Like most Millennial nonprofit employees, I have always been a dedicated, hard worker, even working in the trenches. I’ve put my head down and charged through the work. I’ve voiced my opinion in forums where I was allowed, mostly in department meetings, but unless I got my manager on my side, my point of view never really seemed to have much pull on an organizational level.
I always craved that seat at the decision-making table, the chance to speak my mind, and to make change in my organization. In short, I wanted power. I assumed that with power came great responsibility, which came with stress, discomfort, and difficulty.
Yesterday I came across this post entitled Powerful People Are Happy. The concept is that along with power comes the ability to be authentic. You are in control of things and you can be your true self. And that, in turn, makes you happy.
I get that. But I wonder if we might be able to translate that lesson to the rest of us who aren’t directors. We should consider the way that us lower level staffers can maintain control and power in our own programs. Even something as “small” as the donor database – something that you manage, that is yours, and that you have power over. I hope that will allow you to be authentic and allow you some happiness, too.
Working in a nonprofit is hard work. As much as we can pay attention to how to be happy at work, we should. Read through the article, but be creative about how you think about power, and think about how you can apply it to your role, no matter whether you’re working in strategy or in data entry.
The silliest title to a blog post that I’ve ever written. But – for some of us overachievers, very important to know!! Relaxing is not always something that comes naturally to us in today’s world. We’re used to going full speed ahead, being efficient, and getting it done, always thinking about the next project. We’re not so used to taking time for ourselves and chilling out.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time to relax and remember these tips. They’re not intuitive when your mind is always on the go!
- Clear your mind. This means leave your work at work and put your commitments aside. Relaxing is not going to do any good if your mind is still going over your to do list. Nothing productive comes from obsessing over what needs to be done or dwelling on your problems. When it’s time to relax, put all of that thinking aside and clear your mind of the clutter.
- Find what you love to do and do it, no matter what anyone else says. We don’t have TV at home, so Hulu is a treat to me. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy when instead of getting extra sleep, I want to watch an episode of Project Runway. Although it seems counter-intuitive to him that watching TV would actually relax me, I swear it does. For those 44 precious minutes I don’t have to think about anything except for Heidi Klum. So I do it!
- Schedule it in. You know how I often give a tip that I myself have to work on including in my life? This one is it. It is so important to make relaxing a priority in your life – self-care is something that should always be at the top of your list, to avoid getting sick and being unhappy.
If I can leave you with one piece of advice, it’s to really take to heart the importance of relaxing. Even if you take just an hour a week… it’s so important. And keep these tips in mind! Your body and mind will thank you!