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Tips from The INS Group Team to Make Self-Care a Priority
We are excited to share self-care practices from our team members as part of our Playbook issue devoted to addressing burnout. As busy professionals ourselves, we understand it can be a challenge to take the time to prioritize wellness activities. We hope our wellness tips inspire you to place self-care at the top of your list.
President and Founder
My daily strategies for self-care are expressing gratitude, praying, maintaining a sense of humor, and practicing box breathing. I recently got a sweet new puppy, Koda, and spending time with him has been a stress reliever. Research has shown the power of interacting with pets to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone)! And taking care of him keeps me active throughout the day so I am not constantly sitting at my computer. I suggest having a family member or friend serve as an accountability partner for incorporating self-care into your daily routine. I am thankful to have multiple accountability partners who check in with me.
Most mornings I start my day with 10 to 15 minutes of quiet time. This time is solely dedicated to being still, quiet, and feeling my own presence. I recite a morning affirmation that is centered on my family, love, faith, balance, and prosperity. These newly adopted practices have become increasingly necessary and profound for me both personally and professionally. When I notice myself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or out of balance at any given moment throughout the day, I take a few minutes to re-center and ground myself—quietly.
Strategic Initiatives Manager
After experiencing burnout myself, I am committed to incorporating self-care practices into my daily routine. My favorite is a morning walk with my dog, Major, which starts my day off with movement before time on the computer. It is also a time I listen to podcasts or walking meditations. Self-care accountability can be challenging so incorporating it into a daily activity early in the day helps make it a priority. And Major is happy too which is a win-win to start the day on a positive note.
Sign Language Interpretation Lead
After so many years of over-committing in making sure that the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community has access to equal communication, a colleague of mine reminded me it is okay to say “No.” I had to make sure while taking care of others that I also took care of myself. I started teaching Zumba and Line Dancing classes to practice self-care while doing something I truly enjoy. Later I incorporated runs with a group of ladies here in town early in the mornings. Now I do a combination of these activities to jump-start my day and keep work/life balance.
Chief Financial Officer
As a busy professional, I plan my day to include health and wellness. Mornings are the ideal time for me to get the day started right. I prefer to wake up naturally around 7:30 am without an alarm to allow my body to determine when it’s time for the day to begin. A 30-to-45-minute boxing workout gets the heart pumping, sweat flowing, and energy levels up. During the day, I check my Apple Watch which tracks and records my steps, calories, and stand goals. Wellness activities during the day include listening to preset music playlists or podcasts, reading a few articles or chapters in a book, and aromatherapy with essential oils such as lavender or peppermint in a diffuser.
Since the shift to working remotely, I have changed my self-care routine from working out in the morning to taking a real break in the middle of the day. I take a long walk with my dog or hit the gym around lunchtime, allowing me to “unplug” and reflect on what I’ve completed and prioritize my afternoon. I also find it helpful to close the door of my home office as soon as I finish my last task. If I can keep that door closed, then I can concentrate on myself and enjoy my family in the evening.
Website Manager and Consultant
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was well on my way to total burnout. I knew that I needed to change and switched up my daily routine to make self-care a priority. To start the day, I read a daily devotional and drink a glass of water while mentally reviewing my to-do list. Next, I open my favorite app and do at least 20 minutes of exercise (most days), followed by a good breakfast and cup of coffee – a must. While at work, I have a music app streaming that only plays calming instrumental music. I also created a time block on my calendar to prevent meetings.
Bonus Tip: Limit your social media intake and unfollow or mute accounts that don’t bring you joy.
Business and Marketing Consultant
When I feel overwhelmed or stressed from the many “asks, requests, or demands” of the world, I go to my therapies such as massage, facial, aroma, and music to help combat fatigue and burnout. I am a true believer in taking time for myself to relax, release, refresh, renew, and rejoice. My paternal grandmother, Margot Montalvo, used to tell us, “Tienes que cuidarte – You have to take care of yourself.” She lived to 92. Gracias abuelita for giving us that directive.
Burnout can sneak up on me when I get too far ahead of myself with worry about tomorrow or stress about what is on my to-do list. When I notice signs of mental or emotional fatigue, the first thing I do is get back in my body. Whether I take a quick stroll around the block or go on a long hike in the forest near my house, when I am moving my body, my mind calms down, my emotions run their course, and I feel grounded again.
We understand that consistent self-care can be a struggle with so many competing priorities. We encourage you to find what works best for you and enjoy it!