Time for TLC and Self Care

Do you need some TLC?

Self-care is foundational to thriving in your career and in your life. When we are busy or overworked, or feeling tired and depleted, self-care is often one of the first things to go. But neglecting self-care can ultimately lead to burnout. In fact, if you find you can’t make time for self-care, you can be sure you are on the path to burnout. If you already experiencing burnout in your job or career, self-care is the first step to recovery and transformation. The great news is this something you can change.

Many clients come to me actively seeking balance in their job or career. When we talk about what it means to have more balance, the most frequent answer is that more balance means time for self-care.

What is self-care? Literally, self-care means doing what you want or need to feel taken care of. Self-care is not about waiting for your family or friends to take care of you, instead it includes the things you do for yourself.

Many of us have grown up with the belief that self-care is selfish. The truth is without self-care your capacity to care for others or to accomplish your goals diminishes. One of my contacts shared this great quote on Facebook this week and I want to share it with you.

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” – Mandy Hale

Got that? Self-care is necessary. Self-care includes your physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual needs. When I need self-care, I start with sleep, diet, and exercise, in that order, because if you aren’t getting enough sleep, everything else can be compromised.

Next, check in with your emotional and spiritual needs. Are you spending time with people you love and who love and accept you? Are you connecting with your spirit and something greater than you? What helps you with that? I personally like to start my day with a healthy breakfast, a cup of fresh brewed coffee, and journaling. That’s how I connect with my intuition and with God. One of my clients relies on yoga and meditation; another client attends a martial arts class every day. For myself, I have found that as the seasons change, my needs change. During warmer months, I’ll replace my daily journaling time with a brisk walk by the lake, when I will spend time appreciating nature. These are just a few examples. The important question is: What works for you?

Finally, are you being challenged intellectually? Perhaps you’d like to read a book during your commute to work, or work a Sudoku puzzle with your afternoon tea.

Remember, self-care is not selfish, it is necessary. Benefits of self-care include having more energy for the work you need to do and the work you want to do. You will receive a nice boost to your self esteem when you take the time for self-care. Self-care is quite possibly the most important thing you can do to help yourself.

What do you need right now to feel cared for? Can you take a break, make some tea, and sit quietly and breathe for just 5 minutes right now? Or perhaps you’d rather take a walk to the break room or coffee shop and buy a cup? What can you do for just a few short minutes, right now, to practice self-care? I invite you to share how you practice self-care below.

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Client Stories

I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me.  In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that! 

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with. 

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake.  With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop.  Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!

Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL