After returning from a Leadership Conference and hearing two different presenters, one in her 20s and the other in her 90s, speak about the importance of self-care, I was reminded how critical self-care is to a leaders success.
Leaders of all levels from C-Suite through first level, maintain very busy schedules and are often pulled in many directions. It is not uncommon to hear, “There are just not enough hours in the day”. Unfortunately, self-care can be pushed to the back burner of the schedule or just skipped altogether.
So, what is self-care? And, what is the impact on leaders when self-care is postponed or ignored? Self-care is anything we do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Here are some basic suggestions:
- Maintain a healthy diet, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, low sugar and carbs.
- Get plenty of sleep, for most adults that means 7-8 hours each night.
- Exercise – find something you enjoy, get your heart-rate up, and make this part of your regular routine.
- Be faithful with your annual medical check-ups and follow-up appointments.
- Incorporate relaxation techniques and meditation into your routine.
- Make time for things you enjoy.
- Build in time for family and friends.
- Look for humor in situations and take time to laugh.
What’s the impact if you include self-care? Self-care leads to a healthier life – mind, spirit, and physical, a well-balanced life. It energizes you to creatively solve problems. When well-balanced, the leader is better able to build and maintain positive relationships – business and others. A leader is better able to focus and feel less scattered. This focus can actually lead to accomplishing more in less time. When a leader experiences this balance he or she is less apt to experience overwhelm and more likely able to prioritize to achieve desired goals. The list of all the benefits of self-care is long, but the bottom line is it will help you experience the best you. Self-care doesn’t happen by accident, it takes intentional actions.
What will you begin today to strengthen your self-care efforts?
To a more balanced you,