Why Self-Care is Critical for Leaders
It took me a while to realize that bad leadership behavior is often the result of poor self-care and the person’s needs not being met. Do you know the analogy of the airplane? In case the cabin loses pressure, you are advised to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. In the long run, poor self-care leads to burnout and reputational damage.
A more optimal way of operating as a leader for long-term success is by prioritizing self-care so that…
…you are able to show up at your best for your teams
…you are setting a culture of healthy boundaries
…you are able to have a long, healthy, and joyful life and career
As part of my executive coaching, I have established a Self-Care Checklist that I will be tracking weekly to ensure I am taking care of my health. I’ve organized them into four buckets that my Executive Coach gave me.
My Self-Care List:
- SLEEP: In bed by 11PM with 30 minutes of no-screen wind-down time. I track my sleep with the Oura ring.
- DIET: At least one plant-based meal per day, intermittent fasting (skip breakfast).
- EXERCISE: 45 minutes of sweaty activity everyday. (In full transparency, I work at Nike and use our apps to work out so I’m posting them here: Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club).
- MEDITATION: 20-minute daily meditation and at least 1 digital detox per month (screen-free 24 hours). My favorite app to use is the Insight Timer app.
How I’m Tracking Progress and Creating Accountbility:
I am using an app called Way of Life to track my habits daily. I calculate my Self-Care Score each week using the app and aim to sustain 80%+ on averaaage.
For accountability, I share my score with my Executive Coach and my Email Newsletter Readers.
What is on your self-care checklist?