Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — You talk about taking care of yourself first in your stress management program (which no offense I was really suspicious, it’s actually good!). After finally getting over some health problems the last couple years, I’m a firm believer. So what do you do if you work at a company that doesn’t value employee “wellness” and only those who slave their lives in OT away to get ahead? I’ve been here since college and want to get past middle management, but the older I get, the less I’m willing to compromise my healthy and wellbeing. — Squeezed in the Middle
Dear Squeezed in the Middle,
Wow, a classic yet throwback question, Squeezed. It’s a flavor of the perennial “I need experience to get experience.” You need to have wellness before you can have true health…and you need your job, too. I have a lot of hope for you to do the right thing — by you. Really examine what’s important to you (items from paying the bills consistently to feeding your body and soul properly) in life, what you stand for and what your values are, and you will do the right thing as far as your job, current and future ones, are concerned.
As for wellness, if you indeed completed our de-stress program (which I view far more as a self-mastery tool), aside from learning how many ways stress is a real life killer, you know that self-care is tied to self-esteem, wellness tied to your overall wellbeing, also tied to your self-esteem — a full circle. Squeezed, as your past illness showed you only too well, integrating wellness as a lifestyle is not to compartmentalize your (singular) life into “work” and “home” and not about squeezing in time to be well, but about Being well in small and large ways throughout your one and only life in balanced and sustainable ways. And we like to keep the practice of all of that simple. Just takes practice.
Keep your eye on the prize (you),
Dear Squeezed in the Middle,
It sounds like you already know what your options are. You can 1) sacrifice your health and mental stability by playing the role of stressed out, over-worked unbalanced employee and move ahead, 2) continue to do good consistent work, take care of yourself and remain in middle management trying to educate the higher ups on the importance of self-care and stress management for improved employee morale and attendance, or c) continue to work in a balanced way while researching your options for finding your next wrung of the ladder in a new work environment.
The question is: how long are you in for?
Option number 1 requires subjugating your own sense of self-worth so that someone else will value your contribution. If the higher ups cannot appreciate a solid and consistent employee who understands work life balance, than perhaps this is not the right work environment for you. After all, you should not be forced into some co-dependent agreement that will set your personal development further back to hopefully move your career forward. Of course, if the stress makes you sick with blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or any other host of issues, you probably won’t get that promotion because then you’ll be blamed for missing work for doctor appointment and sick time.
Do what is right for you. Live a balanced life that allows for a personal life, while being a responsible employee—while spending some personal time looking for a company that respects your need to have a life. Take this time to get your resume straight. Take some development classes in your field, which will allow you to meet others in your field and find out about their company policies.
You seem to be on the course to deciding on the best course of action for you. Just remember in your decision-making process that your health and wellness MUST come first, because (please excuse the cliché, but it’s so true) without your health, what have you got and how much can you enjoy it?
Peace be the journey,
Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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