The following is a guest blog post by Kelsey Kerstetter, Career Advisor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Kelsey loves assisting students to reach their fullest professional potential through every stage of their career development. Workplace wellness is extremely important to her and so she wants to share ways in which you can incorporate wellness into every aspect of your innovation management career. After all, it’s difficult to be innovative when the basics are lacking.
At work, our thoughts are often focused on what we can do for others. What can I do for my employer? Am I taking care of my clients? Is my project progressing at the speed my boss expects? What does my boss need from me today?
But do you ever think, what am I doing for myself today?
Many of us spend nine hours a day in our workplaces, with another 30 minutes both ways for our commute. That is 10 hours a day devoted to our jobs, and if we sleep the recommended eight hours per night, that leaves just six hours of “free” time. So what can you do to maximize your time at work to make sure you are caring for yourself just as much as you care for your clients, your boss, and your organization?
Are You Practicing Self-Care?
Here are five questions you can ask yourself to ensure you are committing time to your own self-care:
- Am I taking time to reflect on my career goals? Make sure what you are doing today is in line with what you want to be doing. If it is not, it is time to re-evaluate your current situation and contact a tech transfer recruiter to learn about different career options.
- What do I really love about my job? Write it down and keep it visible. Refer to it when you are having moments of self-doubt.
- Have I been sitting for a long time, intently concentrating on a big project or assignment? Numerous studies show that sitting has more negative effects on our bodies than smoking (view the research from The Ohio State University’s Chief Wellness Officer Bern Melnyk in this article. Set a reminder to stand up or walk for at least five minutes every hour. This will recharge you physically and mentally.
- Am I kind to me? We all make mistakes every once in a while, but we also do really great things. Make sure you are writing those great moments down and keeping them in a safe place (this also helps when updating your resume). When you are upset about something that went wrong, write it down then immediately crumple up the paper and tear it up. It happened, it is over, and now it is time to move on.
- Do I do at least one thing every day for me and my needs? This can be anything from watching your favorite TV show, doing a crossword puzzle, taking an exercise class, or having your morning coffee and reading the paper. Whatever you enjoy, make sure you do it at least once a day.
We cannot give 100% to our innovation management jobs if we do not have 100% to give. Self-care is a professional necessity. As the saying goes, “take care of yourself first or you will have nothing to give to others.”