renewing your energy and taking breaks

since it looks like i’ve been on hiatus with this blog, my returning post is back to taking care of yourself – clearly something i’ve been avoiding. october is Reunion Homecoming at Stanford, which means about 9,000 alums return to campus and our staff is behind the scenes, making sure everything’s in order. with two new staff in our department, this also meant a lot of training and onboarding.

of course, i did what stress does to the body – anything to keep moving forward. not working smart. i dropped off of my exercise classes, worked late, got sick and then worked weekends. yuck. so i’m back to taking my own advice and incorporating all the things that help me balance my life and work. it’s my readjustment period, and it doesn’t mean i’m not as busy. in fact, the following weekend, we had another event in los angeles, but i still went to all 3 classes and took a vacation day the following week to give me that recovery time i needed. now i feel fresh and back to work with energy.

before all of this happened, i took a very relevant wellness class through stanford called Practical Ways To Do Great Work & Have a Life, too! by Dr. Linda Clever. she also wrote the fatigue prescription, which i believe contains many of these ideas. it’s hands down the best class i’ve taken on the subject. a couple of things really stood out as takeaways:

  • what does it for me every time? this is such a great concept to consider. when work and life feel out of control, what makes you smile, feel content, grounds you? do it! just making a list of these things felt powerful.
  • consider your own aspirations when making decisions. are you living a life that reflects your values? if not, do something about it – change your job or an aspect of it.
  • what can you stop doing that isn’t serving you well? complaining is a big thing that stood out to me. it doesn’t make you feel better and drags people around you down even more.
  • take time each week to refresh either your body or spirit. we spend so much time maintaining our cars with gas, water, air in tires. how come we don’t do this for ourselves as much? we need this time.
my biggest takeaway from the class was even better. although i do have some crazy busy times at work, when i take the time to reflect what i’m doing each day, i love the work i’m doing. i enjoy my co-workers and feel like i’m contributing to the mission of the alumni association. i’m doing smart work that energizes me. in a nutshell, i’m happy and living my life according to my values.  if that’s not an amazing takeaway from a 90 minute class, i don’t know what is!

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