What does wellness look like for you? In my recent keynote address for the Women’s Leadership Summit, I touched on the familiar words that have bubbled up to the forefront during these incredibly transitional times. From stress and anxiety to a sense of isolation and feeling overwhelmed to just being tired (yes, all of the time). I then asked the event participants to share what they are doing to take care of themselves. How are you creating a sense of calm, balance, and vibrancy in order to come through as your best self in your professional and personal life?
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation” – Audre Lorde
People are looking for more ways to focus on self-care than they were in the past, which has led to a re-examination in values and what they are putting importance on to shift into their true selves. Here is a breakdown of common practices that were highlighted during this event. These specific actions, as well as mindset statements, are tools that are successfully allowing leaders to concentrate on their inner compass vs. what is externally being put upon them.
Whether you have a morning or evening ritual, or simply need to disconnect at any point during the workday, give yourself permission to do so when needed and give others permission to do the same.
- Focus on your breath. The ability to get quiet and simply breathe throughout the day brings you back to your center. Get grounded by setting reminders each day and consider using a guided meditation.
- Journal. Move your current thoughts and tasks out of your mind and onto paper. This can be getting clear on your daily goals or simply listing three things you are grateful for.
- Exercise. From gardening to stretching to discovering online workouts, just get your body flowing.
- Walk in nature. There is beauty all around us when we slow down to see it. What message is it telling you?
- Prayer, meditation, or contemplation. Slow down to reflect on words that provide inspiration and connection.
- Affirmations. Identify affirmations that are meaningful to you and repeat them: “I am enough”, “I trust that I am on the right path”, “I am confident in my ability to….”
- Quality time with family and friends (and pets!). Block off time on your calendar to make precious moments of connection and being fully present a priority.
These simple phrases offer an impactful perspective in a few words. They are reminders of what is most important, and guides to move through and past challenges in your way.
- Let go to grow. Just because it’s different doesn’t make it wrong. There is always more to discover, so ask questions, listen, lean in, and just be with it. Give yourself permission to be a learner again.
- Give yourself grace. You’re not always going to do a great job or bring your best self to a meeting. Remind yourself that it’s okay and you’ll do better next time.
- Remain flexible. Each day is filled with new updates and guidelines; how can you learn to embrace change?
- Perfect is not possible. We are all experiencing works in progress leadership.
- Uncertainty can be a gift. It releases old rules and patterns and opens new opportunities and ways of working together.
Not sure where to begin? Start with one practice that is most realistic and inspiring to you. Thank you to all who shared your personal and professional practices during this Summit.
Continue to grow, stay connected, and give yourself the time to fill up on what nourishes wellness for you.