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Let 2020 be about self care first

What is the point of new work and agile mindsets if it doesn't start with treating ourselves with the same degree of kindness and respect we want to extend to and receive from others? Let’s start 2020 with a focus on self-kindness!

In the middle of a busy barcamp, I set down in a lounge chair between session rooms and tuned into my feelings and needs.
In the middle of a busy barcamp, I set down in a lounge chair between session rooms and tuned into my feelings and needs.

I recently sat in an agile innovation barcamp. I was exhausted after only one session (plus the obligatory networking and session planning at the start) because I was sick, had a sick kid at home and suffered from severe sleep deprivation. In that moment, I felt that I needed time to myself. I set down in a lounge chair between session rooms all by myself and tuned into my feelings and needs. And I felt the best thing to do in this moment and most in line with agile/ new work values was to go home and rest.

Don’t get me wrong, I had been looking forward to this barcamp for weeks. I liked the first few hours I spent there, had a few promising conversations, and there were sessions coming up later that I was really interested in. But the time until then felt draining and waiting did not seem the best use of my time and energy.

Therefore I took the executive decision to leave. It felt good to walk to the station, by myself. In touch with myself. True to the notion of selfcare that still doesn’t come easy or naturally to me. It felt like the most truly agile/ new work thing I could have done at that point.

At this moment, I decided that my first priority in 2020 had to be selfcare. Because I am convinced that selfcare is the basis for truly caring for others, and for extending love, kindness and respect to others. And because it aligns with the notion of sustainability, like in maintaining infinitely sustainable velocity in an agile team.

But let’s get real here for a moment: On top of those reflexions of shiny ideals and professional values, I had to admit that I simply have to make selfcare a priority in its own right. Since as it turns out, changing into an agile role while commuting 3 hours a day to a fulltime job and caring for a small kid is challenging. It takes energy and the transition into a new role is not as easy as I would have hoped. So both in order to be true to my agile and new work values and to even just survive until I transition into a more agile setting, selfcare is my way to go this year.

As I walked through the cold crisp air that day, I was smiling.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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