Right out of the gate, 2017 seems to be in a rapid-fire state of flux, from politics to business. If your professional life is currently in transition, you need to put some self-care practices in place to keep your morale level steady at every unexpected turn. “Hearing crickets” in response to your online applications, hiring managers that don’t respond, opportunities that gain momentum, then suddenly dissipate, and the rejections themselves can send you plummeting into a free fall of despair and anxiety.
Those are the times to don your Superwoman suit and rescue yourself with self-care practices to stay grounded, find your center, and keep you in balance. Self-care practices can buoy you during this transition period, allowing you to show up as your best self in application cover letters, networking events, interviews, and for family and friends. Managing your self-care helps you manifest that next dream job or career with ease.
For most of us, self-care is counter-intuitive to our cultural programming of caretaking others, pushing to achieve, and making things happen instead of working in a flow state. We are human beings, not human doings. Like they tell you during the pre-flight announcements, it’s up to you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before your children, to help all survive the experience. Self-care is not being self-ish. You’ll know when you need it – as your negativity rises and your energy falls.
Look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid from his paper entitled, “The Theory of Human Motivation.” Make it your litmus test for self-care intervention.
Base Level: Physiological needs, like food, water and sleep. Admit it, on more than one occasion you have put others’ needs in front of your own and ended up “hangry,” forgetting to drink enough water or pushing yourself so that you sacrifice precious hours of sleep.
Level Two: Safety and security of your home sweet home, which is threatened when you’re unemployed.
Level Three: Love and belonging, where you achieve deeper, more meaningful relationships. Not happening when you’ve been separated from your old work family and are now isolated and resentful in your new home office, hitting the virtual pavement.
Level Four: Esteem, when you’ve acquired the skills that lead to honor and recognition, but perhaps you’re not feeling or recalling those so much, as your self-esteem has taken a hit. Especially if you didn’t leave your previous job on your own terms.
Top Level: Self-actualization, where you’re living to your highest potential, successful in your dream job. It cannot happen without consistent self-care practices in place. Practice means repeating until becoming a natural behavior, resulting in your being self-actualized!
Self-care requires you to stop “should-ing” all over yourself; frenzied activity 24/7 to accomplish your goals. Support yourself by releasing judgment and self-criticism, taking time-outs so you can fill your cup and get back in the game enthusiastically. You want to make every move count in the most efficient and effective way possible. Mastering self-care practices puts you in the eye of the storm and in a state of flow, allowing you to fend off depression, anxiety, and fear. Work smarter, not harder, by giving yourself a much-deserved break along the way.
Self-care activities should involve what makes you happy, relaxed, energized or inspired. They put you back in the “now” moment, easing anxiety. They help you “shift and pivot” toward positive emotions that free mental blocks and put you in the “Flow State” of manifestation.
Taking a 5-15 minute “nature break” outside in the big, beautiful world can bring you back into alignment. Brew a pot of your favorite herbal tea, or have a healthy snack to refuel and recharge. Partner with a friend or job-hunting “accountabilibuddy” found in your industry’s in-transition support organizations. Set weekly intentions, review accomplishments, and celebrate them with connecting calls, coffee, or happy hour meet-ups.
For a limited time, “check out to recharge” by doing nothing or daydreaming, unplugging from technology, reading a book, or watching your favorite guilty pleasure TV show during lunch. If you need to rationalize, consider massage an out-of-pocket co-pay doctor’s visit. Or, a mani-pedi as a tax write-off, like dry cleaning your interview suits. You have to look and feel good to sell your brand.
Taking a pampering and relaxing bath with essential oils and candles, exercise, yoga or guided breathing meditations move pent-up energy out of your body, still your mind to receive spiritual downloads and stimulate ideas for your next job search strategy. Creative self-expression activities count too, such as cooking, engaging in your favorite hobby, listening to music, dancing, creating art, and writing. After all, Superwoman deserves self-care, self-love, and to be self-actualized in her dream job!
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