There are three things that all Early Educational Leaders have in common: (1) you are passionate about the work you do, but often feel overwhelmed by the demands of the job; (2) you are lacking in time; (3) you sometimes put everyone else’s needs before your own.
There is a better way.
We can’t reduce our workloads or add hours to the day – but we can change the way we manage ourselves.
We can choose to do things that powerfully and positively impact on the way in which we feel about our work, our time and our ability to mindfully integrate self-care into our working lives.
Mindful self-awareness is key.
We need to consciously consider what beliefs we hold around self-care so we are able to set ourselves up to believe that as ‘leaders’ we need to put ourselves before others.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
A few slow and grounded breathes can take five minutes or less and can be practiced within the moment, and most importantly it provides a disproportionate benefit to one or more of the core common challenges Conscious Leaders experience.
It literally allows you to slow down, tune in and reset and if practiced regularly can reduce stress hormones and boost your immune system.
As Michael Bunting author of The Mindful Leader wrote, “Your effectiveness as a leader depends on your self-awareness. The more self-aware you are, the more strength, wisdom and compassion you have and the more inspiring you are to the people you lead.”
Mindful self-care is a win for everyone!
Here are seven self-care rituals to try, and then pass on to your team for them to try to:
Set intentions. Before you get out of bed each morning, ask yourself how you want to ‘feel’ throughout your day. It could be that you want to feel calm, focused, relaxed.
The in-between moments. Step into the space in-between activities, claim some time before moving from one thing to another.
Focus your attention inwardly, and be conscious of your internal dialogue, befriend yourself and feel self-compassion.
Be open to receiving. Slow down and stop talking and really listen, whilst being open and receptive. Look and feel for people and events, environments and experiences that make you feel good.
Be kind to yourself. Ask yourself in any given moment; how can I support myself? It could be drinking some water, being grateful for an experience or the people around you.
Stop the input. Be mindful not to fill in space as a way of downloading. When you do get a moment, use it like a precious gift, rather than filling it to numb the feeling of overwhelm.
Shift your energy. When you feel tried, move your body, go for a walk, stand up and shift your physiology.
Creating self-care rituals is key to your leadership.
In our Engagement Is Key Team Workshop we focus on the important need to be aware of our emotions. To find out more about this workshop, click here.