Gearing Up For Grants: Self-Care in a Time of Stress

For those of you who have recently submitted grants, congratulations! You are exchanging the stress of creating your proposal for the stress of waiting for the results. For those of you whose jobs are directly tied to the outcomes of grant season, your stress is ongoing. It is common to stress about things beyond our control. That makes sense. If something is within our control, we can decide to do it our way, the easy way, the right way. However, when things are left up to others – much like funding decisions – we realize words like easy and right don’t often apply. It is best to focus your energy on thinking positively and understanding that you have done the best you can do.

Your energy is much like your car’s gas tank – regularly filling up the tank will help you have a safe and relaxed trip, but neglecting to do so can lead to running on empty and stress on the engine. During the grant writing process, you may have pushed yourself without taking the time to reinvest in your energy. Now that most of the grants are in, it’s time to make a pit stop for some self-care.

How do you know when it’s time for self-care?

Recognize your signs of stress or anxiety. Some common physical indicators may include tense muscles, rapid heart rate, headache, upset stomach, nail biting, and changes in sleep or appetite. Mental signs of stress may be frequent worrying, irritability, confusion, restlessness, alienation from loved ones, and loss of confidence.

How do you make time for self-care during work?

Even when you’re at work, there are some quick techniques you can use to fill up your energy tank through self-care. Here are examples of relaxation exercises you can do in 15 minutes or less:

Remember, when you take the time to do self-care, your energy will be refueled and your journey will be less stressful. When you invest in yourself, you can be more productive at work and more confident that your efforts will pay off in the end. Here’s to healthy waiting for good news.