“Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.”- Princess Diana
Great leaders make it their purpose to work hard and to do things that are up and beyond their call of duty. They tend to take on tasks and power through them because that’s what the “leader” is suppose to do. Lots of times, this means giving up or sacrificing things that should be more important, but in the end feeling accomplished for successfully completing a project, making sure your team is thriving and/or helping to ensure the viability of the organization. This self sacrificing behavior over time takes a toll on the physical and mental health of the leader. So, I pose the question…”who takes care of the leader?”.
The question almost seems like an oxymoron. The leader is suppose to be the strong person in the organization…the glue that keeps everything together. But, what happens when that leader is suffocating under an insurmountable amount of pressure and just has no time to rejuvenate?? Again, I ask. .”who takes care of the leader??”
The answer is clear and obvious:
THE LEADER MUST TAKE CARE OF THE LEADER!!
That’s it in a nutshell. Every leader has to practice sound self care activities daily in order to be able to deal with the stress that is presented in leading, managing or directing any type of business. Self- care is taking care of one’s mind, body and spirit to enhance an overall wellness. In Webster’s dictionary, it is defined as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”. Wow.. let’s break this down.
Self care is :
- A practice– We all know that a practice is a repeated exercise of an activity as to acquire or maintain proficiency. Self- care has to be done regularly so it can become second nature, a part of your daily routine, or a habit.
- Taking an active role– This means that one has to be involved in the activity and make it a priority.
- Protecting one’s well being and happiness– this is a crucial element of self-care. It is a protective mechanism to safeguard your mental and physical health.
- Periods of stress-like the Pandemic, supply-chain and staffing issues and a looming recession to name a few. Stress is at an all time high globally. This makes a focus on self care extremely important.
Everyone would like to tell you to go get a massage, manicure or exercise. Self care is more than that and it is an individual practice. So here are a few tips you can use:
- Let go of what others think you need and do what makes you feel good. In other words.. “DO YOU!”.
- Shift your focus. This is extremely important in stressful times. One cannot focus on the negatives or deficits. Changing one’s focus to the positives during a stressful situation can shift thinking and make one more productive and creative.
- Create Routine. This is the best way to take care of the leader within you. To become consistent just add small things to your routine. It may be meditation, hot baths or a workout. No matter what it is, make it a part of your routine. Not only will your body and mind reap the benefits, but everyone else around you will too.
Remember, the quest to self care is a marathon not a sprint. You have to practice and make a conscious effort to put YOU first. Everyone in your life will thank you for it. More importantly, you will thank yourself.
What does self-care look like for you?? Please comment below.