by Susan Farren, Founder and FRRI Instructor

No one intends to let what’s happening at work screw up their relationships, but if left unchecked, it can easily happen. We find ourselves growing more resentful because we give so much of our energy to everyone else, and then when we walk in the door at home, we can be faced with people whom we think NEED us or WANT something from us. 

Pause. Go do some self-care activities. Meditate, sign-up for an online yoga class, and do something that feels good BEFORE you go home.

Set some boundaries at home and ask for transition time when you walk in the door. This will allow your body to make the shift from work to home more smoothly. It can be as simple as sitting in the car for 5 minutes to meditate before going inside. Or take a moment to do breathing exercises as you change clothes. Find something that works to ease the transition.

Some of us think of self-care as being selfish, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Think of what airlines ask you to do if the oxygen masks are released due to a change in cabin pressure. They ask you to put the mask on yourself before helping someone else with theirs. Unless you are healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically, you don’t have the full capacity to be there for others.

Another way to think of it is “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” You have to fill your cup first in order to be available to others.

When we practice self-care, we no longer need to look outside of ourselves to find happiness. Rather than depending on other people or expecting them to meet our needs, self-care teaches us that we always have answers inside of us. When we take the responsibility away from others to make us happy, our resentment towards them for not doing so subsides. It is only when we take care of ourselves that we can become a guiding light to those around us. It becomes contagious, making our environments healthier, happier, and more peaceful.

You matter! Take care of yourself so you can be a better employee, partner, parent, and friend.