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5 Tips to Balance Self Care & Career Progress During the Pandemic

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

COVID-19 is still impacting our world and each other in various ways. Just some of the ways the pandemic has changed our lives includes changes to our social habits, the job market, our workplace environments, and outlets for our self-care routines. With many businesses closed partially or completely and drastic changes in the services industry, it can be even more difficult for many of us to find solace and take care of our physical and mental health. What's more, many people are looking for work during this time! The good news is that many companies are still in fact hiring but it can be stressful to try balancing your self care needs in addition to preparing for and being successful with your job and career goals.

With that in mind, here are 5 tips for you to balance your self care as well as continue to progress towards your career goals during this pandemic:

1-Focus on One Thing

2-Just Say No

3-Just Say Yes

4-Ask for Help


1 Focus on ONE Thing

Focus on just ONE thing to do during this next week. Notice I didn't say to focus on one thing today or tomorrow or every day. Just pick one thing to focus on during this week. Your changes of success are greater if you allow yourself more time to complete tasks and make progress. Life happens. And in a pandemic, life can be very different than it was for you several months ago. Roll with the new normal by focusing on just one thing to make progress towards your job or career goals this week. Here are some great examples of things you could focus on this week:

~ Make a list (or updated existing list) of all your experience!

~ Review and update your resume.

~ Reach out and reconnect with a mentor.

~ Search for job openings and keep track of which ones interest you.

If you need help with examples of types of experience that can be helpful to list on resumes, check out this blog post.

2 Just Say No

Sometimes, in order to make progress, we need actually stop doing things. To be more specific, we need to stop doing things that other people ask us to do. Take some time now to evaluate your own personal goals and priorities and then compare that to the requests you receive from other people (employer, friends, family, loved ones, etc). Do these requests fall in line with your own priorities? Do they make it difficult for you to find time to work towards your own goals? You have the power to choose how you spend your time and sometimes, it may be helpful to say 'no' to someone's request so that you have time to work on your own priorities. This doesn't mean say no to everything. This doesn't mean that others' needs aren't important. Just be sure that you take some time to review your OWN priorities and then look at your life and how you spend your time to identify whether you can make changes that will give you more opportunity to focus on your own goals. Your time is valuable. Your dreams are INVALUABLE! Make sure you're making time for you.

3 Just Say Yes

While saying 'no' to things can be beneficial to you, your mental health, and your progress towards your goals, saying 'yes' can be equally beneficial! Part of self-care can be recognizing when you need to change up your regular routine or habits and try something new. Saying 'yes' to new opportunities, large or small, can provide you with exciting adventures, new skills, new friends, and much more. Virtual book club? Sure! Phone chat with a friend? Yes please. Mini art project with crayons and water colors? Sounds good. Try making a new recipe for your family's dinner? Alrighty, here we go! Saying 'yes' to things can bring you joy even during times of uncertainty. And the more that you continue to grow and learn, the more you're impacting your professional self too! Think of the new contacts you could be making, even virtually, or the new skills you can pick up along the way.

4 Ask for Help

Don't do this alone. Take time to ask for help! Whether you need help in your personal or professional life, reach out to someone you know and share with them your feelings, concerns, and needs. Even if they can't directly help you, they can still serve as a sounding board for your concerns and then can direct you to other resources for help. Self-care includes both physical and mental health. If you're stressed about something you need to get done or you're just plain stressed, it will be more difficult for you to focus on your other needs such as finding a job or negotiating for that pay raise or promotion! Talking with one or more people about your needs can help decrease stress and can help you move toward a resolution. For your professional needs, building your Career Team, a network of people helping you, is vital! The more you can work with others to review your resume, prep for job interviews, and practice negotiation skills the more prepared you will be to succeed with your professional goals!

5 Laugh

Seriously. Make time throughout the week to find joy and yes, laughter. Laughter won't directly help you land a job BUT it can help you manage any stress you might be feeling during your job search and interview process. And even though you may not be able to see close friends and family in person right now, communicating with friends and family even over the phone, video calls, etc and sharing humor can be a great way to improve your overall well-being! You will then be in a better position to focus on your career needs!

As we are making our way through this pandemic, it is important to take care of ourselves, both mental and physical health. It is also important that you don't stop working towards your goals! It might not be easy but it's still important. I hope these tips help you take some steps forward and make progress towards reaching your goals. We WILL make progress. This pandemic WILL end at some point. And your health and your success and future is WORTH the effort now.

Next Step:

~ Pick one of these 5 tips and focus on that during this next week. That's it!

Also Read:

* Things to Do When You're Stuck At Home

* Don't Go Broke During Your Job Hunt

Stay tuned for more advice and tips from That Purple Book! Connect with That Purple Book across social media @ThatPurpleBook

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