This is the time of year I slow down professionally to reflect on the past year, look ahead and plan for the months ahead. I am so happy with the new home work space I transformed for myself this year; it brings me great energy, focus and comfort. From the turquoise coloured paint surrounding my beautiful artwork to my inspirational and funny quotes and books, I am surrounded by reminders that:
PAUSING + SELF-REFLECTION = SELF-CARE
I think self-care is the most underrated leadership skill. The practice of self-awareness goes back thousands of years, yet it seems that self-reflection and self-care practices are difficult for many to weave into our lives.
Leadership is one of the most widely talked about subjects these days and at the same time one of the most elusive and puzzling. For many people, leadership is a rather hazy, distant and even confusing concept. To me leadership is many things including leading self, engaging others, taking a systems approach, asking for help, viewing ideas from different lenses AND building in self-care.
Self-Care Checklist to Integrate Into Your Life
- Is your office space organized so you can find information and files easily? Pile free?
- Does your home and work space provide you comfort?
- Do you find the colours and wall decor in your home and office pleasing?
- Do you sleep 6-8 hours every day?
- Do you get a complete medical physical annually?
- Are you drinking plenty of water throughout the day?
- Do you wake up looking forward to your day?
- Do you arrive at least five minutes early for meetings and appointments?
- Do you explore new ways of perceiving the world?
- Do you have a good belly laugh at least once a day?
- Do you have at least two friends outside of your immediate family who you can talk freely with about anything?
- Do you get outdoors as often as you can?
Taking pause and allowing yourself to step away for a day to recharge shows great self-awareness and leadership. Let go of any guilt you may feel when wanting to take time for yourself to recharge. Leadership demands long hours and great effort, yet rest and relaxation are as essential as the work you do.
Do you Journal? If so, here are some self-care questions to write about:
- Where does self-care land on your to-do list?
- What self-care activity will you integrate into your life moving forward?
- Create a list of 5 favorite activities that generate excitement and enhance your ability to unplug and relax.
Create a workweek calendar that includes time for you to relax and unwind. After a week, assess your physical and mental health. Do you feel re-energized