Money is the primary reason why most of us work and, hopefully, your work meets your basic economic self-care needs. Of course, there are some people who are financially set and work for other reasons. Even those of us who work for money often want more than a paycheck: Recognition. Purpose. Prestige. Comradery. To make a difference. To be of service.
It is tricky to take care of yourself in a group when you care so much about the overall group mission — family, church, community, work. It is a balancing act between what you need and what the group or the community needs. Work is no different. And the politics of the work environment make taking care of yourself even trickier.
Just as the fear of losing your romantic partner may keep you from expressing some of your true feelings, the fear of losing your job may keep you from taking care of your personal needs in the context of work. However, it is still important to ensure that your core self-care needs are being met if you plan on contributing your best work.
Do you know what your core self-care needs are for work? Which of these apply to you?
- I need to feel appreciated.
- I need to be paid fairly.
- I need to be heard and respected.
- I need to be guided.
- I need to part of a team that I respect.
-I need to learn more about my profession.
- I need a clear career path.
- I need to constantly learn new things.
- I need to make a difference.
-I need an opportunity to make more money.
-I need acknowledgement.
- I need to enjoy what I do.
- I need to be inspired by my work or my co-workers.
- I need a friendly, family-like work environment.
- I need to express myself creatively.
- I need ____________. (fill in the blank)
Now go back through this list and mark which of the needs you selected that are actually being met by your work. Are the results what you expected? Or are you surprised? If your needs are not being met, what can you do? Get started on your Self Care Plan for work.
Self-care in the workplace can feel overwhelming when your work product is dependent upon others in the same office who may or may not be pulling their weight. Documenting your work activity and noting lessons learned once a project is completed is essential to your self-care in the workplace. Without documenting your lessons learned, your hard work is available for everyone else on the team. When you document your accomplishments, procedures and lessons learned, you are able to review for yourself where you need to set boundaries as opposed to sharing a random feeling of frustration in a meeting.
A Self Care Plan in the workplace is the same as at home. It will challenge your need for (or acceptance of) things that are not helping you live your life’s purpose like:
- The need to be right and in control all the time
- The need to carry the weight of those who consciously don’t want to carry their own
- The need to feel secure and safe around things you already know vs. doing a good job while exploring the new frontier of your own career
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