I was introduced to Self Care Catalysts when I attended ePharma back in March. I really had a great time speaking with the SCC team and am extremely happy to say that I will be participating in their Self Care Mvmt at the end of June in Toronto!
There is some great buzz out there already on Twitter using the tag #selfcaremvmt. The movement centers around how important it is to care for ourselves as patients with chronic illnesses and to celebrate the moments where we have been able to care for ourselves.
For the next few weeks, I'll be posting on some self-care topics as a part of the lead up to this awesome event - and my foray into world travel.
It is important to mention that I am being compensated for these blog posts and my involvement in the Self Care Mvmt. However, all thoughts below are my own and have not been influenced by said compensation.
Today's topic is Workplace or Professional Self-Care.
You might be thinking: "What does this person who just left her job know about self-care at work?"
I know enough to know that I had to quit my job, y'all.
When I was working my previous job, I would spend around eight hours sitting in an office or in my car traveling to various sites for meetings. I spent all day at work, stuck writhing in pain because I was trying to save sick time for when I was worse off than that. When I was 'worse off,' I wound up needing multiple days off of work because I had pushed myself too hard.
It didn't work well because I wasn't practicing self-care and self-love the right way.
Earlier this year, I began dealing with a flare-up of my fibromyalgia that I frankly still am in. It has been four months. I was missing up to two days per bi-weekly pay period of work while trying to deal with this. I began to feel bad for being gone.
I was assured that it was okay since I had a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) plan in place.
Once this had gone on for a certain time period, though, I began to get passive aggressive comments from physicians and other staff members about my absences.
It wasn't enough that I was beating myself up about missing work and that I had an office mate who wanted me to fail all the time - now I was getting comments from people engaged in the care of people like myself!
It was scary!
In retrospect, a long time ago I should have sat down with my supervisor and the physician I worked most closely with and outline just how negative and harmful my office mate was. I should have complained about physician and other HCP behavior when it was negative and harmful, not just to me but to others.
Setting boundaries, though, was never something I was good at.
Now that I work for myself, though, this is changing.
I handle my breaks as I need them - emotional, mental, and physical. There is a reason why Netflix is on while I work!
I am engaging with others but setting limitations on what I can and cannot do.
I am working towards balancing my workload, though I'm still working on figuring out what that is for me right now.
The one thing I know for sure is that I have a boss that understands my illness better than anyone else in the universe. She's always up for coffee, a quick run-around with the guinea pigs, or a nap. And I'm pretty excited to work for her - not just because she's pretty okay, but also because she's good at self-care when she's allowed to be.