Leadership, Stress, and the Importance of Self-Care

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A common complaint I hear from leaders is that they think their teams could be doing better, working harder. have more enthusiasm etc..

I often ask them to stop and think about whether they, themselves, are displaying these workplace virtues. In many cases, the answer is, “No” or “Sometimes.”

The holidays can place a lot of stress on any leader — end-of-year deadlines can have you trying to juggle too many projects at once, all while keeping your staff motivated to get the work done. It can become a cycle of despair if you’re not careful.

If you find yourself falling into a trap of negativity, give yourself a time-out. Those around you will mirror your dissatisfaction, anxiety, irritation — anything you’re feeling can and will be noticed and inevitably taken on.

Time Out!

You need to establish a time-out corner. I’m not kidding. Find somewhere that is quiet, not too frequently trafficked, and able to provide you with a small amount of privacy. It can be a conference room, an unused cubicle or even a janitor’s closet. Just make sure where ever it is isn’t unpleasant to spend time in.

Sit down, close your eyes, and take three deep, cleansing breaths. Once you’ve done this, choose a positive phrase or even just single word or even a song that uplifts your spirits. One of my new managers chose the phrase, “Lets Do This” and would repeat it to herself up to a dozen times, visualizing what it meant to her.

Anything that inspires you to get into a better head space is fine — it can change or be a constant. Repeat it until you start noticing a change in your attitude, both mentally and physically.

Sit with that feeling for a few minutes, imagining your interactions being positive and productive. Once you feel you’ve reached a good place emotionally, stand up, stretch, then head back to your work.

Keep your head up, shoulders back and make sure your facial expression is open and receptive. You’ll be amazed at how quickly those around you notice your renewed positivity and new found burst of energy.

About the Author

Devin C. Hughes, is a highly sought after speaker, author, happiness muse, mindfulness trainer & executive coach. He is the author of 12 books and his approach draws from the science of positive psychology, positive organizational research, appreciative inquiry, neuroscience, mindset and mindfulness.

Written by

Keynote Speaker | Mindfulness Maven | Happiness Muse | Author | Diversity & Inclusion Advocate | www.devinchughes.com

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