Life can be overwhelming. When I think of the roles I play on a day-to-day basis: executive assistant, college educator, champion for the admin profession, business owner, home owner, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, and so much more, the responsibility and ownership of these roles are important to me. Yet spending time with me and doing something for myself each and every day is equally as important.
The workday of an administrative professional can be tiring. No, it can be flat out exhausting! After taking care of executives, managers, coworkers, clients, and customers throughout the day, our energy can be depleted. We can often times leave the office wondering what more do we have to give during the remainder of the day to those we love and care about. What has helped me to stay centered and live the life that I want to live each day is to keep my focus on four areas: physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health.
Physical Health—I work relatively long days during the week—averaging 14-hour work days. This is a conscious choice, and I have maintained this schedule for more than a decade. Those who know me well understand my lifestyle choice. I love my life, and it works for me. What’s been important in sustaining this lifestyle choice is to make sure I take care of my physical body through rest, proper nutrition, annual doctor checkups, and exercise. In what ways, do you take care of your physical health?
Spiritual Health—Each week I attend church where I’m able to strengthen my spiritual well-being. In the daily hustle and bustle of a busy life, I appreciate the stillness of sitting in church and the peaceful surroundings. I appreciate the opportunity to serve by playing the piano, teaching lessons, and visiting with individuals who share similar values and beliefs. We rarely discuss work and rarely talk about technology. It is nice to be disconnected for a moment in time from my responsibilities throughout the workweek. How do you strengthen your spiritual well-being?
Emotional Health—Unhealthy stresses can have a direct impact on our emotional health, which can lead to emotional reactions and even depression. My emotional health is created by choices—my choices. I get involved in projects, assignments, and causes that have meaning to me and that I enjoy. Several Friday nights throughout the year, I babysit the children of my good friends Rebekah and Darcy so they can go on dates with their husbands. I love playing games, watching Disney movies I’ve never seen, playing Red Light Green Light, dancing in the family room, and having babies fall asleep in my arms. I love the break that being with children offers me. I love to travel and schedule trips periodically throughout the year to get a break from my daily responsibilities. In the summer months, you’ll find me outside each weekend with a book or magazine. After being indoors most of the week, it is refreshing to feel the sun on my face, and it helps me to recharge. How do you strengthen your emotional health to keep yourself moving forward?
Mental Health—My mental health is strengthened daily through processing information, critical thinking, and reading. I write. I analyze. I read. I create. I plan. I connect with family and friends. I play games that make me think. I seek education. I define goals and work hard to achieve them. My TV is rarely on. I tend to surround myself with positive people vs. negative people. I eliminate timewasters and choices that can negatively impact my mental health. Within my immediate family, a grandmother, three uncles, and two aunts have struggled with dementia for years. It is sad to watch individuals I have known since birth not know who I am. Our mental health is important. It is important to me that I keep exercising my brain. What tips can you share to improve your mental health?
As administrative professionals, we can often times lose sight of our most important asset—you! Do something for yourself every day. There really is time! You just have to make yourself a priority.