Skill Level Intermediate
- Why is it so important that, as administrative support professionals, we practice good self-care and maintain a healthy work balance? I know the answer. We serve many different roles in our offices and for the people we support. We are constantly giving of our time and energy to help others accomplish their goals on a daily basis. If we are not careful, we sacrifice ourselves so greatly that we can become victims of fatigue, irritability, and loss of passion.
If this happens to us, we will leave our entire office and our executives in a bad place. This is why it is so important that we practice good self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance. The higher the level of executive that I support, I have noticed the more time I need to put into my assignment. I often find myself staying late, working off hours, and thinking about work more often than not. This is the time where I know I need to practice good self-care.
Self-care, by definition, are individual activities intended to replenish and renew oneself on a regular basis. This will look different for everyone. For myself, it includes working out, reading, spending time with friends, traveling, meditating, and long walks. These are the things I do consistently to relieve stress and reenergize myself. How about you? Take a few minutes to answer the following questions.
What are the things that you like to do to relax? Are you doing those things on a steady basis? Do you have time carved out in your calendar just for you? If not, you could be headed for imbalance in your life. Maintaining good work-life balance is similar to practicing good self-care except that you are making a conscious effort to ensure that work doesn't suck too much out of you and there's nothing left for home and vice versa.
There are a number of ways that experts tell you to do this. Here are some of my favorites to ensure that I achieve my desired results. Unplug, literally. When you are with family and friends, turn your attention completely to them. Emails, texts, calls from work can wait. I know we often don't think they will, but the more we train ourselves to temporarily put them aside, the richer our personal relationships will grow and the more we create a good example for our colleagues.
Create a support network that will help encourage you to maintain your balance. These will more than likely be friends or family who are outside of your office environment. They will help you be accountable to the goals you have set in this area. Schedule me time. I plan to do activities that help me remain healthy in mind, body, and spirit. I make sure to put them in my calendar and adhere to them. It's easy to put yourself at the bottom of the priority list, but those who value balance don't do that.
They stay committed to the time they have set aside for themselves. Operate in your strengths. I try to spend most of my time, professionally and personally, doing those things I am best at. I try to spend as little time as possible operating in my weaknesses. That leads to too much frustration and burnout for me and makes me dread doing that activity. Although it's sometimes unavoidable and there are things we have to do, I make that the exception and not the rule.
Practicing good self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is completely your responsibility. It's not something anyone else can do for us. If we take the lead in this area, we will be creating a good example for those we support, those we lead, and our own family members. It will also be beneficial to setting the tone in our individual offices. This is an important issue in our world today, and we, as administrative support professionals, can lead the way for self-care and work-life balance for all those who rely on us on a daily basis.