Saturday, May 25, 2013

Taking Care of Yourself at Work

Written By: Carline C. Dumerlin Folkes
Founder of B.E.L.L.E, Co-author of Miss University

We women love to give, give, give. We are often perfectionist who make work a priority over our physical and mental health. Stop it already, would you?
In the workplace and by law, we are entitled to a lunch break depending on the amount of hours we work, but how many of us actually take one? With deadlines and all of the other drama at work many of us end up eating at our desk, or we are just skip lunch all together. FYI: keyboards are bombarded with germs and bacteria, EWWW! Plus, skipping meals often leads to weight gain.

Constantly skipping lunch to catch up on work or eating at your desk doesn't allow you the chance to clear your head and can leave you feeling overwhelmed. After dealing with clients, patients or students all day one needs time to refuel. Even if you cannot always get away for a full lunch break at least take a 10 minute walk outside, around the building, or have a quick five minute phone catch-up with a good friend. 

Beware of supervisors that offer to buy lunch for the office.  That is his or hers not so sneaky way to feed you, but still keep you at your desk and working. Eat the food, but still go out for a 10 minute walk. Constantly working like a mule can be counterproductive because sooner or later you will get burnt out.

This same ideology applies to YOUR vacation, sick and personal days. You have them, so use them, but don't abuse them. 
Sometimes employees are hesitant to take days off because they feel guilty or wonder who will do their work while they are out. The world won't end because you're sick with the flu. Take care of yourself first! 

My suggestion is when you take vacation and personal days is to leave your work/projects in tip-top shape, put your out of office reply on and do you! Your co-workers and maybe even your supervisor, will figure it out.

Key Tips When Taking Your Well Deserved Vacation:
1. Leave a plan: Some people are clueless. Leave idiot-proof instructions (if possible) for whoever is going to be providing coverage for you.
2. Don't call to check in: Even if you are on a stay-cation don't check in. If you were in Tahiti, you wouldn’t look for a phone, so do the same if you are at home. Also, don't let your job know that you are home during a vacation. They might call you, or worst, ask you to come in if something comes up. Only return or accept calls if it is life or death...literally.

3. Don’t bring or do work: Self-explanatory. You should be working on your tan, catching up on sleep, reading trashy novels or  watching old episodes of the Kardashians.

4. Expect a disaster when you get back- An apocalypse probably occurred at work while you were out. Stay calm, fix the issues, and countdown in your head how many days until the next vacation.
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