Put your oxygen mask on!
I was recently on a flight from Los Angeles to Dallas for a long weekend away. It was an early morning departure and I was still half-asleep as I took my seat. A family with two small children sat near me – the dad sat in the aisle seat in my row, his wife sat in the row across from us. She took the middle seat with one child on either side of her. I watched with interest as she prepared for the flight – snacks, books, toys, and other entertainment needs being organized before takeoff.
As the flight attendant came down the aisle during the pre-boarding instructions, she noticed the young mother and reminded her that in case of emergency, if the oxygen masks dropped, she needed to take care of herself before she took care of the children. We have all listened to that speech many times as we fly; however, how many of us have actually heard it? Take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others!
Self-care is important for many reasons – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Taking care of yourself in these areas improves health, reduces stress, prevents burnout, and increases happiness. All of these make for a more engaged partner, parent, employee, and business leader!
The best leaders make time to care for themselves in all areas of their life. They learn how to leave work at the office (even if it’s a home office) and how to set boundaries with their time. They prioritize their self-care!
Here are a few self-care ideas that you can consider:
- Go for a walk – Fresh air and movement is a doubleheader for stress relief!
- Find the time to receive the benefits of a consistent exercise program.
- Make annual checkups a priority and stay in front of your health care.
- Get a massage
- Read an inspiring book. Whether fiction or nonfiction – escape into a novel.
- Take up a hobby – cooking, art, puzzles, gardening…whatever clears your mind.
- Keep a journal
- Spend less time on social media and television. Disengage from the negativity.
- Do a random good deed – helping others releases endorphins and boosts your mood.
- Say a positive affirmation everyday – “I am proud of myself”; “I am choosing calm over worry”
- Watch the sunset
- Dance or sing – even if no one is watching
- Sit in the silence – you’ll be surprised at how energizing it is to be alone with your thoughts.
Regardless of what you choose, make time for yourself a priority in your busy schedule. Put your oxygen mask on first! You’ll see that self-care will strengthen you as a leader.
For assistance on leading with vision and managing with wisdom in your company, connect with us! We’d love to assist you in your leadership journey.