We have all heard that self-care is the best care but how many of us actually do it? As we continue to deal with this pandemic and helping our businesses to thrive in 2021, self-care is going to be absolutely paramount for HR Professionals.
We are at the front line in our organization’s efforts to survive and last year we spent countless man hours trying to figure out what came next once it was determined that COVID-19 was not going away any time soon. We were at the front when we were being asked if our company was going to say anything about the injustices carried out towards George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and we were at the front when people were asking about their job security through Brexit. Tell me you are not exhausted!
So many of us in HR believe or have the impression that others believe we have to know it all and be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually available for everyone 24/7. The truth is we cannot do that and the expectation of such needs to change.
Self-care is not selfish, it is not inconvenient and it is not an indulgence. When we take care of ourselves, we give our body and mind time to rebuild and refresh. We reenergize to take on the tasks at hand and to serve the people we work with and for. We are contributing to our wellbeing and should never feel ashamed to do such.
According to the International Centre for Self-Care Research, the decisions made by people regarding self-care are influenced by a broad array of factors. Effective self-care requires knowledge, skills, confidence, and motivation to engage in self-care in spite of everyday barriers. Common barriers to self-care include depression, lack of confidence, trouble thinking, poor sleep, and other illnesses. Informal supporters or caregivers, typically family members, exert a powerful influence on self-care. Lack of support is an important barrier to self-care.
So I wanted to share some ways that I will be taking care of myself in 2021 and to encourage you to do the same:
- Spending time alone – as an introvert, this comes naturally to me but for those of you that may struggle, try to take 15 – 30 minutes of alone time by taking a walk or watching something that makes you laugh.
- Asking for what you need – Use your voice more to get what you need. First, know and understand what your ask is, this will help you to articulate it better.
- Setting boundaries – Nothing good comes from saying yes to everything. Remember as I said before you cannot do it all and no one should expect you to. Use your words to find out what people want, how soon they need it, and if you are even the right person to do it.
- Forgive yourself – As HR Professionals we are our hardest critics. If you know that you have done all that you can to save a situation and achieve the best outcome and it still goes south, forgive yourself. Let go and let God.
- Take a step back – We never have the full picture of everything, but we can get a better perspective if we do not respond in haste. Step back and try to get the best view on a matter that you can. Patience and perspective go hand in hand.
- Ask for help – It is ok to need and ask for help as an HR Professional. The thought that asking for help in our profession is a sign of weakness is absolute “rubbish” (I said what I said). Everyone needs help sometimes and it is A-ok to ask. If someone tries to make you feel small because you asked for help, ask them for the answer and I bet they do not have one.
If you need some more guidance on how to take better care of yourself, here are some further suggestions on self-care.
2021 has just begun and I wonder how many of you have actually purposed (notice I did not say planned) to do any of these things. You can also seek further guidance by getting yourself a coach. HR for HR support is out there and I would be more than happy to assist you on your journey to self-discovery and success.
Self-care truly is the best care and you can become the champion you and your organization deserve if you put on your mask first.
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