Summer, with its slower pace and (often, but not always) quieter time at the office, is a great time to focus on taking better care of yourself. Not just the one yoga class, or the one meditation session. This is a time to really look at the SYSTEMS in your work and personal life and figure out what you can change to make everything you do… more doable.

Micro-steps for Creating Calm

You don’t have to start with huge changes. You can take micro-steps that subtly shift the routines and systems that might be wearing you down. For example:

Can you commit to waking up 30 minutes earlier in the morning so you can meditate or take a walk or write about 3 things for which you are grateful?

Can you change your nighttime electronics shut down time?

Can you make a commitment to not checking work email after a certain time in the evening, or not checking on the weekends? (if you are a supervisor, this one is especially powerful. If you are responding to emails on the weekends, your supervisees will think they have to, even if you tell them otherwise.)

You know that thing where someone else misses a project deadline, and that throws YOUR work into chaos? You probably can’t change how other people commit to deadlines. But you might be able to change what is expected of YOU when other people don’t hold up their end of the deadline bargain. Is there a policy you can set up for yourself that will keep you from scrambling into the wee hours of the morning when someone else doesn’t do what they are supposed to do by the time they are supposed to do it?

Can your nonprofit’s board state their commitment to employee wellness? Can they state it publicly, which then creates room for staff to align their work habits with the stated wellness goals.

Can you block off certain times every day or week when you absolutely will NOT schedule any meetings?

Are there any ongoing meetings that you can shift from Zoom to phone? Zoom Fatigue is real, y’all.

Small Steps, Big Rewards

If we make caring for ourselves a habit, not just an add-on to our routine (and yet another thing to add to our growing To Do lists), we can slowly sense shifts in our wellbeing. If you work in an environment where you supervise or mentor others, taking these steps can both impact you and set the tone for others. Why not experiment with making some subtle shifts towards calm this summer?

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