Highly successful leaders work very hard on a daily basis and keep very busy and hectic schedules. The pace at which some leaders work is beyond what is expected of them and yet they are driven to go to these extraordinary lengths to be successful. The energy and stamina required to keep this fast and furious pace also requires periods of rest and rejuvenation.
A highly proficient leader who has self-care in his or her life will likely not experience fatigue and burn out at the same rate as those leaders who neglect self-care. Rejuvenating rest is essential for the leader’s body, mind and spirit.
Self-care is often overlooked when the leader has a very busy pace in his or her life. Self-care must be an intentional habit that allows individuals to stop what is in front of them and take time to calm their minds. Meditation and prayer are just a couple of ways they can calm their mind and open it to resting from all of the ideas and thoughts that come in on a daily basis. Allowing the thoughts to pass through the mind without blocking them will more often releasee the stress and worry factors.
Thoughts have a life cycle just like any other living thing, so they must have their birth, life and death. Thoughts that are blocked during their life cycle can be stressful because they are frustrated by trying to get through the cycle without hinderances. Open the process to allow the thought to experience its life cycle and it will support a calm mind.
Leaders wear their short sleep cycles as a badge of honor or a medal. They are proud of the attention they get from others when they share that they sleep only x hours a night. While each person’s body requires a different amount of sleep to be recharged, studies do suggest that a minimum number of hours of sleep a night is required for everyone no matter their age. Those who sleep less hours without the resting effects will likely suffer more in the workplace with issues such as not being able to focus, being irritable or experiencing severe levels of fatigue. Leaders who are self-aware will be able to find the perfect sleep patterns to support them. There are a significant number of technical gadgets that will give them all of the feedback they need to know the most about their individual statistics.
Self-care for some leaders is synonymous with being lazy, not being productive or not doing enough. This can be true in that rest is typically a time when things do not get done. If leaders are always getting things done, there will come a time when there will not be enough energy for them to get things done. The body will give them the messages that they need in ways that might be uncomfortable, so that they stop the ongoing pace of doing without the self-care needed to rejuvenate. A leader who has found the balance of self-care habits in his or her life, related to doing things and doing nothing, is more likely to be successful for the long term.
Self-care can be an easy thing to do at home or in a place that promotes it like a spa, a park, a hiking trail, a beach resort or a mountain top. The point of the self-care habits is to be intentional about them and be certain that the aim of engaging in them is to recharge and rejuvenate. This looks different for everyone and they know it when they are doing it.
Leaders who give importance to their own self-care are modeling the behavior for others. Giving them the guidance on adopting self-care habits, is gift that will support them in their professional and personal lives. In the work place, breaks can be a means of self-care during the hectic day. It is also important to schedule and take time away from work regularly, leaders will know what is best for them and their life circumstances.
Leaders who reflect on their self-care habits and practices are more likely to cultivate healthy ones for themselves. Like any habit or practice, it is reinforced with focus, discipline and accountability. The benefits of self-care will be as unique as the leaders who accept the value of practicing them in their lives.