We need to increase our bandwidth to live with so much coming at us. To that end we need to embed practices that support that development. This isn’t an exhaustive list, yet a start to a reflective conversation on managing yourself in the age of overwhelm.

  • Do I have a breathing, meditation, or quieting practice that will help bring calm to my body and mind?
  • Do I take time to cultivate relationships outside of work? (family, partner, pets?)
  • Do I have a structure in my life for acknowledging the good that is going on or a method of expressing gratitude on a continual basis?
  • Am I aware of the concept of a growth vs. fixed mindset and how I work with it in my own life and work?
  • Do I have self-talk that is optimistic and how am I learning to be more optimistic? Do I have a coach or someone who works with me on my self-talk and helps me look at my assumptions, belief systems, and strengths?
  • Do I have a compassion practice that includes both self-compassion and loving kindness for others?
  • Do I take time out for inspirational moments that bring me back to a “bigger space” in myself? TED talks, spiritual centers (churches, synagogues, retreat centers), readings, author talks, podcasts?
  • Do I have plans to grow myself and my skill sets? Conferences, Mastermind groups, online courses, professional learning communities, reading lists?
  • Do I take a few vacations a year? Do I deliberately plan time away from work several times a year?
  • Do I notice that I laugh every day? Do I put myself into situations that make me smile?
  • Do I have moments where I can experience “giving” in a different way outside my work? Perform acts of service? Attend events that support causes?

Do you need to stress yourself out by making sure you have done everything on this list? Absolutely not. It is counter to the self-care we are trying to cultivate. But your health and well-being is important. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Deep breaths, everyone.

About the Author:

Jennifer Abrams is an international education and communications consultant. She considers herself a voice coach, helping others learn how to best use their voices–be it collaborating on a team, presenting in front of an audience, coaching a colleague, or supervising an employee. Abrams’ books include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicate, Collaborate, and Create Community, and Hard Conversations Unpacked: the Whos, the Whens, and the What Ifs. She has also created a Corwin Press e-course. Abrams writes a monthly newsletter/blog, Voice Lessons, at www.jenniferabrams.com. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferabrams.