Self-care is Your Superpower
Just like cars, our bodies cannot run on empty.
Here we are halfway through the year, and it does seem like time flew right past us. Is it just me or does it feel like we are still recovering from the ‘hungover’ that was 2020? To think we are six months away from 2022 is wild to say the least. Most companies use this time to evaluate whether they met the goals set at the onset of the year; but do they spend the same effort inquiring about their employees’ wellbeing? If you are a manager or own a company, are you checking on your team? Most importantly, are you checking on yourself?
Before giving our best selves to various jobs or projects, stop and ask yourself whether the same effort you give your employer/client is the same you give yourself. We all know that God forbid if anything happened, your employer would easily replace you; we all saw this with the late Bob Collymore who at the time of his passing, was the CEO of Safaricom (May his soul rest in eternal peace).
At the beginning of my career, I was honored to join one of the top law firms in the country where I was certain life would be glossy. Well, that was far from the case. Three months into the job, leaving the office at 5pm felt like I was committing a crime against humanity. And no, I am not being dramatic. Many legal trainees in different firms can affirm this type of office culture.
One Thursday as I was leaving the office after clearing my tasks for the day, one of the senior associates said to me in the elevator, “clearly you don’t have any work today.” It was part of the work culture to leave the office late because it automatically made you look ‘hard-working’ and left you in the partners’ good books. We were all working to be in those books, but at what cost?
Her question left me feeling completely insecure, paranoid that I would lose my job and under-appreciated. Thereafter, that feeling would subsequently affect my productivity and I swore to myself I would never accept to work in a place where my wellbeing was disregarded and where I was only seen as an asset and not a human-being.
Looking back at this experience, I empathize with anyone who has to work in an office where you’re constantly being condemned for leaving the workplace at the prescribed time in your contract or being overworked at the cost of both your physical and mental health. Contracts exist to govern relationships between parties, while protecting their interests but they don’t look out for our wellbeing. Perhaps its about time we re-work terms that govern contracts to allow for optimal productivity.
So where I am I going with this? To remind you that your health should always be your priority. While ‘hustling’ through these ‘streets’ as many of us like to call it, the thrill or stress of chasing opportunities can impact how we portray ourselves. You might not realise it, but stress manifests itself in many ways that might not be apparent. As soon as potential employers or clients can sniff that you're not mentally prepared to embark on future work, it could cost you the entire opportunity.
Our bodies are like cars, they need to be fuelled with nutritious food and exercise to move effectively, and require servicing through meditation, hobbies and healthy social connections through family and friends to achieve optimum performance. And just like cars, our bodies cannot run on empty. I am sure many can relate with the pressure of working in a toxic environment that culminates into the recurring ‘Monday blues’ fever.
As we usher in the remaining half of the year, my hope is that you identify a self-care routine that works for you and one that will fuel you to be at your best. In this uncertain period of our lives, we need to consistently build resilience both physically and mentally to enable us to positively contribute to society.
Yours in Wellness,
Writer: Loise Machira
Images: Pexels, Strikingly
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