Self-Care for Stressed Out Executives

Being able to prioritise your own self-care is essential for sustainable leadership!

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self-care for stressed out executives

It’s hard to believe that we’re half-way through the year already!

New Year’s Eve doesn’t seem that long ago, and yet we are halfway towards ringing in the next one.

At this mid-way point, it’s a good time to check in with ourselves, reflect on how we are feeling and make changes accordingly.

The pace of life is hectic and seems to accelerate each year.  As a result, we often feel pulled in many different directions. 

With so many competing demands screaming for our time and energy, it’s easy to feel

overwhelmed, drained, and stressed.

Taking time out to focus on ourselves in the midst of chaos may seem selfish,  but it’s not.  If we don’t give ourselves what we need, who else will?

In fact, it is this ability to prioritise their own wellbeing which is a hallmark of next generation leaders – the ones we need today and into the future!

Why Self-Care is Important

Self-care is any purposeful act that enhances healthy functioning and promotes our sense of wellbeing.

It’s important because it:

  • Prevents fatigue, burnout, and exhaustion
  • Rejuvenates and refreshes
  • Sustains energy and motivation
  • Improves our effectiveness
  • Clears the mind of clutter
  • Helps us meet challenges
  • Optimises our health
  • Feeds the soul

Self-care involves our whole self – our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

Self-Care Suggestions

While self-care varies from person to person, there are certain behaviours that everyone can benefit from:

  • Pay attention to your inner thoughts about yourself.  Most of us have a harsh inner critic that provides a non-stop negative commentary.  The best way to silence that voice is to have compassion for yourself.  So you’ve made mistakes, experienced failure, or let others down.  This just proves you’re human!  Forgive yourself.
  • Mindfulness and meditation are proven ways to lower stress and invoke a sense of peaceful relaxation.  There are numerous online meditations you can listen to, depending on how much time you have available.  They range from just a few minutes to half an hour or more.  If you have trouble falling asleep, meditation can speed up your entry to the land of nod.
  • Chanting decreases stress, clears the mind and lifts the spirit. Vocal group chanting has been shown to be more effective than individual silent chanting.
  • Affirmations are positive words you speak to yourself that have a big impact.  Try saying “I am enough”, “I can cope with this” or “I can do this” and see how much better you feel.
  • Tai Chi or Yoga are effective ways to reconnect mind, body and spirit.
  • Sound therapy is where instruments are used to create rhythmic sounds.  When we listen to these soothing sounds, muscle tension washes away, and we are carried to a place of calm and tranquillity.
  • Contemplation is thinking about something that is worthwhile and important such as what do you want your life legacy to be?  This deeply reflective act guides us towards living a life with meaning and purpose.

Like most things, self-care improves with consistent practice.  Aim for at least a few minutes per day and be prepared to reap the rich rewards!