Are you suffering in your job and working to figure it all out? What to do? What to change? When you’re trying to work, figure out what you want, work some more, we often neglect the one thing that needs the most attention.
That’s right. When you are down and out, tired and feel like there is no way out, you need to stop, slow down and give yourself some personal self-care.
I know when I have tried to make any change while depleted emotionally and spiritually, it does not work, at all. Tired and mentally exhausted from the stress of working in a career that does not represent who you are and what you want, is not a place from which you can tap your creativity to make a change. And trust me, you will want to bring your best self to anything new you are working to create.
And if you are dreading going to work and just powering thru without taking care of yourself, burn out is around the corner. Let alone initiating any change.
What to do?
Well for one, get a little selfish.
Are you getting some exercise, are you eating good real food and are you getting enough sleep?
These actions are the core to overall wellness, but, if you are neglecting these areas of your life and trying to deal with a stressful career situation and figuring out how to make a change, that is a recipe for failure.
Five years ago, I was in a similar situation of working a ton in a job that was draining me. I was not taking care of myself and spent a lot of time ruminating on my dilemma. Low on energy, out of answers and out of shape physically, I took a hard look at how I was approaching my days.
What I realized is that Monday thru Friday was taken up working, Saturday was spent recovering and Sunday was spent dreading Monday.
So, I got a bit selfish and decided it was time to increase my energy levels or this was not going to end well.
I have always been what I would consider active, either thru outdoor activities or other past times. I am not a regular at the gym, I would rather take a bike ride outside. In this case, I decided to try something new, boxing. Long story short, after a month of boxing, I started to feel better physically and thus had more energy. As a result, it was a key enabler to being able to initiate activities to make a change.
What else can you do?
Take some time off from work. Yes, get out of there. I know, you are going to tell me you can’t and it’s too risky to be gone that long. I get it, that is what I thought. But, nope, take the time, the world does not fall apart at work, trust me. (I took two weeks off unannounced until the Friday before, yes I still had a job.)
Re-engage in some of your favorite activities – Take the time to re-energize that hobby of yours.
Go do something you love to do, something that work has pushed aside. Then make that a regular part of your week.
Take up meditation.
Stop working on figuring out that career dilemma.
Re-engage in your health, re-engage in what you love to do, re-engage with family and friends, get some good stuff on the calendar for the next few months, concerts, day trips, hiking, anything to bring you back to yourself, back to your life.
Get outside in nature – This can do wonders.
Trust me on this, until you take care of yourself, you cannot take care of that career.
If it feels like a luxury, and it may, then you need to double down on making sure you take some time for yourself.
Now, one warning.
Do not let taking care of yourself DISTRACT you from taking care of the real issue: that job of yours.
Taking care of yourself will give you the motivation and energy to get you back in touch with you and with what gets you excited. It will also give you a creativity burst in how you approach that career challenge.
So, TAKE CARE of YOURSELF first. Make a plan this week of one thing you can do to re-connect with what you love; one activity that will bring some spark; one activity that will make you feel energized again.
Can you make that commitment this week? I hope so. It is the path back to you, your energizers in life and a critical component of making any changes to your work life.