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Self-care Shout out - Your examples of self-care
Last week’s article focused on the importance of leaders having selfcare strategies so they can look out for their teams and be a role model of good practice, especially through the ongoing uncertainty of managing services through the pandemic. Just when we were enjoying more face to face meetings and anticipating whole team events, increased restrictions were imposed in the wake of the increased incidence of Covid infections.
It is because of the need to motivate our teams through ongoing uncertainty, that we as leaders must continue to focus on self-care so that we have the physical and emotional strength to support others, all of whom have different circumstances and are coping in individual ways.
So thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts on how we can keep focussed on self-care. Here is a selection of your tips: -
Building in structured time for exercise, whatever it is you like to do; This is something I did not do early enough in my career and give sufficient priority. Focusing on your physical health enables you to cope better, deal with stress and have greater energy for the demands of the job.
Journaling is a great way for me to wind down and re set. Also having the evening bedtime story routine with my daughter allows me to leave the day behind.
Find something that you enjoy and actively make time to do it every day, 30 minute yoga on zoom which can be done at a time that suits you or cooking a nice meal or a walk in nature without looking at your phone. Take note of how you feel after doing one of those and how much energy and how refreshed you feel and therefore more productive in personal and working life.
Sometimes as managers our energies go into ensuring our staff are doing ok and are equipped with self -care strategies to manage their work life balance and then we forget to practice what we preach.
When I go out for a run each morning, I like to think of myself running towards work with a positive frame of mind not away from it. I think that is important that self-care is not always something that is just mitigating against how hard work is, but is actively supporting you and making it easier.
Finding an open water swimming group has been a game changer for me. As well as having many health benefits, I get a natural high swimming in the ocean. It lifts my spirits and my energy levels and is also a great way to meet new people and socialise. I have found an activity that is kind to the body and mind.
During Covid, I found scheduling walks with different friends has been a great way to keep in contact while staying safe – and much better than meeting for coffee and a scone!