Self Care: Using Different Skills is More Relaxing

beach work two

Best way to relax and decompress?

Start another busy week with your well-being in mind.

We all know self-care is important, we know what to do and sometimes, when we have time, we do it. What’s the point of one more blog post about it?  Actual research points to how to make limited time for breaks and relaxation more effective.

“If you’re using the same mental activities to relax as you do to work, your brain isn’t really getting a rest. To really relax, it’s better to find something that doesn’t resemble the work you do”,

When you have time to relax and decompress after work, make that time count by using different skills and doing different things than you do at work, according to a recent article in lifehacker and a stress management research review in 99u.com.  

For example, spend a lot of time working on the computer (e.g. case notes, monthly reports, employer research)? Spending an evening or lunch break surfing social media with your eyes on another computer screen might not be as relaxing as you hope. 

And again, the point?  Take a 10 minute break from work – and leave your cell phone behind, too!

 

 

link 99u.com

Take Time to Celebrate One Refugee’s Success Today

Don’t lose sight of the individuals amidst the surge!

Sometimes it’s easy to get too busy to appreciate the personal triumphs that make our jobs worthwhile.  The single mom who gained the confidence to ace a job interview. The family that bought a car with their tax return.  The excitement of a first day at work in a job with a new employer partner.

“Nobody is ever just a refugee,” said Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, Nigerian novelist and non-fiction writer, delivering the keynote address at a World Humanitarian Day event in New York. “Nobody is ever just a single thing. And yet, in the public discourse today, we often speak of people as a single a thing. Refugee. Immigrant.”

In a different way, we can also slip into the bad habit of losing sight of any single client achievement among an overwhelming case load.

You can read more about Adichi’s remarks or listen to her entire speech to get a big picture take on the refugee crisis you address one client at a time every day. There may not be time in your schedule for speeches today.  Make time to think about one client’s success and appreciate the role you played in helping them achieve it. 

Please, Take a Quick Lunch Break Today

nyc lunch breakWhile you’re reading this, take a minute to feel good about the difference your hard work makes to refugees. We’re all hustling to get a huge number of arrivals settled in and on solid ground for success.

Leaving your desk at lunch will help you be even more productive and keep burnout away.  A recent article in themuse.com is a fast read on your smart phone while you get 15 minutes of fresh air and sunshine.  You deserve it.

 

 

Friday Feature: Free Download of New Music

NPR SXSW Download

Photo credit: Phiseksit

Another post honoring our social worker colleagues during Social Work Month.

Music.  Listen at your desk to block out distractions and improve concentration. Enjoy it as a form of self-care and stress management. Appreciate that every culture in our world uses it to inspire, comfort and entertain. It’s a powerful connector.

However music resonates for you, check out 100 free downloads of songs heard last week at SXSW via NPR. Accept it as a token of appreciation for the work you do every day from Higher.

 

 

5 Ideas to Stay Productive At Work During the Holidays

bored

Let Higher help you do better than this!

Of course, there’s plenty of work to do, but if you’re feeling distracted, here are five quick ideas to keep yourself productive and entertained whle you’re working over the holidays.

1.  Hang out on social media.  Share your favorite Higher blog post.  Polish your LinkedIn profile.  Follow employers you want to target in the new year.

2. Listen to some music at your desk.  Heavy metal from SyriaClassic country from BurmaRap from Afghanistan. 

3. Organize an office potluck.  No turkey or cranberries!  Check out recipe ideas from Flavors from Home or Good and Cheap

4. Find fresh inspiration from refugee stories. Hear from Abdi (Somalia) or Clemantine (Rwanda)

5.  Watch refugee videos you can use to freshen up your job readiness class Interview adviceCareer Paths.  English and Other Life Skills

Sleep and Self Care. Both Important for Our Work.

Cross-cultural communication. Driving all over the place. Difficult conversations with employers. Frantic calls from clients. Training clients on public transportation. Long meetings. Cold-calling. Working in refugee employment is rewarding AND exhausting!

Most of the time we look to techniques, best-practices and strategies to make us successful in our work, but we often forget about the importance of self-care. If we burn out, our clients won’t get the services they deserve.

Effective self-care requires discipline and means forming new habits. Developing a new rhythm won’t happen overnight. But one thing that can happen overnight is you getting enough sleep! Here’s a video from Fast Company to inspire you to take this first small step towards being healthier and more productive at work.

Start with this “baby step” and then spend some time exploring other self-care strategies. The University of Buffalo’s School of Social Work has developed a “Self-Care Starter Kit” that provides many helpful suggestions and resources.