By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
In April of 2019, we ran an article on self-care. This article saw some of the highest open rates and generated the most members comments of any article. As I’ve talked to many retail RDNs over the past two months, it’s clear that this topic is one worth revisiting. You’re stressed from intense workloads, concern over employee health, trying to homeschool your kids, and attempting to predict what retail healthy living programs and services look like post-pandemic.
While self-care is sometimes perceived as a “nice to have,” it actually helps individuals be more effective at performing optimally, especially in high stress situations. Sometimes you need to step away to come back and be your best self. Here are tips for ensuring you’re taking care of yourself to take care of business, both personally and professionally:
- Moments vs. Hours. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time to take care of yourself, and in fact, self-care can be more effective when you engage in it often. If you just sat through three hours of meetings, take 10 minutes for a quick outdoor walk. At the end of the workday, find a quiet place (even if it’s in your car!) and spend five minutes meditating. Moments of activities like these will balance the madness that each day may bring.
- Schedule It. “I don’t have enough time” is a common phrase right now and the most frequent reason people don’t take time to take care of themselves. Whether it’s a dog walk, a bubble bath, a catch-up call with a college friend, or simply sitting on the porch with a glass of wine, putting it on your calendar increases the likelihood you’ll actually do it.
- Set Boundaries. When you’re constantly running on the hamster wheel, it’s hard to believe that the wheel can keep spinning if you step off it for an hour. To be at your peak over the long haul, you have to sometimes push back on requests and responsibilities and take time for yourself, knowing that the world will still be there when you step back on the wheel.
- Step Away from the News. While we live in a culture of constant access to the latest news, avoiding the habit of scanning news streams can help clear your mind and prevent constant worry about a wedding that might get canceled or a dentist appointment you need to push back. Establish a new schedule of news consumption that limits overexposure.
- Understand Your Real Needs. Sometimes we assume one type of self-care will suffice, when hearts and minds are saying we need something else. Take time in self-reflection to understand what you really need in that moment, day or week.
Self-care is focused on taking time out to invest in you, which is simply good business.