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Self-Care Is Necessary, Professional Development

Dec 17 / Todd Houston

As we end 2021, I’m sure I’m not the only person looking forward to the new year. To say that this year has been challenging doesn’t seem to capture the depth of frustration and the level of stress that I’ve felt but can also be felt throughout the country.

This year we’ve continued to deal with a virus that won’t go away. It now has at least two variants, with many more to emerge. Unfortunately, a relatively large number of our citizens refuse to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. Because of this, we’re approaching 800,000 Americans who have died. Yes, many of those who have died could have been saved through vaccinations.

Higher inflation caused by worker shortages, supply chain issues, and the lingering effects of COVID has contributed to ongoing economic hardship. We’ve also seen what has been called “the great resignation.” Workers refuse to return to jobs with lower salaries with no or limited medical benefits. The income inequality that is rampant in our country is finally being acknowledged. People seek new opportunities that better match their skill sets and career plans. They are being very selective about the jobs they are taking. 

As people rethink their careers, it is crucial to consider self-care as professional development. But, what do we mean by self-care?

For professionals, self-care is about monitoring and nourishing your mental health, especially during these stressful times. When we embrace self-care throughout our careers, we strive to value ourselves, our relationships, and the work we are trying to accomplish.

If we’re practicing better self-care, we’ll be mentally and physically better able to support ourselves and the people we work alongside. 
Practicing self-care helps you to remain resilient over the long term. It keeps you cognitively, physically, and emotionally agile. In addition, it allows you to better deal with stressors that are likely to come.
To start self-care:
• Commit to your wellbeing well into the future. A commitment means you’ll be more focused on achieving your goal
• Engage in activities and practices that give you energy, lower your stress, and contribute to your wellbeing. Self-care activities will be different for everyone
• Do self-care activities regularly before a crisis hits

Like any new habit, developing consistent self-care practices takes time and effort. Self-care should happen every day and over the long term.

Here are some examples to get you started:
• Exercise regularly
• Eat well
• Sleep well
• Say no to unhelpful temptations
• Learning from your mistakes
• Celebrate wins
• Be active in outside hobbies or interests
• Develop new skills

If this all seems overwhelming, develop a self-care plan or take on one aspect one by one.

At 3C Digital Media Network, we are committed to your self-care. We want to be a resource as you develop self-care. We have a podcast called Act to Live that provides invaluable insights about life, coping, and reaching your life’s goalsWebinars can additionally assist you in developing new knowledge and skills – perhaps for a unique employment opportunity or to widen your skillset for your current position.

Regardless of your needs, we want to assist your self-care. If we don’t have the content you need, please let us know by emailing me at todd@3cdigitalmedianetwork.com. We’ll work to ensure that it gets added to our platform.

Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That IS the 3C way!

~ Todd Houston

Pictures courtesy of Canva.

You’ve certainly experienced loneliness, right?. But did you know about its long-term effects?

Former surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, claims that: 

"People who struggle with loneliness end up living shorting lives…are at an increased risk for heart disease, depression, dementia, anxiety, and a host of other conditions.”

Now that statement makes you stop and think, “I don’t want that.” Now to clarify, loneliness isn’t inherently wrong; each one of us needs time alone. It also is not entirely based on how big or small your social network encompasses. Instead, loneliness becomes an issue when it turns into something more chronic.

Professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, Julianne Holt- Lunstad, defines loneliness as

"…the discrepancy between our actual level of social connection and our desired level of connection.”

You see, what’s haunting about loneliness is that it shows no prejudice based on race, class, or gender. Anyone can feel lonely, even if it seems like they would be the last person to experience it.


The idea of loneliness can heavily impact not just a person’s physical health but mental health too. Support systems feel like they’re breaking down. All you feel is isolation. Self-preservation takes over.


The point of learning about the effects of loneliness shouldn’t make you dismayed. Instead, it should inform you to protect yourself against chronic loneliness better and assist others when they could feel lonely. Loneliness indicates that we should be connecting with others to live in a community.


Think about what community means or looks like to you:
  • What does community look like to me? In-person? Digital?
  • What are some communities that I could be a part of based on shared interests?


Try to identify what friends you connect with most:

  • Which friends do you connect with the most? Why?
  • Should I start making a weekly or monthly time to hang out more with this friend?


Or you could start making new connections at the park, an event, at school. Anywhere. On the flip side, give people grace when they might be feeling lonely. Their distance and bad behavior may be symptoms of a more significant issue they are internalizing. Better yet, ask them if they need help with anything. You could brighten their day.

If you or someone else you know ever starts feeling loneliness in the worst way, breathe. Realize that often it’s a temporary phase that can be resolved by leaning on old connections or creating new ones. Of course, dealing with loneliness is a personal process. Take your time.

There is no shame in feeling lonely. However, we should remember to do our best to avoid the type of loneliness that affects physical and mental health because there is so much more life to live.

Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That is the 3C way!

Thanks for reading,

~Katheryn

Note: This article is a summary and review of a piece done by Freakonomics Podcast. The source can be found here: https://freakonomics.com/podcast/loneliness/.

 

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About the blogger

K. Todd Houston, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Todd is currently a Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Akron.

In a career that has spanned nearly 30 years, Dr. Houston has been a photojournalist, an Executive Director/CEO of an international non-profit organization, a clinician, published author, researcher, and an academic. This professional journey has shaped a world-view that embraces diversity and supports engagement across cultures.

Dr. Houston has a passion for ensuring that others have an opportunity to fully express themselves.

Combining his journalism background with more than two decades of focused work with children and adults impacted by hearing loss, Dr. Houston has co-created a company that is committed to producing a range of content that informs and inspires.

Through the 3C Digital Media Network, Dr. Houston will bring together a diverse array of voices who can tell their stories and inspire others to be their very best selves.

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