Written by: Ebony Langston, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
There are hundreds of articles and books out there on how and what makes a great leader. Many of these sources list admirable qualities like authenticity, communication, decisiveness. All of this is true, however, most if not all forget the most important quality of all, prioritizing your own health and wellness.
Too often, leaders find themselves in a position of sacrificing themselves for the betterment of the company or their team. Back to back meetings, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, sitting in front of a computer all day, are all actions that will actually sabotage your abilities to lead in the long term if engaged in on a continual basis. They can lead to brain fog, mood swings, memory issues, and weakened immunity.
By taking the time to prioritize yourself and your needs first, you optimize your ability to truly exhibit servant leadership and give your team the permission to do the same for themselves. Self-care is caring for your soul, your inner self, and your very being.
Building a Solid Self-Care Plan
A good self-care plan reminds you of what you want to accomplish. After all, you have values, goals, and a purpose in your life. This plan reminds you of what you need to do to take care of you. Using a day planner or making notes to yourself can remind you of your goals and the things you need to do to take care of your body, mind, and soul.
Your self-care plan gives you a solid foundation for what you want to do and how you can accomplish it.
You should also provide yourself with inspirational quotes and affirmations. This is the spiritual food that keeps you focused on your own personal well-being. Not only do you have the reminders of what to do, but you also have little pieces of inspiration around you to remind you of why you’re doing it!
In addition to inspirational quotes, you can hang motivating pictures throughout your home and office. These pictures may be of exotic places you’d like to visit someday or tranquil images of nature.
Your pictures may be something that you want to attract into your life or remind you of your past's positive memory. You can also have a photo of your family to remind you of what’s important to you.
Your self-care plan should inspire you and remind you of why you want to take care of your body, mind, and spirit.
Another aspect of your self-care plan is tracking your progress. Let’s say you have a hard time getting motivated to exercise. By keeping a log of your exercise time, you can keep yourself focused on achieving a healthier you.
A food journal is also a good way to track your food choices so you can remind yourself that you need to eat nutritious foods. In addition, you can use a journal to record your mental and emotional health. Write down what’s going on inside of you so you can evaluate your feelings and proactively take care of your mental health.
Your self-care plan tracks your progress to help you stay on track toward your goals.
You can use these aspects of planning toward anything in your life, so you have that solid foundation you need to take care of yourself. Just make sure to take care of the inside as well as the outside.
Creating a Personalized Self-Care Plan
You may need to motivate yourself to initiate your self-care plan. For some, beginning any new task may be daunting. In addition, you’ll want to be sure you can find motivation along the way to help keep you on track.
Ask yourself about what has motivated you in the past. Use this as your motivation toward the things you need to do to take care of yourself.
A good motivator to keep you on track is to have a family member, friend, or spouse hold you accountable. If you slip up in your efforts to proactively take care of yourself, they will let you know so you can renew your focus and get back on course.
It’s important to have some sort of structure in place for successful self-care. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. A good self-care plan will provide you with the vigor, attitude, and energy you need to sustain yourself to face any challenge that may come your way!
Ebony Langston, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Ebony Langston is an Executive and Health Coach and founder of You Deserve You. After spending 15 years in the corporate world in senior-level positions, Ebony realized that she was often in positions of devaluing her own health and self-worth to achieve more at work. She decided enough was enough and started prioritizing her health and well-being and found that she was able to contribute even more to those around her. Now she helps other women leaders achieve more by shifting the traditional “work harder” mindset to one that prioritizes your own well-being first to better serve others. Ebony has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University; M.B.A from Webster University, Primal Certified Health Coach, NASM Personal Trainer certified and is pursuing board certification in Executive Coaching.