Many years ago, one of my medical leadership coaching clients stated that she was going to treat herself to a chocolate muffin on the way home as a way of celebrating something we had been doing together. I love the concept of the chocolate muffin as a metaphor for self-care and for learning to treat ourselves with little rewards ‘just because’.
Why does rewarding ourselves matter?
The new normal is that everyone is under pressure at work, much or most of the time. Getting through each day, ticking off our ‘to-do’ lists, doing our best to keep on top of everything all of the time….sounds familiar? As doctors, clinicians, and leaders, we do our best to acknowledge and reward our teams but it’s often not enough.
When was the last time you rewarded yourself ‘just because’?
Finding ways to reward ourselves is one way which we can effect our own agency and take small but significant steps towards recharging our own batteries. Make a list of small, medium and occasional larger rewards for yourself – and then get out your diary and plan them in. What’s your equivalent of a chocolate muffin? You can link the rewards to challenging tasks you’ve completed, or even better, enjoy the rewards ‘just because’.
Why I’ve had a chocolate muffin today
I was up early doors this morning as the first speaker at the virtual FMLM International Conference. Two minutes before we went live, my tech support assistant at the conference vanished, I started my slot only to find that when she left, my sound had also stopped! I was five minutes into my presentation before I realised what was happening! It was very strange to speak to little square boxes with initials on them rather than real faces or event names, and with no way of knowing that no-one could hear me! Notwithstanding that, it was really fun to connect with participants within the limits of the technology once we got it sorted.
I had an hour after the conference before my first coaching client, so I popped out and bought myself a coffee and a chocolate muffin. I had a little smile as I thought of my former client teaching me the value of a chocolate muffin – I hope you can find reward yourself with your equivalent of a chocolate muffin in the next couple of days – just because.
Dr Fiona Day is an expert Leadership & Career Coach and Coaching Psychologist, specialising in the leadership, careers and wellbeing of doctors, medical and public health leaders. She is a former medical and public health leader, is based in the UK and works internationally. Sign-up to her email list here for free resources, news, and more. You can unsubscribe at any time.