Self-Care = Work


Hmm. Why did you click to read further? Are you interested in finding out what screw I have loose because I think self care is work? Well, let me share with you my thoughts on the subject, because I truly think work is self care.

I will use Maslow’s model to show where it begins for me.

  1. Work provides income. Income provides the necessities of life: food, water, shelter/clothing. By working, I am taking care of the needs of myself and my family. More work leads to more income which moves me from the physiological and safety needs of Maslow’s Hierarchy upward.
  2. My work has provided me with belongingness and love. My network of friends are related to where I spend most of my time – work. For me, this isn’t just in my physical office space, it is across this state and nation with the connections I have made at industry events. I just had a 1.5 hour phone call with a friend in another state. I haven’t had a call of that duration in a long time. It was good for my soul.
  3. I take pride in my work. My self esteem is fed when I accomplish tasks, am part of the success of my team(s), and experience things I never thought were in my bandwidth. As I look at my resume of 10 years in the motorcoach industry, I am in awe of what I accomplished. My inner Impostor tells me it wasn’t me, there is no way I could have done all of those things. But, I DID.
  4. Breaking out of the 4 walls of my classroom and entering this industry where I have become a leader brought me to the top of the pyramid. It is at this level where I started focusing on becoming a servant to others. The challenge is to stay at this pinnacle. It has been a long time since I let my creative juices flow. So, here I am, blogging it out with my view on work being self care. Even as I see retirement on the horizon, I have more work to do to reach my full potential. I am not done serving others and leading yet.
    Are you with me yet? Are you seeing how work is self care? Let me go a step further.

I often work on the weekends or at night. Why? The phones don’t ring, few emails come to my inbox, and the office is quiet…well, until I rock my tunes. Why do I choose to work late, from home at night, on the weekends? I like to set myself up for success. Without interruptions, I am more productive, accomplishing tasks quickly.

Research has found that, in the financial services industry, interruptions can take up to 238 minutes a day. Then you have to restart. That’s the loss of another 84 minutes. That leads to inefficiencies like momentum loss, do-overs because of errors. Stress and fatigue cost another 50 minutes. That’s 372 minutes, or 6.2 hours every day, or 31 hours a week – almost a whole person, in productive time lost. Washington Post article by Brigid Shulte

I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to lose an entire work week every week. Not only is it detrimental to success, my stress and anxiety levels could not take it. When I take those few extra hours during “off” times, my stress level is reduced, and I am refreshed and ready to tackle what is next. Results: a happy work me = a happy home me.

Did you know working on “gain” tasks gives you energy? What is a gain task? Those projects that move you toward your dreams. There are personal and professional gain tasks. For me, they are intertwined. Retirement is on the horizon. Our 2nd generation is looking to their future running our company. By ensuring I complete projects that keep our company moving forward, serving others, becoming effective and efficient, I will leave my position in a better place for our next generation.

For, it isn’t if I won’t be replaced. If my job is important, my job must be replaced. By doing my job right now, the next person in my position will be able to slide in, take it over quickly, and raise it to the next level while I watch with pride.

So, yes, self care = work. As I wrap up this post (started at the office, finishing at home on the couch) I am feeling excited, energized. No screws loose here. Are you with me?

Kim Grzywacz, CTIS

PS – I do love Sunday afternoon naps on the couch.


Books in my arsenal that influence my thoughts:

  • Decide: work smarter, reduce your stress, and lead by example by Steve McClatchy
  • The Servant and The Culture by James C. Hunter
  • Overcoming the Impostor by Kris Kelso
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