Club + Resort Chef‘s Editor, Joanna DeChellis, encourages chefs to take time for self-care, especially during their busiest season.
As a club chef, you spend nearly all of your time taking care of members and your staff. You work the line when someone calls off. You bend and twist to meet member demands, no matter how quirky. You strive to please your Board and your GM, all the while teaching your cooks how to be better and do more. You plan, prep and prepare. You evaluate and strategize. You work long hours on your feet.
But at what cost?
How many of you eat a sub-par dinner because you’re just too spent to make one more dish? Or go out for drinks night after night to blow off steam? Or let loose your rage on an undeserving recipient?
When was the last time you did something for you?
A number of times over the past few months in my interactions with different club chefs, the topic of self-care came up. In fact, the subject has been broached to me more times recently than ever before in my career. It’s an important topic. And I’m glad we’re talking about it.
In each instance, the chefs shared stories with me about how they lost sight of themselves by taking care of others or focusing too much on their work. In a few instances, the chef hit rock bottom. For all, it served as an important wakeup call.
All of these chefs then stepped back to evaluate their work/life balance. They realized that if they didn’t take care of themselves, they couldn’t take care of others. They focused on why they work so hard, and on who matters most in their lives.
It’s easy, when life is humming along and you seem to be nailing every dish and every service, to think that you’re fine. The constant pumping of adrenaline can fuel the illusion.
Don’t wait until you stop and it hits you. Instead, get in the habit of checking how full your cup really is, especially as many of you are in the thick of your busiest season.
Take a few minutes and do something for you. Find ways to fill your reserves, so you can keep doing what you do.