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Keeping Well Now and When Taking On Your New Challenge

As bar professionals busy schedules and serving others is a given but we can often ignore our own needs. Diageo Program Manager and Mental Health Practitioner, Renee Floer, gives tips on looking after yourself away from the bar and if returning.

Self-Caring for Real

As the weeks of being at home continue to pass by, it is important to be gentle with ourselves and try to cultivate self-compassion. For those of us in the bar industry who are so used to taking care of others, it is important to turn our focus inward and practice self-care. Although the term “self-care” has been heavily capitalized upon and can be somewhat ambiguous, take this term in its most literal sense by taking care and being kind to yourself.

Be Your Most Valued Customer

Talk to yourself as though you are speaking to your favorite person on earth (or your most valued customer). During times of ambiguity, our internal voices can become negative, judgmental, critical, and downright mean! It is critical that we treat ourselves with love and kindness right now. If you notice negative self-talk, practice saying something positive out loud instead.

Helpful Self Talk

“I’m doing my best and my best is good enough”

“I am proud of myself for _____”

“I accept who I am, and I trust myself”

“I’m allowed to make mistakes”

“I love myself and tomorrow is a new day”

Facing New Challenges

Whatever the next phase of your professional life looks like, returning to work, looking for a new role or reconsidering your options entirely, it is especially important to remember to put yourself first. Allowing stress and anxiety to overwhelm you can have long-term negative impacts on your mental and physical health. Two ways to support a positive and sustainable re-entry are maintaining your boundaries, and cultivating an attitude of curiosity and gratitude.

Creating and Maintaining Boundaries

Before embarking on this new phase, take some time to identify your capabilities and limitations. Be realistic in determining what you will and will not be able to do, then make sure to communicate those around you. Being clear about your boundaries upfront will help avoid frustrations and resentments down the road.

It may be helpful to ask yourself a few questions and to make notes ahead of facing new challenges.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself

What am I realistically able to do without draining myself?

What are the ways in which I can look after myself in this new phase?

What new responsibilities am I willing or not willing to take on?

Am I saying “yes” when I really mean “no”?

Cultivating Curiosity and Gratitude

Re-frame your thinking – focus on your curiosity and gratitude for the things you are learning and experiencing as you get back to a new normal. If we approach the unknown with curiosity it lessens our fear and promotes a sense of wonder. Shift your focus away from the things you are missing and instead appreciate what you have, by doing this we can increase our self-esteem, our capacity for empathy, and our overall wellbeing. Start to implement some steps to help you readjust and get used to a new way of working.

5 Simple Tips for Readjusting

1. Write down five things every day that you are grateful for. Even small things count! See if you can come up with new list items each day.

2. Try to change statements from “I don’t know” to “I wonder if”.

3. Challenge yourself to turn negative thoughts into positive actions.

4. Pay extra attention to everyday small surprises and acknowledge them.

5. Ask questions about things that make you scared or nervous. Having more information can help ease anxiety and shed light on the situation. You might find that your colleagues are thinking and feeling similarly.


Remember that you are doing your best and your best is good enough. Seek support if you need it. Whether it be a good friend, a family member, or a mental health professional, you should always have another human you can reach out to for non-judgmental, positive support. There is no shame in needing help, connection with others is so important. Be well, stay positive, take care of yourself, and know your limits.

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