Self-Care & Leadership

In this blog post I talk about mindful self-care and leadership and why the two are intrinsically linked to your success, relationships and productivity.

I believe as leaders it is helpful to model how we ‘DO’ mindful self-care to everyone around us, children and adults.

I find it helpful to remember that we are either modelling the way we want people to behave or NOT behave! I often fall into the trap of saying one thing and doing another.

Do you?

I catch myself out believing that everyone else should look after themselves, but for some reason don’t apply this to myself but rather tell myself I will get to self-care when I am less busy and pretty well consistently put it off for another day!

One of my/our greatest challenges is to ensure that I am walking my talk and being the example I want others to follow.

Not just using platitudes like, ‘take care’, or ’look after yourself’, but leading by example and demonstrating to those around me, what self-care looks like.

And most importantly sharing our vulnerable side, when we DON’T do our self-care rituals! = This is what it looks like when we do not make self-care a priority.

When we fall into a heap sobbing because everything has just got too hard, when we snap at someone in an off-handed manner or say something really inappropriate because we have pushed ourselves beyond sensible limits.

Let’s face it we all do it and we all will!

We human after all!

We do not live on a mountain top doing Zen meditation, but we are out in the trenches being stretched daily if not hourly by the demands of our busy lives!

For me it is all about self-awareness, trying hard not to be too self-judgemental and self-critical.

Whilst also trying to be self-compassionate (not often easy I know) especially when I don’t prioritise myself and knowing that as long as I am striving to look after myself, those around me will too!

“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.” Michael Bunting - Author of The Mindful Leader

How are you demonstrating to the people around you that these two words; self-care are NOT just a priority for everyone else, but are a priority for YOU?

Below are 7 Self Care Rituals I ‘try’ to embody. I don’t do all of them daily or at the same time, or even do them well, but the more awareness I create around being mindful in my self-care practices, the better I become at walking my talk.

1) 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.

2) THE IN BETWEEN MOMENTS - Step into the space in between activities, claim some time before moving from one thing to another.

3) BE OPEN TO RECEIVING - Slow down and stop talking and really listen, while being open and receptive. Look and feel for people and events, environment and experiences that make you feel good.

4) 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.

5) FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION INWARDLY - Be conscious of your internal dialogue, befriend yourself and be self-compassionate.

6) 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 feelings of overwhelm.

7) SHIFT YOUR ENERGY - When you feel tired, move your body, go for a walk, stand up and shift your physiology.

I’d love to know what your self-care rituals are. Please share your comments below if this post speaks to you and or share what you find challenging about putting yourself before others.

#selfcare #selfcarematters #consciousleadership #earlyeducationleadership#earlychildhoodeducation


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