It seems like everywhere we turn, we are faced with click bait advocating for various methods of self care. However, self care is defined differently between people. While binging Netflix and wearing a DIY face mask may work for some, it misses the mark for many. Sometimes self care means thinking outside of the box. What is a meaningful way to practice self care that carries throughout your life?
It probably comes as no surprise to you that we wholeheartedly believe that flexible work falls well within the range of self care. No really! Hear us out!
The traditional work week as we know it – 5 days a week, 40 hours a week- was the brainchild of Henry Ford to support his assembly line concept. At the time, this method greatly decreased hours worked in typical manufacturing settings.
However, a century later, our economy has transitioned from a manufacturing focus to a service focused system. Simultaneously, social prescriptions have drastically evolved rendering the traditional 9 to 5 schedule outdated and difficult to maintain. For many, it makes more sense to pursue a flexible work schedule suited to the unique demands of their own lifestyle.
For years, a cultural shift has been brewing among Gen X, Millennials, and, more recently, Gen Z. While some find security in the traditional 9 to 5 schedule, many only find despair. The monotony of a lifetime tethered to a desk under
harsh lighting with constantly-throat-clearing-Marge in the next cubicle just. isn’t. it. The pandemic has shown us that working from anywhere while implementing schedules that suit people’s individual lifestyles is good not only for workers but for companies as well. After adopting less rigid schedules, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google all recorded record profits during the pandemic.
Gen Z and millennials saw their parents work the same jobs for the same hours for their entire careers and eventually burn out. Flexible work offers choice. Choosing when, what, and where you work provides options that prior generations didn’t have available.
If you’ve seen the clickbait surrounding self care, then chances are you’ve also seen clickbait bemoaning the adverse effects of sedentary lifestyles- i.e. sitting at a desk from 9 to 5, five days a week. While researchers aren’t exactly sure WHY sitting for long periods of time leads to so many health issues, data proves that it does. Hours upon hours logged in a chair leads to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome.
So, how does flexible work qualify as self care?
Working flexible hours lessens time spent sitting and allows you to participate in the things that matter most in life: loved one’s birthdays, vacations, coffee with friends, movie nights with your kids, and so much more. Instead of living to work, flexible work allows you to work to live. And if THAT’S not the ultimate form of self care, we don’t know what is.