Every day we go to work and give of ourselves to help the employees in our organizations. We wrack our brains to figure out how we can support them using a never-ending list of strategies:
– blood pressure screenings
– employee health programs
– healthy food choices in the cafeteria and vending machines
– employee assistance programs
– walking clubs
– inservice education
– oh yes, and designing meaningful benefit plans to support them and their families
In addition to these steps, we also provide countless hours of employee relations support on issues ranging from absenteeism to sexual harassment. Quite honestly, HR can be exhausting! However, the perils of not managing the stress that comes with our jobs can, as Linda Wasmer Andrews wrote, lead to burnout for HR professionals.
TAKE TIME FOR YOU – MINUS THE GUILT
By our very nature, we are called to help others. While there is certainly a range of perspectives on the role of an effective HR leader, the reality is we are here to support the employees of our organizations. Our ability to execute on that expectation can be severely compromised if we do not take care of ourselves. We may even feel guilty that we are doing something for ourselves v. constantly being on-call “just in case.” This is a treacherous path to follow however, since you are putting yourself at risk. Who will do your job if you do not take care of yourself and you’re out of work?
I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF
Stop. Just stop with this, the mother-of-all-excuses! Of course you have time to take care of yourself, you simply choose not to. Plain and simple. You don’t do it. So instead of excuses, start focusing on three key areas that will change your life, and quite honestly, your ability to perform better at work.
1. Eat Well
This is not rocket science, but it does require commitment. Leverage the passion you have for your job, and apply it to a renewed passion for your health. It’s not easy, nothing worthwhile is easy.
2. Learn About and Manage Stress
You can not effectively cope with the stress in your life, if you do not understand why it’s happening, what your personal triggers are, and how you can develop a realistic plan to move forward. Invest the time to educate yourself, just like you do when a challenging issue presents itself in your work.
HOW ABOUT YOU
Do you take any time to care for yourself; or, are have you elevated yourself to martyr status for the employees and do not have time? Are you going to make an excuse as to why you can’t start tonight after work; or is it another night on the couch with a bowl of ice cream? It’s your decision, but your employees and families are counting on you to make the right one.
I’d love to hear from you.