Leaders in any organization need to model good self-care for their employees and mentees. Whether you are a C-level executive of a Fortune 500 or a small business owner managing contractors and vendors, your emotional health is vital to the sustainability of your career.
You can improve your emotional health by practicing good self-care habits and you can encourage those who depend on you to practice good habits themselves. Below are 6 ways you as a business leader can practice self-care:
Prioritize family and friends.
Prioritizing time to spend with family and friends seems like an odd choice for a business leader. Many of the big leaders who come to mind pride themselves on appearing to work 80-hour weeks and sacrifice social activities on the weekends to achieve the next big business objective. The relationships you build with your support system will make the work and personal challenges that come up a little easier to handle.
Unplug from work and your computer.
Instead of burning yourself out staring at the screen for hours on end, schedule time to unplug. Go offline, turn off your phone, and ask a colleague to fill in the gaps over the weekend. You can return the favor the next time they want to unplug. Better yet, train your staff and clients to know when you are available with specific chunks of time blocked off for non-business-related tasks.
Watch what you eat.
A big part of self-care is making the conscious decision to take care of your body. If you monitor which foods make you feel great and which ones don’t, you will be better able to choose to prepare the foods that keep you feeling your best. For me, that means a lot of protein, vegetables and water. Fueling for the activities you have planned for the day ahead will make it easier to follow-through on them.
Use your fitness time with purpose.
Many of my runners enjoy training with a buddy. It’s always safer to run with a friend than to run alone and it can give you that extra time to build a strong relationship. If you like to work out at the gym, catch up on podcasts on the stationary bike or join a group fitness class. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that your workout time is benefitting you in multiple ways.
Continue learning outside of your industry.
In Jacksonville, we are fortunate to have many options for continued education. In any city with a college, there will be a continuing education department whose focus is to provide educational programming to the local community. Take a class that interests you and bring your spouse or a friend. You will gain the benefit of learning a new skill while spending quality time with someone whose company you value.
Good habits can be hard to start. Focus on one or two to implement during the month of October. Let me know in the comments below which one you will start with.