Leaders are members of teams, despite also being bosses. And as hard as leaders work to remind their staff about self-care, it remains a significant area of improvement for them.
For one thing, leaders are trained to put their needs on the back burner. This means ignoring or dismissing telltale signs of burnout or fatigue. With the past few years adding more stress to everyone’s plates, bosses are routinely putting their own needs aside to ensure the well-being of their staff and the health of their businesses.
There is also enormous pressure to work nonstop. When Americans claim they have never taken a sick day, it is a badge of honor. There is also a fear that the department will fall apart if the boss leaves for a significant period. Old-school rules dictate that leaders shouldn’t need time for themselves and shouldn’t act like part of a team because they are in a superior role for a reason. The truth is that team leaders are team members, albeit not individual contributors. If they do their job correctly, the team should be able to function perfectly fine without them, only asking for help when issues arise. Therefore, if a leader needs a mental health break, there is no excuse not to take one. Much like the advice about taking oxygen before helping others, you can’t be the best version of yourself if you are in decline.
How you begin and finish each day significantly influences your productivity in the workplace. By establishing a morning routine, you can start feeling confident and upbeat each day. Establishing a nighttime regimen with relaxing activities might improve your sleep. The key is to establish and maintain a pattern that works for you.
Taking care of yourself makes you happy, and happiness is contagious. Self-care has been shown to help people control emotions. If you feel renewed and rejuvenated, others will pick up on your positive outlook and use it to improve their lives.
Self-care enables you to empathize with your team’s difficulties. By placing self-care first, you’re acknowledging that aspects of your well-being may need improvement. This makes you a more sympathetic leader who comprehends the difficulties faced by your team. Showing your human side will make it easier for your team members to connect and look up to you. Remember that employees respect leaders who are open about their strengths and flaws.
Stress reduction is essential, particularly for leaders. Because persistent stress may affect your brain and make it more difficult to make rational judgments, a small amount of short-term stress can add adrenalin and help you prepare for an important meeting. But you’ll be able to think clearly again if you control your tension via exercise or other anxiety reducers like meditation. Even little pauses during the day help you feel less stressed.