Does This Resonate With You?
I see and talk to many female leaders who look and feel overwhelmed and exhausted. In addition to being C-suite and upper management executives, these women are moms, daughters, wives, partners, leaders, and doers. The responsibility of each of these roles can easily be blurred when we don’t have a clear vision for them.
Now more than ever, it is essential that women “put their oxygen masks on firsts.” Effective leadership requires self-awareness. As women and leaders, we must determine what influences our behavior before guiding and inspiring others. So, what does this mean?
Ask Yourself This Question
It is important to ask yourself, “Why am I doing what I am doing?” Is it because you have a calling for it, or are you checking the boxes of what society or someone else ‘says’ you should be doing? Have you chosen your leadership role because it brings you satisfaction and joy, or is it because you are in pursuit of more ‘things’ regardless of the cost? The answers to these questions aid in providing the clarity needed so that we have congruency in our lives.
What Are Your Rituals & Routines?
Next, I suggest that one inventory their self-care rituals and routines. Rituals are ceremonial. Meditation, prayer, saying grace before meals, and reading daily devotionals are some examples. A routine is the repetition of an established procedure. For instance, a morning routine may be to wake up at the same time each day, shower, attend to personal hygiene, get dressed, have coffee, eat breakfast, and leave for the office at a set time. Decide if your current rituals and routines are beneficial and provide you with healthy ways to navigate your day. What adjustments, if any, need to be made? Or, maybe you need to create some self-care customs and habits because you don’t have any in place.
Is It Important or Not?
When I make these suggestions, the reply that I frequently get is, “I am too busy taking care of everybody else, I don’t have time for myself, I feel selfish if I take time for myself, there are too many other things to do.” Not having enough time sounds legitimate. But 99% of the time, it is simply not true. So instead of saying I don’t have enough time, replace it with ‘that is just not important enough to me right now.’ Taking time for yourself is a must not only for your mental well-being but because you ARE important enough.
Here is a list. You decide what is important and what isn’t:
IMPORTANT NOT IMPORTANT
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating healthy
- Exercise at least 3X per week
- Spending 30 minutes in quiet time each day
- Spending one-on-one time with those I care about
- Putting your phone down when w/family & friends
- Say no to others and yes to your self-care
- Spend time in Nature each day
- Get organized
- Schedule your self-care time, and don’t miss the meeting
Saying yes to these things is “putting your oxygen mask on first.” The only way you can be fully present and available for others is to take care of yourself. You might be able to get away with skimping on your health and well-being for a while, but it will eventually catch up to you, and when it does, everyone suffers. Self-care is not selfish. It is one of the most selfless things you can do for yourself and others.