Smart employers get it: self-care is crucial

I recently attended two professional conferences. One was filled with companies/employees who were talking about resiliency, mindfulness and how essential self-care is to finding work-life balance. The programming—which touched on the importance of “filling your well” so you can deliver at peak-levels at work–was creative, engaging, collaborative and alive.


The second conference was in a dark, PowerPoint drenched cave where it was perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to be hyper-plugged-in, chugging cold brew all day, skipping meals and meeting for daily happy hours. Many of the attendees seemed distracted, exhausted, disconnected and there was an emphasis on employee output/productivity, but not so much about how workers recharged in order to deliver 12-hour work days.

I’m passionate about self-care and for 25 years, I’ve been speaking at companies, conferences and working with leadership teams around how engaging the power of self-renewal and resiliency impacts worker performance.

The progressive organizations that hire me understand that valuing work-life balance is not about promoting a “soft skill” or throwing employees a bone (work-life effectiveness is always #1 on in-house employee needs’ surveys). It’s about encouraging their team members to show up fully resourced so they can be innovative, sharp and “bring it.”

I got a front row seat this week watching how this works with my teen, a natural leader. He’s in the process of trying to herd his 16 year-old peers to come together around a large-scale school project.  While my kid could use a serious boost in the self-care department, I was amazed to overhear him tell his team members the night before a big performance, “Make sure you get rest tonight and eat a protein breakfast.” Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. Some guys slept-in and he had to scratch a carefully planned rehearsal (understandable—how many of us chose a late-night adventure when we were teens in lieu of feeling rested?!).

It’s important to remember we’re not robots here to deliver output. We’re beautiful, messy, imperfect humans living in incredibly stressful times. Our various stages require different levels of care and support. Self-care—the art/science of attuning and responding to your physical/emotional/mental needs—is not about becoming YOU 2.0 or following the advice of your doctor. As employees and managers, we practice self-care to be able to bring forth the best that is within us, to be able to FULLY show up for another and to work in a way that is sustainable and joyful.

A Personal Invitation: I’d love to connect about creating a custom presentation or workshop for your company, organization or team. My clients include Fortune 100 companies, national conferences, wellness/retreats centers and nonprofit & government agencies. Learn more or reach out to me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com or 512-459-6700.


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Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work-life balance coach/speaker/author and stress management teacher Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 15-year-old son. More on her background here.