If you’re anything like me, you like to be busy. Down time almost feels wrong. If you’re anything like me, you also don’t realize just how much of a toll a lack of down-time can have on you… until it’s too late. I’ve taken the past six months to become acutely aware of my own burn-out signals to better take care of myself before a burn-out happens. Working full-time on top of pursuing outside passions and an actively job searching can be stressful, but there are ways to make your experience much more fruitful and enjoyable.
Why hello! My name is Alyssa, and I’m an At-Large Member of the Leadership Council for EAL/LA, and Co-Chair of our Development Committee. Professionally, I work as a art program director for a nonprofit that provides programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities. This is my first year of involvement with EAL/LA and it’s been a tremendously rewarding experience so far. Love the people, love the organization, and love the impact we’re initiating on the creative community of Los Angeles emerging art leaders.
I decided to use my professional development funds from EAL/LA to fuel my energy and enthusiasm during my own stage of professional evolution and development. Check out what I’ve been up to:
I designed and orderedsome new snazzy business cards from MOO.com. These cards create an opportunity for people I meet to remember me, and they tie in with my professional brand to tell a story about who I am as a creative and human being! I’m currently creating new professional and personal opportunities and it’s always great to have these bad boys on hand. Check out Moo on instagram for more inspiration.
2. I assembled an interview outfit. As someone who spends most of my time working at a non-profit art program, I almost exclusively wear jeans and sweatpants. I didn’t have an outfit I would feel confident stepping into an interview with; something that expresses both who I am as an artistic individual, and who I am as a professional arts administrator. I purchased both a dress and a nice pair of shoes for my interview outfit: I look forward to putting these to good use in the months to come! I also wore the outfit to our biggest work fundraiser/art event of the year. Here are some photos of my new shoes that I will go to my grave with.
3. I upgraded to a one month subscription of LinkedIn Job Seeker. While on the hunt for jobs, it’s nice to upgrade a LinkedIn account to LinkedIn Job Seeker. Check out all the benefits in the link above.
4. I got a pedicure. Das right, I know you jealous. Treat yo’self. Nothing like a foot massage and a hot water soak to drain stress and take care of my body. It seems minor, but it also serves as a designated time for me to turn off my phone, close my eyes, and take a minute to meditate or think about all the things I have accomplished instead of focusing on how much else there is to be done in the world. Making a pedicure appointment forces me to pause and calm down, if only for 45 minutes.
5. I acquired the most awesome water vessel of my life.
Hydro Flasks are the real deal; my water stays cold for 24 hours and my tea stays hot for forever (8 hours). Seriously amazing. Plus, it’s a super vibrant and noticeable color that creates a calming presence on my desk and incentivizes water consumption. It’s so important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re running around like a crazy person during the day. I got mine in the mint color from REI. REI is da best. Any excuse to step foot in that store. Just sayin’. My Hydro Flask also makes me very aware of my work/life balance, as I carry it with me outside of work during exercise or nature excursions as well as at work/professional events.
6. Last but not least, I got a day pass on Groupon to a Korean day spa. I have yet to use the pass, but I’m saving it for the weeks leading up to a big deadline. It was 14 bucks for all day access to pools, hot tubs, relaxation rooms, steam room/sauna...what more can you ask for. Escape experience in the middle of LA? Yes, please!
I hope my professional development expenditures inspired you in some way to take a second and appreciate that taking care of yourself, whatever that means to you, is important. For me it means taking time in my day to count my blessings, pay attention to my body and psyche, and put myself out there in the world as the best version of myself. The more relaxed I am, the better I can perform, and the more efficiently I can take action in areas of my life that are important to me.
What does self care mean to you?
All my best,
Director of Visual Arts at L.A. GOAL
EAL/LA At Large Member, Development Committee Co-Chair
Connect with me on Instagram @AlyssaMannis