I recently attended two professional conferences back-to-back.
The first was packed with managers and employees discussing resiliency, mindfulness and how essential self-care is to working sustainably. The programming—which emphasized the importance of “filling your well” so you can deliver at peak-levels –was creative, engaging, collaborative and energizing.
The second conference was dominated by caffeine and sugar, endless PowerPoint presentations and grueling work sessions where it was perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to skip meals and stay tethered to technology 24/7. Many of the attendees were distracted, exhausted and disconnected. This conference emphasized employee output and productivity, but failed to mention 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 and conferences and working with leadership teams worldwide around how self-renewal and resiliency impact worker performance.
The progressive organizations and companies 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 rock their game.
I got a front row seat watching 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 peers the night before their 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?!).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-459-6700.
TWO OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUPPORT:
- Seeking personal mentoring and support for finding balance and making your self-care a priority? Check out my popular life balance audio classes (only $99).
- Renew, replenish and recharge with like-minded women at a fall self-renewal retreat. In transition and seeking clarity/support and a weekend of deep to-the-bones renewal? View all upcoming fall retreats here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. She is the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 17-year-old son. More on Renee here.