Although mental health has become more of a topic of conversation over the past year, many people are working harder than ever before. I attribute this to the blurred lines between our professional and personal time due to social distancing and work-from-home guidelines. It is essential to note how we take care of ourselves when our decisions hold more weight than they did before. With great power comes great responsibility. We all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, others at home, and others at the workplace.
When we become busier, we’re less likely to create space to recharge ourselves. If you constantly think about work, you likely need to pay closer attention to how you take care of yourself. Here are some tips for creating space for “me time” that will ultimately help you put yourself first, and in return, put your best foot forward at home and work.
Distinguish Between Your Wants and Your Needs
It is critical to define what we want versus what we need when deciding whether to put more on our plate. The same set of standards does not help everyone achieve the same level of satisfaction. Of course, there are the basics: sleep, physical movement, food, water, shelter, etc. Aside from these basic needs, take the time to be mindful of when you feel your best self. Knowing the requirements to achieve that level of personal satisfaction will help you show up for yourself when you are simultaneously expected to show up for everyone around you.
For example, you might feel compelled to take on a new project at work or a new role that will help you increase your yearly earnings. Do you and your family need more money, or do you want more disposable income? That type of critical thinking is essential in deciding what you genuinely need to feel content both at home and at work. Aside from wants, primary needs might also look different for you than for your colleagues. Consider how many hours of sleep you need to feel ready to take on a full day and what kind of exercise leaves you excited for the next workout.
Set Boundaries with Yourself and with Others
Once you distinguish what you want out of life versus what you need, you will have an easier time being clear with others. It is vital to be transparent and direct with those closest to you. If certain types of food help your brain function, and your partner is going food shopping, feel free to let them know how and why what you keep in the house helps you to be your best self.
Keeping others in the loop about your boundaries helps prevent burnout in the workplace. Even though travel is not as easy and attainable as it might have been two years ago, you should still feel empowered to take time away from work when you crave a reset. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the smallest of tasks or simply do not feel like you are performing as well, as usual, it may be time for some time off.
Alternatively, pay close attention to the times of day and night that your mind and body associate with specific emotions. Do not be afraid to propose a different time for a conference call if you are not a morning person, but your colleague wants a 9 AM Zoom. It is also worth considering whether you can negotiate specific deadlines to accommodate a family obligation to the best of your abilities or if your team can set some guidelines on last-minute favors and assignments.
About Bo Parfet
Bo Parfet is an avid mountaineer, experienced real estate professional, and committed philanthropist. He currently spends most of his days at DLP Real Estate Capital as the Chief Growth Officer. He is also the CEO of Denali Venture Philanthropy, an organization he co-founded alongside his wife, Meredith. Denali Venture Philanthropy builds on Parfet’s family legacy of fostering social improvements while also fusing Parfet’s love of business with the desire to support positive change in the global community.
Before launching Denali Venture Philanthropy, Parfet worked on Wall Street as a J.P. Morgan investment banker. During his time at J.P. Morgan, he began his quest to climb the Seven Summits: Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali, Vinson Massif, Elbrus, Carstensz Pyramid, Kosciusko, and Everest. He is now only one of 127 Americans to achieve the Seven Summits, which he completed in 2007 after climbing Mount Everest.
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