Newsflash: HR people are really busy. Bet you didn't read that on CNN because they're busy covering the break-up of Brangelina. Actually, you didn't have to read anything to know this - you're living it. Watch the reaction you get from asking any HR person if they're ready for the new FLSA regs and you’ll think Halloween’s come early. Like many professions HR is doing more with fewer resources, yet have the unique role of being the company cheerleader and coach to leaders, managers, and employees who are all in the same situation. My eight year old daughter would recognize the injustice of this with a profound "that’s not fair!”
Most of us have dished out sincere and heart-felt advice to employees, with sincere belief in its value:
Go home: the work will still be there tomorrow.
Having a life outside of work is really important.
Taking time off makes you a better employee – that’s what it’s there for!
It's tough to practice what we preach, so today, I'm reminding you of your good advice and also challenging you to follow it yourself, modeling the behaviors you suggest to others, for your well-being. While there's no quick or magic solution, any one of these ideas can help get you back on the path to workplace sanity.
Take a lunch break.
Crazy talk, right? Seriously, I'm not talking about bringing Chick-fil-a back to your desk while you scroll through your Gmail account. Stand up, leave the building, get in your car, and go out. Don’t check your work email – it will still be there in an hour.
A walk break is amazing for a quick boost of energy. It doesn’t have to be long – even 5-10 minutes around the parking lot can be just what the doctor ordered. Don’t have access to walking paths? Cruise around the parking lot a few times or take a stroll at a local park or nursery. Stand up and stretch. Take the stairs.
Read something completely unrelated to work.
US Weekly, CNN.com, a current novel – it doesn’t really matter. It’s both a distraction and fun for your brain. What’s important is that it’s your choice and your time. (If you didn't know Brangelina broke up until you read this, you might want to choose US Weekly or People.)
Get Your Zen On
You don’t have to be a yogi to find some inner peace with Yoga Nidra. Grab your headphones, download a podcast and find a quiet spot like a wellness room at work or in a pinch, your car. Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that requires no physical activity - you close your eyes, listen, and voila! - relaxation! It’s the closest thing grownups can get to a nap. Try this 15 minute one for beginners.
Peel back the onion, one layer at a time.
If you find yourself repeatedly feeling stressed or anxious, you owe it to yourself to figure out the root cause as it might not be what you think. It involves asking yourself why you feel the way you do. What is it that you’re really worried about? When I really gave myself permission to explore my own stressful feelings, I discovered that a lot of it is self-induced from high expectations I put on myself rather than the expectation others have of me. A good friend can often be a great resources to help you think through this.
Be unapologetic in your efforts to take care of yourself.
You are important to your organization and just like other employees, your well-being is important. Go to lunch. Take 10 minutes for yourself. Tell Wendy Whiner it’s not an ideal time for you to talk with her right now about her need to discuss her lack of career progression…again. I give you permission - you, not others, are ultimately in control of managing your own precious time.
Just like the advice you give others - when you take care of yourself, you are better positioned to perform your job. HR isn’t an exception to this rule; we can impact others by modeling well-being behaviors in our organizations. That's Straight Up HR advice, free of charge! Can I get an amen?