Service Due Soon: The Art of Self-Care
‘Service Due Soon.’ I got in my car to leave the office last week and my car flashed that message when I turned it on. I immediately smiled because I instantly related it to self-care. Now I really don’t know much about cars and have no desire to know much about them other than just knowing the basics, so I am shooting from the hip a little on the car details here…
When our cars need servicing, the old oil is taken out, new oil put in, old filters removed and replaced with clean filters, and the tires get rotated. Here is how I relate all of that to self-care:
The first thing I think about is that the car cannot be driven when it is being serviced so when we think about self-care, we need to make sure that we are taking a real time-out to do it. Take yourself out of service for a bit. If you find that you need to do this a lot every day, then you should evaluate what is happening to create the frequent need for that much self-care. Maybe you need a vacation!
The old oil that is removed from the car is full of crud. So, for self-care, we need to get rid of the crud. We start by acknowledging whatever is weighing us down and dealing with the things that can be dealt with then letting the rest of it go. Get rid of that which no longer serves you.
We must not miss the next important step though and that is pouring new oil into ourselves. We must replace the crud with good things. What does this look like? Well for me it is:
- Spending time with family/friends. This could be a quick phone call or spending the evening together.
- Reading a good book.
- I am a Christian so spending time with God is high on this list for me. I read notes I have kept of how He has answered prayer or worked in my life.
- Listening to inspirational podcasts.
- Being outside and enjoying nature.
- Exercising. Getting your heart rate up and sweating has many health benefits and rinses the mind.
Whatever “well” I can drink from during this time of self-care that will fill me, I drink from it. Sometimes it is just a few minutes and other times it is a few days. I walked outside late one afternoon last week to look for the blue jay that lives in the woods by our house. He was not around but a flock of birds flew right over me which did not really affect me until I heard the rush of their wings flapping and it sent chills through me. I stood and drank from the well.
We look at the filters in our lives and figure out which ones need to be replaced. I am fortunate to have an awesome family and a few good friends that help me with this. I bounce things off of them and they tell me if I need a filter change. Very helpful with self-care. I have actually re-read an email or a text after a filter change and realized how I misunderstood it the first time because I had a grimy filter.
Lastly, rotating the tires relates to the things I need to move around in my life, like priorities, to keep balance and alignment. Balance and alignment are definitely part of self-care. Sometimes we can get caught up in giving something our full attention that really no longer requires it. We are used to giving this something our full attention, so we keep ignoring other important things until one of them goes flat (pun intended 😊). What are the priorities in your life? Do you have them written down? It might be a good idea to do so and keep track of them so that balance and alignment can be maintained.
So how does all of this apply in the workplace? According to this Forbes article, Dr. Russell Thackeray, a licensed clinical psychologist who consults on the topic of productivity, said, “People that look after themselves [and practice self-care] have better cognitive ability. They tend to actually produce more.” That is just one source of proof. There are dozens more.
I will end with one last thought – give yourself grace. You deserve it as much as everyone else. If you would like to know more about what we do at CLG and how we might impact your business, contact us today.