Be Nice To Yourself

best life self care Mar 01, 2017

Many of us have much higher expectations of ourselves than we do of other people. Consequently, when we don’t live up to our own expectations we beat ourselves up way more than we would if someone else didn’t live up to our expectations. Practicing empathy for ourselves is one of the greatest traits we can cultivate to be better in work, at home, and in life overall. Our imperfections make us, us. And while we are much more likely to forgive the shortcomings of others, most of us have a hard time doing that for ourselves.

In the work place we are constantly talking about self-care, work/life balance, filling your cup, etc. Often times those things get great lip service but deep down inside we feel guilty when we prioritize life over work. This guilt often arises from a dissonance between our own expectations of perfectionism and the truth of our own imperfections. Practicing self-empathy can take you one step closer to living a balanced life (whatever that looks like for you) by giving yourself permission to be less than perfect, less than productive 100% of the time, less than the perfect leader/employee/parent. This month, I challenge you to give yourself some slack. Here are some ideas – the only rule is to not feel guilty for doing any of them:

  • Take a mental health day and use it to not do anything productive (no cleaning, laundry or errands)

  • Pick up a new hobby that does nothing but make you happy (AKA no other tangible benefits like weight loss, saving money, etc.)

  • Coloring

  • Painting

  • Needlepoint

  • A pet

  • Puzzles

  • Photography

  • Take a spontaneous trip

  • Forgive yourself for a mistake you made last month, last year, or last decade

  • Eat something delicious

  • Binge-watch something 

Be Nice to Others

Alrighty, now that we have taken care of ourselves, let’s spread the wealth. March 3rd was Employee Appreciation Day. It’s ok if you missed it, just make the whole month of March about employee appreciation. Here at Fruition Initiatives, we run a pretty small shop – just one human and two dogs. My furry employees help me be productive all the time and I try to reward them regularly with snuggles, outdoor fun, and squeaky toys (even if they only last a second). Had to include a photo, of course.

Joking aside though, making sure your employees know they are appreciated is super important for productivity, retention, and (most importantly) because it is the right thing to do. Here are some ideas:

  • Give them a spontaneous day off: Plan something like a staff retreat so that everyone clears their schedules and then just let everyone go home. That way they will have no excuses to stay and parents will have already made childcare arrangements.

  • Say thank you: Hopefully we are all already doing this, but an extra couple thank-yous can go a long way.

  • Be flexible: Give employees more flexibility around schedule, work location, and hours. Don’t just say that they can make up hours at home; create a culture where work is not about hours spent, but about the quality of the work completed.

  • Make the office more fun: Get a bean bag, foosball table, or nap room. Most importantly, let your employees help decide what would make the office more fun.

  • Hire well: Employees at the top two places to work in 2017 (Bain and Facebook) cited their colleagues as a key factor in workplace satisfaction. Surround great employees with great employees - this helps everyone do their best and reduces tension in the workplace. (See below for a great book recommendation for this.)


Did you know I also have a Substack?

Subscribe to get exclusive content I don't post anywhere else.

Subscribe Now

Get the blog + weekly solopreneur strategies in your inbox.

No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.