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Two Types of Self-Care

You have to survive before you can thrive.

Working in a small shop nonprofit may make you feel like you are working in a rolling emergency room, or a million things you need to get done leaves you with no idea where to start. I know that I have felt this way many times.

I am going to talk about two types of self-care, one type is finding self-care when work seems unavoidable (like in an event week), and the other type is finding self-care time in a 'usual' week.

My number one rule for self-care of any kind is PLAN. Plan to take care of yourself, plan your day, and plan out your goals for the week. Whatever planning means to you, do it!

During a busy time, like an event week, I do a couple of things to take care of myself...

  • Participate in walking and standing meetings.

  • Set boundaries and communicate those boundaries.

  • Practice mindfulness or meditation. This can be done simply by breathing or listening to soft music.

  • Close your door! Sometimes it's as simple as not allowing people to barge in.

  • Remember to eat and stay hydrated. Try not to binge on bad foods.

During a regular (but still busy) week, I do a couple of things to take care of myself...

  • Continue to do all of the self-care tips mentioned above.

  • Make a plan or make a list. This tends to bring me joy and is the number one thing I do to take care of myself.

  • Exercise. I am an avid Orange Theory participant. I love Orange Theory because it allows me to zone out for precisely one hour, and then I can get right back to what needs to be done.

  • Do something for yourself. Sometimes it's as simple as getting a pedicure, massage, cooking, writing, or whatever brings your joy.

  • Make your needs known. If you don't communicate your needs and allow yourself a break, you can't expect people to understand.

These are just some small tips for taking care of yourself. Working in a small nonprofit shop can often lead to burnout. We are all passionate about our jobs, and therefore we must take care of ourselves if we want to care for others adequately.

It is in everyone's interest to protect their employees from burnout, and it is everyone's job to encourage self-care. As leaders in our small shop nonprofits, we must model self-care and prove our commitment to wellness. Make self-care a priority for yourself and those in your organization. Please drop me a comment with your favorite self-care tips! Thanks for reading.

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