Be Kind to Yourself

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Last week, I didn’t post to my blog on Friday for the first time in years, and I think the second time since I started it.  I take pride in keeping up with this blog and making use I post something every single week.  But I was sick last week, and since I wasn’t ahead on posts, that meant no post last week.

I have a tendency to berate myself for this sort of thing, but I’m trying to be much more intentional about being kind to myself.  There’s no reason I should feel bad about missing the blog because I was sick.  Similarly, I’m going through some transitions with my work situation, and I’m struggling a bit as I adjust to the new arrangements.  This is another place where I need to remember to be kind to myself.  Change takes some adjustment and that’s okay.

So today, I want to remind everyone to be kind to yourself.

If you’re going through an adjustment period, cut yourself some slack if you mess up or miss something.  I would encourage you to extend this same attitude to others, but if you’re anything like me, that’s easier than extending it to yourself.  I, like many I know, hold myself to a higher standard.  I’m more willing to forgive others than I am to forgive myself.

So, I’ll say it again.  Remember to be kind to yourself.

Remember that any change, even a relatively small one is still change.  Remember that change always comes with some adjustment time.  Remember that it’s okay to mess up, to not get everything right the first time, and make mistakes.  Remember that none of that is a reflection of your worth or value, to yourself or to others.  Doing it wrong is one of the ways we learn how to do it right.

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy out there, and I hope you all can give yourselves just a little extra room to be your imperfect human selves.  I’m trying to do the same.

Self-Care: The Importance of Staying Well

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You hear a lot about self-care these days.  This is part because the work culture in the US is not a healthy place.  There’s constantly a demand to do more with less.  More work, more productivity, with less pay, less time-off, and less of everything else in your life.  This week I tried to practice better self-care than the system usually endorses.

The nice thing is that my office, and my supervisor in particular, want me to take time off and rest when I get sick.  I spent most of this week felled by a cold, which is why this post is so short.  Normally I have more time and energy to write and edit these.  This week, I did almost nothing that wasn’t absolutely mandatory from Sunday to Thursday.  Thankfully, I’m feeling much better today. Continue reading

The Importance of Breaks

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It’s been a very busy time at work for me lately, and that leads to an internal pressure to keep up with everything and not let myself get behind or have to ask for support to complete my work.  This is problematic in itself, that I am driven to appear perfect and able to keep up even when I can’t.  That’s something I’m working on.  And one way I’m doing that involves breaks.

I am fortunate in that I work at a university with a culture that generally supports work/life balance.  I also work in a department full of amazing people that’s housed under a department run by an amazing dean who really cares about how we’re doing.  This means that I’m discouraged from working late, working through lunch, or generally over-working myself.  They want me to have time to rest and recharge.

I’ve been either skipping my lunch break or taking a much shorter one the past couple weeks as I try to stay on top of everything during my busiest time of year.  Yes, it’s weird for a university employee to be busiest over the summer, but my role is a bit backward that way.  I have been eating lunch, my body wouldn’t let me get away with skipping meals, but I haven’t been taking that time to step away from work and think about something else for a while like I usually do.

Breaks are important for your brain.  And not just long ones like your lunch break or not thinking about work overnight.  There’s science to support that small breaks, like watching a funny cat video or taking a short walk, are good for your brain.  A lot of the advice I get as a writer about how to get past a block involves a short break like a snack or a walk. Continue reading

Self-Care: My Reasons and Strategies

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Self-care is something I see discussed more and more places these days, so I wanted to take a few moments to share with you why I think it’s so important and some of my strategies to make sure I’m doing it properly.

Being overworked seemed to be a constant for many Americans.  With downturns in the economy in 2008 that we still haven’t fully recovered from, more companies are trying to do more with less.  This often means giving one person the work of two or three, or expecting employees to pull long hours to meet deadlines.  Work culture in American, generally speaking, is pretty rough on the employee. Continue reading