College of Education Self-Care

  • Participants at the self-care drum session
  • Sunset over water
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Self-care at Graduation

May 15, 2023

Dear MDECOE Community,

This week, as we send our graduates out into the work force, let’s remind them that they must take care of themselves, not only for wellbeing, but so they can be at their best in their work and in their personal lives. A Psychology Today article discussed the work of Michael Hyatt who states that self-care is a central component needed for workplace and leadership success. Below are some recommendations from Dr. Hyatt to share with our students and consider for ourselves.

1) Forget “The Hustle Fallacy”-If your primary success strategy is “hustling” and working as hard as you humanly can, you’ll eventually fail and pay a big price for it. According to Hyatt, this approach to your career will produce a high level of both physical and relational pain over time. You’ll eventually “burn out or blow out.”

2) "Self-Care Has Demonstrable, Career-Enhancing, Business-Building Benefits"-Hyatt defines self-care as “the activities that make for a meaningful life outside of work, while contributing to better performance at work.” Read that sentence again. These self-care activities are actually workplace performance enhancers. The list of activities that constitute self-care includes getting enough sleep, eating properly, exercising, quality time with the people you love, meaningful hobbies and having time for personal reflection. To quote Hyatt: “The bigger your vision, the more you have to prioritize self-care”. Amen.

3) "Self-Care Gives You Energy"-What if you don’t have time for self-care? Hyatt’s response is that you can’t give yourself more time, because there are only so many hours in a day. “But, you can bring a sharper, more energized you to bear on the time you’ve got available.” He refers to the work of Jim Loehr, coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement. “Productivity is less about managing your time and more about managing your energy.”

Most people get this backward, working harder but less productively. He points to “The Law of 50”, in which research has demonstrated that working more than 50 hours in a given week, produces zero productivity gain. You become less efficient overall. Self-care will “sharpen your blade”; you’ll be able to use the time you do have, to work more efficiently and effectively. You’ll be better, period, and so will your work.

4) "Self-Care Gives You an Edge"-Sharpening your blade through self-care is essential, not indulgent, according to Hyatt. Research evidence supports the fact that self-care leads to higher workplace performance. Your mind gains power from proper rest and recreation.Self-care is essential to your creativity. As Hyatt states, “sleep-deprived people generate fewer original ideas and tend to stick with old strategies.” Intentionally taking time for fun can set you up cognitively for innovative breakthroughs. Exercising is known to decrease stress and anxiety and boost your confidence. “Exercise increases the belief that we can accomplish difficult tasks, and fuels greater performance at work.” If that hasn’t convinced you yet, self-care in the form of exercise is also linked to higher lifetime earnings.

5) "Self-Neglect Causes Crises That Cripple Careers"-Hyatt shares a story of a colleague who lived a workaholic lifestyle for years, neglecting himself and his family. This approach to career success first broke down his family, “and eventually broke down the career he’d fought so hard to build”.Taking proper care of yourself and your life sets you up for “multidimensional success” and long-term career success and endurance. Long-term success requires sustainable habits. That’s a simple yet powerful fact.

Hyatt concludes, “People who slow down enough to be fully present in their work and enjoy it, will be able to do that work longer and perform better over time. Your body will be properly looked after. Your family will have a far better chance of staying intact. And you’ll have time to cultivate friendships that you can take into your golden years.”

To read more, please go to

For a list of other self-care options, please see our COE self-care website for resources for faculty, staff, students, and the community at:

In this very busy week, more than ever, take care of yourselves!