1. Peaceful mornings. I give myself at least an hour between waking up and easing myself into the work day. I use this time to workout, journal, meditate, stretch, chat with someone I love, make myself a nourishing breakfast, or go on a walk.
2. Movement practice. I feel a big difference in my days, mentally and physically, when I don't prioritize moving my body in some way. So, I always block time on my calendar to get out for a run, go climbing, go surfing, or go to a Pilates or yoga class. I've noticed that the practice of making this visible to everyone encourages my team to carve out time they need for their own movement practice.
3. Rhythmic breaks. I find great joy and relaxation in cooking myself a healthy lunch at home every day, taking short breaks to get some fresh air, or walking my dog. I keep this in mind when scheduling meetings and balancing workload. And, if I can't cook, or walk, or take that break today, then I look forward to it tomorrow.
4. Practice adaptability! Things will shift. We lose control over our time, communication gets murky, we miss deadlines, priorities change, we get sick, we have families, we have financial realities, we are human. How can we choose to make these shifts more viable by accepting them as they come? This practice helps us pivot with ease.
5. Ask for help. We all need it. And on days where you are feeling more spaciousness, check in with others and ask how you can help them.
6. Communication is clarity. Help define reality for yourself and others. Lack of communication gives room for assumptions, lack of clarity, and misunderstanding.
7. Have empathy. For yourself and others. Search for the whole picture that paints the situation. Listen and seek to understand the complexity that is present with each person in each situation. Lack of awareness often causes frustration, disconnect, and hard feelings down the line.
8. Recommit to your health. Have practices in place that bring you back to a state of health when you get overwhelmed, sick, tired, overcommitted, burnt-out and disconnected from yourself.
9. Don't take yourself or others too seriously. Bring smiles and laughter to your meetings. They are contagious.
10. Know when your day feels full. Admittedly, this one is hard for me. We all have mental, physical, and energetic boundaries around how much we work. These boundaries are unique to each of our personal contexts. They are often not 9-5, and just because your boss works 10 hours a day does not mean you have to. When we don't understand our personal boundaries, it's easy to build a habit of not honoring them or communicating them. Then resentment can build because you're not standing up for yourself and your needs. Practice self-validation by setting your workd boundaries and asking a coworker how they feel about your current workload.
Discovering what makes you feel alive, purposeful, and valuable in your vocation is a life-long pursuit. Give yourself grace and find ways to enjoy every twist, turn, bump and clearing on that road. It's about the journey, not the destination. Why burn yourself out when you are doing this for life? It might be shocking, but on average, we spend 1/3 of our lives at work. Practicing pause, consciousness, and enduring effort creates the conditions for us to work with life, and hopefully, get more life from our work.
If you need help exploring these practices for yourself, we're here to help. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's talk about it.