[Image description: A close-up of the circular face of a flower with dark red petals that are packed tightly at the center and then open up and spread out at the outer edge of the circle. The background is out of focus, but seems to be of a stone wall on the left and empty sky on the right. Image obtained from Pixabay.com]
Last month was a rough time for me on a few fronts. I’ve come through it thanks to help from some great people and some solid self care practices, which included selecting Learn-o-rama’s first-ever “Friday Food for the Soul” quote and sweating it out at Southside Booty Camp workouts. One benefit coming out of this rough time was the opportunity to expand and retool my repertoire of self-care practices as a trainer/facilitator/presenter/teacher. It can be tough up there in front of the room, and even tougher in my head afterwards as I assess my performance.
If you’re like me, a refresh of your self-care practices every few months is good trainer hygiene to keep you in shape for your next gig. Here are a few favorites from my recent refresh:
1.When you’re done, be done.
I teach some two-day in-person workshops and after one of those I have a storehouse of insights about how I could have done better. The trouble with “I coulda shoulda woulda” thoughts is that they have a very short shelf life as helpful insights. They very quickly turn on you and become onslaughts of self-criticism instead. So don’t linger on them. Make a note or two for next time, and be done. One of my favorite ways to be done comes from Guila Muir who, in a post about loving your struggles as a presenter, advises singing loudly in the car after an event to up your mood and move on. Rock on!
2. Get outside.
My life as a trainer is largely lived inside, in classrooms or conference rooms or hotel meeting rooms. How’s the air in there? How often do I stretch or take a deep breath? Not great, and not often. So I make a point to get outside for a walk in the evening of a training event, or the next day. Even if I have to get up pre-dawn and walk with a headlamp. Fresh air and exercise give me a fresh perspective so I can process the experience of the day in a useful way. If you need inspiration to get outside, check out the podcasts and video web series at G.O. Get Outside, a site by and for “adults with adult responsibilities.”
3. Reward yourself.
Regardless of what the evaluations or your self-assessment tell you, chances are you did the best you could in the moment. Because you’re that kind of professional. So acknowledge your hard work with a reward. Rewards, whether extrinsic (getting a massage) or intrinsic (feeling proud and happy) initiate a positive cycle of change. Treat yourself in large or small ways. Because you are the kind of human being who is committed to getting better by learning from experience.
There you have it, the fruits of my hard-won lessons from September, 2017. I hope they serve you well and keep you well.
Guila Muir post: Presenters, Love Your Struggles at http://www.guilamuir.com/presenters-love-your-struggles/
G.O. Get Outside podcasts and videos: http://www.gogetoutside.com/
Putting People First article: Reward Yourself: Celebrating Behavior Change at http://www.valueoptions.com/spotlight_heart/html/pdfs/Articles/English/change_management/managing_change_reward_yourself_celebrating_behavioral_change.pdf