Tips to practice self-care under pressure
Exhaustion. Burnout. Overwhelm.
Does this describe your team? Even more importantly, does it describe you?
As a leader, you need to take care of yourself so you can responsibly influence others.
If you’re not starting from a place of mental and physical well-being, you’re not going to be able to support your team, department, or colleagues in positive ways.
I know you already get it. We all understand conceptually the actions needed to take better care of ourselves. But the reality gap happens when it comes to actually breaking the inertia and acting on those things. Whole life health -- including physical, emotional, financial, and relationship sectors -- needs to be a daily priority. Right now is the time to pause, evaluate, and commit to small actions to do what it takes to be well.
Life IS crazy. It’s not just hard to keep up, sometimes it feels impossible. But the challenge is that when you’re not taking care of your own well-being, then the people who look up to you will start following your lead. Competent compassionate leadership includes demonstrating healthy habits.
Here are a few simple solutions to get on the path to better well being:
Start a journal… the no-pressure kind. Writing for even five minutes a day can help relieve stress and calm your mind. Journaling doesn’t have to be a commitment. Maybe some days you write and some days you don’t. Learn to use it as a tool when you need it.
Review your day. Many practices include contemplative time to review your day. Observe what went well, and also the things that didn’t go so well. Start by remembering the beginning of your day, work through your tasks, meetings, and interactions. Identify areas where you weren’t comfortable with your actions or reactions or how you handled a situation. Think about specific steps you’d take to do things differently next time. Be gentle with yourself -- it’s not time for judgment, but a moment to calm your mind and work on self-development.
Write a to-do list before bed. According to a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who spent even a few minutes writing down their list of tasks for the next day actually fell asleep faster! The results were comparable to some sleep medications. For something so easy, it’s worth a try. Plus you’ll have your to-do list ready for the morning.
Plan activities that nourish you. Take a walk. Try out a meditation or breathing exercise app. Create mini rituals for yourself -- like drinking tea or using beautiful candles. Spend time laughing with family and friends. Think about experiences that recharge you, and then specifically schedule them into your day. Even if it’s a few minutes at a time, just start small and make a commitment to yourself to follow through.
All of the ideas above help your well being in multiple ways, and also support stress relief. We know stress causes all kinds of mental and even physical ailments. Managing it is a priority. Stress impacts our thought processes, our memory, and our ability to react the way we want in challenging situations.
No matter where you’re starting from today, right now is the time to start investing in yourself.
Visit BrownePointsLeadership.org for more resources on how to develop the right mindset to increase your leadership impact.
We believe in you and we’re here to help you succeed.