Originally posted 11-Dec-2020
Written by Stephanie R. Werner
In everything we do – we do better when we bring our best self. Job search is no exception!
I remember meeting a job seeker that had been out of work for close to a year. I listened intently as she told me about the mixed emotions she experienced the day she was told her job was eliminated and as she shared the roller coaster ride that reflected her job search journey. Sometimes tears were shed, other times elation was experienced at the prospect of new leads and too many times recalibrations were stoically embraced after disappointing interviews, but she persevered.
While there were many highs and lows – she cautioned about bracing oneself for the lows and offered that in times of anxiety, uncertainty, and “gut punches” she turned to self-care to see her through. Specifically, she reflected on how she would take long walks, meditate, practice deep breathing and yes, she would pray. She also emphasized how important it was to keep believing in herself and to do something for her soul. For her, this took the form of doubling down on her photography hobby using it to help other job seekers by taking their photos for their LinkedIn profiles. I was so impressed with her selfless and kind approach as she sought to support others in her time of need. She also established a website and became an avid blogger writing beautiful pieces about her love affair with life. These things grounded her, providing peace and a sense of purpose.
Her journey ended with the joyful landing of a new job in June of this year! While there were many factors that contributed to this happy ending, self-care played a major role that fueled her ability to shine. Here are some ideas to help you get started on your self-care journey.
Here are 5 great practices to support you on this journey:
- Mindfulness – Steal away to a quiet place for a few quick deep breaths or a short, guided mindfulness session. Aside from providing a much-needed break from your busy day this activity can leave you feeling calmer and more relaxed as it can help lower your blood pressure and help you find more focus. Headspace offers a great online platform to help guide you through a variety of exercises for both mind and body. Visit the below link to learn more – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19
- Exercise -This can be as simple as taking a walk, jogging a few miles or participating in an online class. EXOS is an amazing human performance company that has great online classes available now for free. This venue offers a combination of fitness classes ranging in levels of intensity as well as mindset practices and yoga sessions. If you are looking for ways to instill calm, stay healthy and remain grounded these options can go a long way*: https://www.exosathome.com/livestream-schedule
- Connect – There is a lot to be said for the magic of the human connection – especially now during this time of isolation and self-quarantine. So, why not take some time to reach out to friends and family members that you have not spoken to in a while? You may be pleasantly surprised at the positive health benefits for you and them! Find out more via the “Social Wellness Toolkit” published by the National Institutes of Health: https://www.nih.gov/health-information/social-wellness-toolkit
- Nutrition – Incorporate healthier choices as part of your daily eating habits. I like the idea of drinking more water to ensure good hydration, incorporating something green with at least 1 meal a day, and ensuring that some fruits replace a sugary treat every now and then. I believe in a philosophy that is more aligned with everything in moderation as opposed to extreme changes in one’s eating habits. *That said, always check with your doctor about changes to your diet and exercise plan to support changes that make the best sense for you.
- Sleep – Neuroscientists have proven time and time again that quality sleep – and enough of it – is a game-changer supporting positive health and well-being, ensuring that we are alert, focused, and sharp. Read more about the benefits of sleep and about tips and tricks for getting a good night’s sleep: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/benefits-sleep-more, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379
WIFY – What Is In It For You
The practices described above support the following benefits that will help you put your best foot forward in your job search:
|Better Mood||less stress, less burnout, positive outlook|
|Better Focus||new perspective, greater clarity, more calm|
|Better Energy||more enthusiasm, more engagement, more creativity|
To help with motivation and consistency on your self-care journey:
|Enlist a buddy||someone you can call when you need encouragement|
|Think positively||celebrate the steps you take and focus on the benefits|
|Have fun||incorporate some fun into your self-care and appreciate the journey|
Here are some ways that your colleagues practice self-care:
- Jeff Charatan: I try to do 15 minutes/day of either guided meditation or deep breathing. Also, since COVID started I no longer go to the gym but have modified my workout routine so I can now do it at home 3-4 days/week; I also meet daily with a couple of work search buddies – it’s a great way to start the day while holding each other to a level of accountability related to the job search.
- Mary Verrone:I find going outside for a walk helps, seeing the leaves change or the weather change helps me get through “Blursday!”
- Judi Miller: Everyday, I do something that brings me joy. It can be as simple as spending time with my husband, my children, playing with my dog, walking in nature or playing my classical guitar. When I am in a state of joy, my heart is expansive and I see beauty and love everywhere – everything becomes easier. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. When we experience joy every day, it cultivates the vibration of joy throughout our lives.
- Natalie Lihacova:Spending a weekend at home without multitasking, just taking care of myself like doing my hair, my nails etc., without rushing anywhere helps a lot. I’d say, multitasking is really a huge killer of energy, so spending a weekend ON MY TERMS rather than someone else’s terms does a lot of healing to my body and mind
- Layston Badham:My self-care involves shutting down work by 5pm every day and allowing my weekend to be an actual weekend. Also, talking with friends and enjoying a night alone – usually involving YouTube and a sheet face mask are other routines that help my self-care.
Every day we have the power to choose how we navigate our days to create positive outcomes. While it may not be easy, it is possible. Choose wisely and it will make a positive difference in how you show up every day.
About the Author:
Stephanie is a strategic Health & Well-Being leader and C-Suite partner who champions transformational, holistic, and operational initiatives to foster employee happiness and a healthier bottom line. She is highly regarded for advocating, building and implementing innovative programs that strengthen organizational cultures and drive employee engagement, while supporting cost savings, productivity and retention. A noted industry expert, Stephanie has a strong reputation for her unwavering commitment to deliver exceptional results in fast-paced environments.
Most recently, Stephanie was Sr. HR Leader, Benefits and Well-Being Programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she developed holistic benefits and well-being strategic initiatives for 2,100 employees.
Before that, she held various senior HR roles at Celgene Corporation, successfully managing 10 business integrations. As Associate Director, Head of Benefits and Well-Being Programs, Stephanie managed teams including Nurses, Benefits Specialists and Operations Associates. Additionally, she helped establish various national programs including Health Fairs, Onsite and Virtual Offerings, Nurse Practitioner Services and Mindfulness, delivering health and well-being services to 4,300 employees.
Notably, Stephanie spearheaded efforts to foster collaborative exchanges of healthcare strategy between Celgene’s CEO and the CEO of a large insurance organization. She was instrumental in helping Celgene achieve accreditation of CEOs Against Cancer, elevating the organization’s reputation as a company employing “best in class” cancer programs in conjunction with their health and well-being platform.
Prior to that, Stephanie was Director of Human Resources at Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey, where she built the HR department from the ground up, aligning and integrating HR strategies with business objectives.
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from State University of New York.