Sometimes life just doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Relationships unravel. Hard work isn't always rewarded, and recognition doesn't always come. This is just the way life is. So what can you do? Start by recognizing that you have choices.
Let me give you a specific example. I participated in a meeting with some wonderful colleagues about an important medical topic. We met over the lunch hour, which is never ideal, but it was the only time we could get together. We weren't able to resolve all of the issues, and a colleague suggested that we meet again early the next morning. Most members were agreeable to do so, but I wasn't since I work out each morning.
With some uneasiness, I explained that this time wouldn't work for me. Some of my colleagues reacted as if I were from another planet. Nevertheless, I felt comfortable with my decision, although there was a moment of uneasiness.
Sure it's hard to disappoint colleagues, but I made my choice and accepted the consequences. And you know the world didn't unravel simply because I didn't attend an early morning meeting.
So you see I don't just pontificate about the need to take care of yourself. I try to live it. What stories can you share of a time when you had to put yourself first?
Join the discussion at #Stress.July 13, 2011