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A Self-Care Regimen Is Critical To Career Longevity
The art of living generatively is not only about generosity of spirit to give back, but also
requires a knowing of how to recharge our internal battery to keep the inspirational spark
alive. Many of the freelancers involved with this project embrace a self-care regimen of a
good diet, exercise, and a spiritual practice in order to stay healthy and recharge from the
demands of creative work while also stimulating new ideas.
In an article entitled The Making of a Corporate Athlete, in the Harvard Business Review
series Bringing Your Whole Self to Work, the authors argue that “corporate athletes” who
“perform at high levels over the long haul, they must train in the systematic, multilevel way
that athletes do” (Loeher & Schwartz, 2008). The authors, who worked with world-class
athletes, extend their vision of what it takes for people to perform in an optimal state and
this can easily apply to the media freelancer who must apply significant brainpower on
command. The authors suggest that peak performance happens when people have
rhythmic relaxation rituals that allow them to tap into positive energy at all levels of the high-
performance pyramid:
Peak performance in business has often been presented as a matter of sheer
brainpower, but we view performance as a pyramid. Physical well-being is its
foundation. Above that rests emotional health, then mental acuity, and at the top, a
sense of purpose. The Ideal Performance State peak performance under
pressure is achieved when all levels are working together. Rituals that promote
oscillation the rhythmic expenditure and recovery of energy link the levels of the
pyramid. For instance, vigorous exercise can produce a sense of emotional well-
being, clearing the way for peak performance. (Loeher & Schwartz, 2008, p. 47)
This approach to high intensity work coupled with proportionate relaxation is really
something that the freelancers involved with this project inherently have incorporated for a
long time. The project participants intuitively know that time off is essential for recalibrating
in a high-octane profession such as media. Without the benefits of paid sick days, the
freelancers involved with this project have lifelong self-care practices and rituals that allow
them to reset on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual plane. Whether it is a walk in
the woods with their dogs, a bike ride or doing headstands, they all appreciate and
cultivate their moments for connectivity, recharging and grounding.
Carol Beck, a videographer who hauls plenty of equipment, does not consider her personal
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