Transcript 12: How to Take a Summer Pause for Real Self-Care

Melissa Nicholson

MELISSA NICHOLSON: The end-of-school craziness always hits me like a two-by-four. If I know one thing for sure, it’s this: There will always be seasons that are challenging to navigate—when life moves fast and work is intense. And if there’s one thing I miss about job sharing, it’s having that work BFF, that work bestie, your partner, who is always looking out for your well-being.


INTRO: Welcome to Job Share Revolution. The show about job sharing—a partnership between two people to bring two minds and skill sets to one full-time position. I’m Melissa Nicholson, former job sharer turned founder of the first U.S. job share company. But it wasn’t long ago that I felt like an utter failure at work and as a new parent. Job sharing was my game-changer. I reclaimed four days a week to fully engage in my life while my capable partner handled everything. Together, we achieved more than I ever could solo. Fast forward to many lessons learned to bring you the training and support I wish I’d had to change lives and the modern-day workplace. Let’s live life and slay work.


MELISSA: Hey there friend. Welcome back to the podcast. In today’s mindset, many said I wanted to have a little check-in with you about real self-care. Maybe you are coming out of an extremely chaotic, crazy work and life season like I am. The end-of-school craziness always hits me like a two-by-four. I just can’t keep up with the school events.

The tests and prepare for how to keep up with my two kids busy schedules during these summer months, making sure that they’re actually being, you know, productive. Not sitting in front of a screen all day, but working or having real play with real friends. That’s kind of hard to navigate when you work from a modular office in your backyard, like I do, and there in the house.

I have to say, if I know one thing for sure, it’s this: There will always be seasons that are challenging to navigate when life moves fast and work is intense.

And if there’s one thing I miss about job sharing, it’s having that work BFF, that work bestie, your partner who is always looking out for your well-being. Who’s making sure that you put work down there. You hand it off quite literally and you walk away making sure others don’t bother you on your off days. I mean, your job share partner is fiercely protective of you in a way that most people don’t really get. It’s really, really sweet and it’s a very loving protection. And it’s kind of like heart-cloaked, if that makes sense.

But your job share partner is always looking out for you, making sure you are okay. And that’s something I really miss. Even though it’s been years since I’ve job shared, those lessons are ones that I take to heart. I mean, I job shared for over nine years and it really stayed with me just how important it is to practice real self-care.

I want to encourage you to also as you move through life. I hate to tell you this, but it gets more challenging if you’ve got little ones. Those kiddos make it bigger. You go through that elementary school period of time where your kids are getting more independent, and they’re doing a lot of really fun things, but then they get involved in sports and you’ve got rec centers, sports.

And as they grow, they get involved in more and more, and there’s more activities, more to be aware of, where to be on top of more to be on top of with their mental health, their grades, the things they’re involved in, the kids that they’re listening to, people who are doing numbers over on them. So like, there’s just a lot to manage as as kids get older.

And then you might hit, you know, past the forty mark there and then you start maybe even getting closer to 50 and wham, you might get slammed with sandwich generation, dual caregiving—like I did, taking care of parents and kids. And maybe you don’t need to take care of your parents altogether. My mom has Alzheimer’s, so it’s a completely different thing.

But there are a lot of parents who do depend on their adult children quite a lot. So you’ve got to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself first. It’s oxygen mask time. And as much as I love, you know, massages, facials. And to be honest, it’s been years since I’ve had those. But I’m changing that. I like that kind of self-care.

But the other kind of self-care. I want to talk to you about is the kind that is really sustainable. You’re going to need your friends and you’re going to need a supportive partner. Those things are like non-negotiables as we go through life. You just need your friends and you need your partner. So for me, real self-care means getting more sleep, moving my body, whether that’s walking my dog Howard the Great or doing yoga with Adrienne, which I love by the way.

And that also includes regular friend time. Eating healthier and therapy, which I’ve only just started doing since the pandemic and I am so glad I did. I want to talk about the sleep part, because that’s definitely been something I have really struggled with. I’m not sure if it has to do with perimenopause or menopause. And oh hey, yeah, while caring for my mom, I found out because I missed my annual last year sometime in the middle of menopause, so who knows…

But I know it’s more of a challenge and it’s something I’m really prioritizing. It also means checking in with myself, resting, and taking a pause when needed. With that, I’ve got some news and an announcement. We are taking some time off this summer to put together the most thoughtful and helpful episodes of Jobshare Revolution for you come back to school time.

It’s the summer past, and I suggest you find some time to pause a bit in your life this summer too. Those kids grow up real fast. I’ve just got two summers left with my daughter and a few more after that with my son. Just like when they were little, I’m a mushy mom who loves spending time with them. I just love seeing who they are, who they’re becoming, and how they operate in the world. I like slowing down and just being able to pay attention to it all, because I know it’s going to be gone before I know it. I mean, they’ll always be my kids. I want to have a relationship with them, a real relationship the rest of their lives that when they’re off living on their own, it’s going to be different.

I would love to know, how do you practice real self-care? After an unusually busy season? DM me @workmuse on Instagram, DM or find me on LinkedIn and DM me there. Let me know. Remember, we’re taking this slight pause during the summer.

A pause is time for resting, recharging, renewing, and coming back better. That’s something job share partners do on the regular. They just have less need for it because they’re doing it every single week, usually four days of the week. I sure do miss that about job sharing myself, friends. And that is definitely something I would love to help you have in your life.

I cannot stress how amazing it is to refresh, recharge, and return to your work and life excited to be there on the regular because you just have given yourself the most high form of self-care: job sharing. So DM me at Work Muse LinkedIn and let me know how you practice self-care. Let’s stay connected during the summer pause.

You might have been listening to Jobshare Revolution without realizing that we have a weekly newsletter. So to stay connected during the summer pause, I would love for you to sign up for our newsletter. It’s free. It’s weekly during the year, bi-monthly during the summer months to give you a little space, give you a little time, and still keep you up to date with the most important work-life, job sharing, and diversity, equity and inclusion goodies.

So sign up at workmuse dot com forward slash newsletter. I’ll be sending you the work-life gems and real support during the summer months to help you reach your goals at a time most people abandon them altogether. And like Glennon Doyle says, if you like what you’re hearing, subscribe. Listen. Rate. Review. If not, never mind. If you’ve been listening in to the podcast, but you haven’t had a chance yet, make sure to subscribe to Jobshare Revolution and send it to a friend in need of a better work-life balance.

It’s the perfect summertime beach binge, if I do say so myself. Okay friend, take care. Sending you all my love over the summer months. Bye for now. See you soon.

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