you and declutter your brain so that when you’re at work, you can focus on your work.
Evolve your definition of self-care
Depending on your career stage or season of your life, your definition of self-care may need to evolve. Self-care doesn’t have to be defined as a lavish once-a-year event, like a full day at the spa (though that sounds lovely!). For me, I’m in a season of mothering two young kids while working full-time as a product marketing manager at a high-tech company. Self-care during the week can look like retreating to our bedroom for 10 minutes after family dinner where I can have some quiet time, or watching a TV show with my husband after the kids are asleep. Previously when I had more time and financial resources to spend on myself, self-care during the week was defined as spending two hours at a post-work happy hour.
Don’t sacrifice self-care
Since I now have mandatory after-work commitments, I can no longer stay late in the office. And though I can open my laptop in the evenings to continue working when I get home, I don’t because part of taking care of myself is spending time with my family in the evenings. Has this impacted my career in any way? Nope. Now, I’m able to better manage how I spend my time at work, focusing first on what will drive the most business impact, delegating where I can, and not doing the “busywork.” So, though I’m working less total hours, I’m smarter about what I work on and focus on the results.
Give yourself permission…and just do it!
Without taking care of yourself, you can’t show up to work and be your best self. It has to be your priority, and not someone else’s. Don’t wait until your partner, friend, manager, parent, whomever tells you that you need to take a break, or makes time for you to do so. You have to give yourself permission to practice self-care, and the key word is you.
About Jenny Kordell
Jenny Kordell is a product marketing manager at a high-tech company, mother of two kids two and under, and celebrating 11 years of marriage to her husband, who is an entrepreneur. She loves meeting new people and can’t wait to connect with you on Twitter and LinkedIn.