Remote Work in Las Vegas

Self-care is not sustainable.

Las Vegas strip
Las Vegas strip

Are you okay? Do you have the mental and physical energy to find joy in the ordinary activities you engage in during the day. How is work going? How are your relationships growing? Where does your passion rest?

These are important questions – questions I often ask of my friends when I see them dragging their feet or when I sense that joy is no longer accompanying them on their journey. I am a big proponent of doing the little things that restore our wellbeing and grow our resilience. I even begin all my classes by encouraging my students to care for themselves above all things so that they can learn well, love well, and live well.

This week I had the opportunity to work remotely from Las Vegas and in the evenings, I went out to enjoy the flashing lights that engulf the strip with people from around the world. I relished in all the food options that make even a disciplined man like me a glutton. I walked more than I typically walk in a month and found rest in the most unusual of places as I traveled from one end of the strip to the other.

I started thinking, this is truly a great way to self-care…

Then, I would start another day in my hotel room with grading and countless emails that awaited me. I would review my bank account for the damage report. The self remained, but oh he cared now.

I began thinking that the whole idea of self-care as something we do is not sustainable. If self-care is what I do after work, or where I go during a remote working trip, or even the activities that I engage in to escape my ordinary journey – it is not sustainable. Not only is it not sustainable, but it is also only a temporary relief that comes flooding back the moment this self-care activity ends. Sometimes it even returns with a faithful companion – the consequences.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed being able to leave my routine and have a different place to enjoy life after work. I even had a lot of fun exploring the attractions that I was excited to experience. However, after some reflection, I am choosing to reframe self-care. Because self-care is not something you do, but how you do what you do.

Self-care is not something you do, but how you do what you do.

When we understand self-care as part of our process, our mindset shifts. Instead of working incredibly long hours at work pursuing a false idol that will never be attained, I will practice self-care and enjoy only eight hours of my workday; and be at peace with the productivity I accomplished and not the busyness that the day portrayed. Instead of planning a two-week trip out of the country after a long year of working without rest, I will bask in the beauty that is around my city with the ones that I care most about on this journey of life. I will enjoy that warm cup of coffee on my balcony while I read before heading to work. I will relish that adventurous home cooked meal with my best friend who has chosen to spend the rest of her life with me. I will engage in the ordinary parts of life with a new mindset that transforms them into extraordinary occurrences. Self-care as a treat is valuable and encouraged, but self-care as an escape is never sustainable.

  • How can you reframe what you are doing that is draining the joy out of you and engage in those activities with self-care?

  • What might it look like to be mindful and care for your wellbeing as you journey through your everyday life?