By Kelly Stranburg

What the heck is self-care anyways?

It is making time in your life to support your overall well-being.

As working professionals and family caretakers, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with the demands of life and easily push aside opportunities to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. Layer on top of that two years of emotional distress from the pandemic and a shift in how we work, school, socialize, and more, and, well, guess what? We find ourselves in a period where we need self-care approaches more than ever.

Launching Self-Care Fridays

As a professional in the senior living field, I saw firsthand just how challenging the past two years have been for staff in the communities, executives supporting those communities, residents themselves, and their families.

Do self-care and well-being get emphasized enough for all partners of senior living? They do not. I continued to hear on calls and meetings how exhausted people were in our collective space. That they were working more hours than ever before and scrambling to problem solve at warp speed. This left me sad and frustrated for a field I love with all my heart.

So how could I help? Having an educational background in exercise science, health coaching, and life coaching, I knew I could share valuable insights. So, one day, I said to myself, “Just put yourself out on there and see if it resonates with your peers and network on LinkedIn.”

Let’s pause. … I have zero background in production and a smidge of marketing insights from all my amazing marketing guru peers.

Going Live

Why Friday, you may ask? It is a good time to be reminded of the value and priority of self-care heading into the weekend. Plus, the rest of the week can be so overwhelming for so many of us, including myself.

So, I grabbed my phone and turned on the video, and away I went with sharing a video each Friday (a couple of Saturdays too) for the past seven months.

Each week is a different topic or tip. I often get asked how I come up with the topic, and it comes from all of you. During meetings or interactions, something invariably comes up, and I immediately know what Self-Care Friday’s topic will be. I try to keep the videos on the short side and am willing to share about myself, epiphanies, curiosities, and more. And they are 100% me being me. They are not rehearsed, and they are all done off the top of my head.

Self-Care Friday Impact

I was unsure if anyone would even take the time to watch my video uploads to LinkedIn. In my mind, why would they? Who am I even?

To my surprise, there were a few likes and comments. And the response has grown.

Fast-forward to a recent conference, and someone walked right up to me and said, “You’re the Friday video lady! Our VP of operations sends us your video every week.” Umm, what? Really? Another industry colleague shared how much the videos keep them mindful of doing positive behaviors for themselves. And yet another shared they go to LinkedIn every Friday to look for my post.

I am beyond humbled, even stunned. I am one person trying to do my part to support others because we are in a time of high-speed life with all of life’s technological advancements. The basics of getting outdoors, walking, drinking water, breathing, human touch, connecting with friends, and more are often overlooked for Netflix and Hulu (guilty on this one often!), many overindulgences, and poor rest. We need friendly nudges to keep us on track. No one will ever care for themselves perfectly day in and day out, but we most certainly can try.

Here’s a Tip!

I would like to wrap this up with a self-care tip. Be kind to yourself. Have grace for others. We continue to suffer from challenges from the pandemic — staffing shortages, supply chain challenges, adjusted schedules, and more. This is an opportunity to pause and take a breath to give yourself time to not react harshly or impatiently. I am the queen of impatience, so take it from me, the pause will help immensely!