When leaders are rundown, exhausted and drained, it impacts their ability to think innovatively and creatively. Ultimately, this trickles down to other members of the team, affecting their work experience and stress levels. The impact that this can have on the business as a whole is huge.
So, in order to take care of their teams and perform at their best, leaders need to be able to take care of themselves. Self-care is all about showing regard for your own wellbeing and happiness. It influences your relationships and how you cope with problems. It helps you to become attuned and connected to yourself, to understand what you need in order to be effective and authentic; not just professionally but personally too.
It’s also important to say that self-care is not just about eating healthily and going to the gym. It means paying attention to our minds, emotions, relationships and environments. This is something that should be worked into our daily life. Self-care should be a necessary part of the workplace so that conflict, stress or additional responsibilities don’t come at the expense of our health.
Below are three ways leaders can weave self-care into their professional lives:
1. Give yourself a break!
We can often be our own harshest critic.
Raise your hand if you’ve done any of the following:
- Called yourself names
- Expressed disgust with some aspect of yourself
- Kicked yourself when you’re down.
Our negative beliefs are often the biggest obstacle in our lives. They hold us back. But don’t worry because you can free yourself. When things are stressful, talk to yourself as if you were a friend. Admire your strengths and think honestly about all of the good things you could say about yourself.
2. Value your time
You know the drill. You sit down at your desk when somebody comes up to you wanting something and distracting us from what it is we needed to do.
Each morning, set aside 10 minutes to prioritise your most important tasks that day. Knowing what you have ahead can help you to avoid giving an automatic “yes” to “do you have a minute?” when you don’t even have a minute for yourself. It can have quite an impact once you start saying “not right now” in response. Time is precious and self-care means honouring the value and contribution that you bring.
3. Celebrate the successes
Most of us can’t remember what we had for dinner last night, let alone what we achieved last week. It’s easy to let stress cloud our vision. Hitting pause and celebrating your victories can help you to stay connected to your present. It’s so easy to get lost fretting about what has past or what is to come. Make a note each time you and your team achieve something. It can also add significant value as it helps you to understand what could have gone better.