The work we are doing as fundraisers is grueling. We are in these roles to change the world. We come across some of the hardest issues and it can take a toll on us. Burn out in our field is the real deal. We give so much of ourselves to solve the world’s leading problems that we forget to take care of our own lives.
We need to prioritize self-care so that we can come to work ready to change the world, one donor at a time. Have you been putting aside enough time for self-care?
How To Prioritize Self-Care
Overworking is a serious problem, and you might not know how deep you are in it. You’re too absorbed by work to take care of yourself or pay attention to your loved ones. You find yourself working late which extends over into the weekends. Remember that doing good work is important but you and your loved ones are important too!
If you don’t take care of yourself first, you will burn out fast. Or your body will tell you when you have overdone it and you will get sick. Trust me this has happened more times than I care to share.
Take advantage of your weekends and holidays to prioritize self-care. You need to learn to stop and breathe so you can continue to show up in a meaningful way. Remember that self-care looks different for each person, so find something that works for you.We need to prioritize self-care so that we can come to work ready to change the world, one donor at a time. Click To Tweet
Set Clear Expectations
In order to set clear expectations, you should set clear boundaries from the get-go. You should not have to respond to board members after hours or on the weekends. And upper management have their own lives and we should respect that as well as expect that same respect from them. Your life should NOT revolve around work. Be cognizant of how and when you are communicating with your co-workers.
Let them know upfront what you decide so there is no confusion or misunderstanding about what will happen outside the typical 9-5 workday. Most importantly, hold yourself accountable to your own boundaries and expectations. Recognize that it is OKAY to leave work at work. What didn’t get done today can wait until tomorrow. The world will keep revolving and it isn’t worth beating yourself up over.
Do Something You Love
We all know that we work in the nonprofit world because we have a passion for what we do. However, our work can take a toll on our mental, emotional and physical health. We need to take a break sometimes to do something we love outside of work. For me, I love to hike, workout, cook, read a book or spend time with family and friends, etc. Know when you have hit your limit and need to take a break. Find a hobby outside of work and do something you love. You do not have to feel bad for taking the time to put yourself first.
Eat Healthy and Drink Water
When we are constantly on the go, we usually go for the most convenient option – fast food. Combine this with office parties or donuts in the breakroom. I worked for an organization that had delicious home-made cookies on Wednesday afternoons and breakfast burritos on Fridays.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with eating those at all in the short term, making unhealthy eating a habit can affect your health in the long term. The solution here is to incorporate some fresh, healthy food into your diet – think vegetables and fruit, along with some nuts for brain food. Also, hold the soda and drink lots of water instead.
Move Your Body
Are you stuck at a desk all day? Or do you have a long commute to and from work? Well, this could be sapping your energy and leaving you sluggish. Moving your body is so important for your health! It will help clear your mind so you can refocus and concentrate.
Even if you don’t have time to go to the gym, short 10-15 minute bursts of movement will have a great impact. Choose a walking meeting, walk to lunch or to get coffee, or take the stairs at work. So next time you feel yourself stuck on something you are working on, consider “taking a lap” by getting up and walking around for a bit.
Upgrade Your Work Environment
If you are spending most of your time in your office, you might as well make it comfortable and work for you. Upgrade your work environment by surrounding your desk with pictures, plants, and softer lighting. Exposure to natural lighting helps improve your mood and productivity. Declutter your workspace so you can focus. Also, make your desk ergonomic and good for your posture.
Self-care isn’t selfish. It is so important that you take care of yourself so that you can take better care of others. I would love to know how you practice self-care in the comments below.
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