Show Companion 6/27/22
Hello, howdy, hi!
Am I the only one that gets pumped for Mondays? The weekends are amazing, but there is just
something about kicking off a brand-new week that really gets me energized, hopeful, and excited to make a positive difference in the world!
In this week’s episode we launch full speed into our latest mini-series, “Taking Better Care of Ourselves,” in which we’ll be talking about how we care for ourselves as safety practitioners. You can check out the podcast here. Over the next several episodes we will be diving headfirst into the squishy bits, the wellbeing stuff, we will be talking physical and mental health, and all the other things we often prefer to avoid.
Before we jump into the notes for this week’s episode, check out our friends over at SG World. Along with being a great bunch of people, they offer innovative, useful, and cost saving safety products for you organization. Visit them at SG World!
Be sure to check out the all-new Resources page we added to thehopnerd.com! I will be working to fill it up with all kinds of downloadable videos, documents, and more.
So, let’s get right into the gnarly stuff…
Allow me to begin by sharing with you an abridged snippet from my latest book The Care and Feeding of Safety Practitioners.
Don’t shit your pants at work
Let’s start right here. It is really hard to have conversations about our own personal wellbeing. Why? I believe some of it comes from what has been embedded within our minds, this idea that we should be tough, that we should just “power through,” that we must be macho!
….We play this game, we prop up this idea, one that says those who suffer the most are the most likely to succeed, to be recognized, to make it past the guillotine when work is slow and layoffs loom in the distance. You can hear it in the language that we use, we say things like “Bob is such a bad ass! He had food poisoning last week and never missed a day of work.” No one mentions the part where Bob was shitting himself and puking in his trashcan all week, that he was spending a small fortune on medications and adult diapers, and that he was so hopped up on meds and so dehydrated that he was hallucinating. All we hear and say are things like “Job well done, Bob! Everyone be more like Bob.” It is the reason why we refuse to take sick days, much less a day off for our mental health. It is why we limp our way to the office smothered in Icy Hot when we should be on the couch after we have thrown out our backs. It is why we push off our doctor appointments and other needed medical or phycological care. Work is far more important than our own wellbeing. We have been taught (or taught ourselves) that being a “good employee” means sacrificing our own wellbeing for the benefit of our jobs; that the more pain and suffering you can handle, the better employee you are.
What bullshit, right? But I do it, you do it, we all do it. We still smirk when we hear that one of our colleagues took some days off to “de-stress,” we whisper thoughts of doubt to ourselves when a coworker calls in sick, and we still pretend that there is some glory, some value in “suffering through.” Do not misinterpret my thoughts here, suffering can be beneficial. Suffering for the right things, suffering for the things that matter, suffering that has purpose, suffering with an end goal, and suffering that results in a well-earned achievement, one that can only be gained through walking hand-in-hand with suffering. Dieting is suffering, but it has a clear and tangible positive result for those of us that could stand to lose a few pounds. Starving yourself, purging after every meal, pouring yourself full of deleterious weight loss drugs, and the overall destroying of your health to drop a couple pounds, not so much. Putting in some extra hours and effort to complete a critical project, probably a worthwhile journey with suffering. But padding your pants with Depends, sneaking off to vomit in the bathroom, and tripping on cough syrup just so you can be “tough” and not miss a day of work, I cannot find the value in that suffering.
…I would be remiss if I did not mention that I quite literally have the word “suffer” tattooed on my forearm. It is a constant reminder that somethings we seek in life require a healthy dose of suffering. It is also a call to action, that while suffering will always exist, our mission should be to minimize it as much as possible, or at the very least, choose our suffering wisely. We are creating unrequired suffering for ourselves when we embrace these notions that work should suck, that we must endure massive amounts of pain and discomfort for our performance to be high or for our jobs to matter. We are creating unrequired suffering for others when we prop up these ideas, when we belittle those that try to minimize their own suffering or the suffering of those around them…
Work will always result in some level of discomfort. Let be real, most of us would prefer to be sitting on the couch having a beer rather than locked in our drab gray cubicles for 40 plus hours a week. But we have some choice in the matter, we choose to suffer so that we can live the lives that we want to live, so that we can make the impact on our workplaces that we want to make. But we also get to choose what we suffer for, what we suffer in pursuit of. Choose wisely. Rather than shitting your pants at work, take that day off so that you can live to work another day…
What are your “things?”
Let me leave you with a really high-level question to ponder… How do you care for yourself? What are the little things that you build into your day to help you cope, relax, unwind, recharge?
I am a bit of a meathead; something about weightlifting seems to do the trick for me. It is obviously beneficial to physical health, but it really does the job of clearing my noggin. But so does playing guitar, writing, and although I’m not very great at, painting or drawing.
Spending quality uninterrupted time with Avery and Jerel always seems to pull life back into focus; time that I am very protective of.
Admittedly, sleep is one that is easy for me to neglect. Often, before I even realize it, I have unconsciously whittled my sleeping hours down to 3 to 4 hours each night. I must create routine, I must create order, I must keep my standards around sleep high, or I quickly find myself overcome by fatigue and exhaustion. I do the obvious things like keeping a steady wake time (which in turn dictates my bedtime), shield myself from screens and electronics in the hours before I go to bed, and cool my room to frigid extremes. I go a little wackier with my sleep rituals than most with the addition of an oil diffuser, some essential oil pillow spray, some sleep and recovery supplements, and other hippity dippity junk. It’s not that I believe that they do much, it’s the routine, the ritual, the seeking of perfection. It’s planning out and preparing for the perfect night of rest and recovery. It is mapping out “what great looks like,” knowing that I will never quite get there, but knowing that even if I only achieve 80% that it is still pretty damn good.
Again, what are your “things?” Are you protective of them? Do you ritualize them?
The warp up…
I have to say that I am pretty pumped about this series! I am currently I the process of planning out some amazing guests and topics for these episodes. If you (or someone that you know) have expertise, stories, ideas, or tips and tricks around this idea of “taking better care of ourselves,” I would love to have you on the podcast. Send me an email or sign up to be a guest on the show!
As always, I love hearing from you. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/samuel-goodman-03a95391 or drop me a line at www.thehopnerd.com