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Put Your Mask on First : The Importance of Taking care of Yourself as a Leader

As a leader, it’s essential to take care of your physical, emotional and mental well-being. You can’t effectively lead others if you’re not functioning at full capacity. Putting the needs of others before your own is not sustainable in the long run. Despite this reality I regularly see leaders promoting the perception that to be a good leader you need to be at the helm of your business 24/7 and that anything less is a sign of weakness. The problem with this always on approach is that as a leader your success is a measure of not only your performance but the performance of your team. If you are compromised in someway it will impact the success of everyone around you. Good leadership is having the self awareness to know when you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

InĀ my personal entrepreneurship journey here are a handful of things I focus on to make sure I am performing best for my team.

1. Get enough sleep: Most people need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. As a leader, you may not have the luxury of getting that much sleep all the time, but it’s important to make sleep a priority when you can. When you’re well-rested, you’ll be able to think more clearly and make better decisions.

2. Eat healthy: Eating nutritious meals helps your body function at its best. When you’re eating healthy foods, you’ll have more energy and be able to think more clearly. It’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

3. Exercise regularly: Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Regular exercise can also help reduce stress levels and improve sleep quality. Even if you don’t have time for a long workout, taking a brisk walk or going for a short run can make a difference in how you feel mentally and physically. Two businesses that do an amazing job in Halifax are Blended Athletics and Onside Performance Center.

4. Meditate: Leaders who meditate show less stress and more creativity. Additionally, these individuals have a better ability to focus on the task at hand which leads them towards greater productivity as well! A great app that I use is Headspace.

5. Know when to step aside: When you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, take a break from work. Go for a walk outside, read your favourite book or take a nap. It’s important to recharge so that you can come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

Leaders must take care of their physical, emotional, and mental well-being if they want to be effective. This is not selfish – it’s essential. When you’re well-rested, eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, you’ll be able to think more clearly and make better decisions. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, step aside so that you can come back refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Lastly, don’t forget to meditate to help reduce stress levels and improve your focus. Taking care of yourself allows you to show up as your best self for those who rely on you. When you take care of yourself, everyone wins.

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