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Self-Care – The Elephant In The Room

Written by: Leslie Gaudet, Senior Level 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.

 
Executive Contributor Leslie Gaudet

In our relentless journey towards professional achievement, we often stumble upon a quiet yet formidable obstacle: the notion that dedicating time to self-care is time squandered. This belief, deeply woven into the fabric of our work culture mistakenly casts self-care as an extravagance, a mere distraction from our true objectives of progress and achievement.


Elephant in the room

However, as the complexities of our professional lives intensify, the critical importance of self-care becomes too evident to overlook. It is akin to the unaddressed elephant in the room, conspicuously present yet frequently ignored during discussions on productivity and peak performance.

 

The common narrative around self-care is that it is indulgent spa days or leisurely downtime and only reserved for those with ample time at their disposal. This skewed perception overlooks the essence of self-care — it is fundamentally about maintaining our mental, emotional, and physical health.

 

Self-care should not just be a pursuit for personal downtime, but it should also be an integral component of our professional vitality. Embracing self-care enriches not only our personal lives but also enhances our professional effectiveness, laying a foundation for sustained success and well-being.

 

The misconception that self-care demands considerable time from our already packed schedules is a significant barrier. The question arises, "How can I possibly fit in self-care when every minute of my day is accounted for?" This viewpoint, however, misinterprets self-care as a time-intensive obligation.

 

Self-care should seamlessly integrate into our daily routines. It is about creating a personalized self-care regimen that supports and aligns with your unique lifestyle.

 

Consider the positive impact of integrating brief pauses in your day for stretching, meditation, or simply to breathe deeply. Such practices can dramatically reduce stress, rejuvenate your mind, and sharpen your focus, thereby enhancing the quality and productivity of your work.

 

Something to remember is this. Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all model because, I believe, it must fit your lifestyle; a customizable framework designed by you, for you. Given the substantial portion of our lives dedicated to work, it is crucial to ensure that this time is not only productive but also enjoyable and fulfilling.

 

Here is how I incorporate self-care into my lifestyle for more quality of life at home and professionally.

 

1. Scheduling self-care: My non-negotiable

 

Scheduling self-care has been a real game-changer for me. It is me scheduling important VIP meetings with an important VIP: me. I have found that marking self-care time in my calendar, just like any important meeting, transforms it from an optional luxury to a fundamental part of my daily routine. Self-care for me is a lifestyle choice.

 

This simple shift helps me manage my time better, ensuring I am never too swamped to take care of myself. Ignoring this need for a breather not only throws off my balance but can steer me toward


burnout. So, I start small, ensuring that my self-care choices support my lifestyle, making a world of difference in my peace of mind and productivity.

 

  • Imagine you are a high-performing executive who always felt overwhelmed by your schedule. You find that after attending a workshop on self-care that you start blocking off 30-minutes each morning for a combination of meditation and planning the day ahead. This minor change not only improved your focus, but it also allowed for a clearer perspective on priorities, leading to better decision-making and a noticeable decrease in your stress levels.

 

2. Crafting my zen zone

 

Transforming my workspace into a personal sanctuary has been crucial for my creativity and stress management. Adding personal touches that spark joy, like my favorite plants or photos, alongside ergonomic furniture, makes my workspace inviting and supportive.

 

It is not just about aesthetics; it is about creating an environment that fuels my best work. A cluttered, uninspiring space does the opposite, scattering my focus. So, I regularly take time to declutter and personalize my work area, making it a place where I can thrive.

 

  • Imagine you are a freelance graphic designer, and you transform your cluttered, dimly lit workspace by introducing natural light, adding plants, and investing in an ergonomic chair and desk setup. These changes not only reduced your usual back pain but also significantly boosted your creativity and productivity, leading to an increased number of client projects completed on time.

 

3. Fueling focus with nutrition and hydration: My game changers

 

I have learned the hard way that what I eat and drink throughout the day directly impacts my energy and focus. Swapping out heavy meals for lighter, nutrient-rich options keeps me from hitting that dreaded afternoon slump.

 

Staying hydrated is equally non-negotiable; it keeps my mind clear and my body feeling good. It is about intentional choices that support my well-being and work performance, proving that a little mindfulness about nutrition can go a long way.

 

  • Imagine you are a software developer used to skipping meals and relying heavily on coffee and energy drinks which leads to afternoon energy crashes and difficulty concentrating. After switching to a routine of balanced meals and keeping a water bottle by your desk, you notice improved energy levels, sharper focus, and better overall health, contributing to more efficient and effective workdays.

4. Embracing the off switch

 

Committing to a hard stop on tech use has been a game changer for my well-being. Disconnecting from digital devices by 6:00 pm allows me to unwind, improve my sleep, and maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life.

 

It is a daily reminder that life extends beyond screens, enriching my evenings with relaxation and real connection with my husband.


  • Imagine you are a marketing manager and you have made it a rule to turn off all digital devices by 7 PM and spend that time reading or spending quality time with your family. This decision improved your sleep quality and reduced your anxiety, making you more present and engaged during work hours and significantly enhanced your work-life balance (or harmony if you prefer to see it that way). And when it comes to your personal life, you find yourself more present with your loved ones, leading to improved relationships.

 

5. Integrating movement for a happier me

 

Incorporating physical activity into my routine is about more than just health; it is a vital source of joy and rejuvenation.

 

Finding moments to stretch, walk, or engage in any movement breaks the monotony and boosts my mood. It is a simple strategy with profound effects, keeping me agile both mentally and physically.

 

  • Imagine you are a new entrepreneur building your business and you are finding it challenging to fit exercise into your busy schedule. One day you started incorporating short, 15-minute high-intensity workouts into your morning routine and opted for walking meetings whenever possible. These changes not only improved your physical health but also your mental clarity, leading to more productive days and a greater sense of well-being.

 

Remember this. Embracing self-care is not just about avoiding burnout. It is about having a Quality of Life no matter what you are doing.

 

Professionals who prioritize their wellbeing tend to exhibit higher levels of engagement and creativity, contribute more effectively to their teams, and demonstrate greater resilience in the face of challenges.

 

Additionally, when leaders model self-care, they set a powerful example for their teams. This can foster a workplace culture where the well-being of the team is valued and feels supported, and it leads to higher job satisfaction, reducing turnover, and a more motivated, and productive workforce.

 

The elephant in the room need not be an ominous presence, overshadowing our professional lives with guilt and unspoken tension. By acknowledging and addressing the need for self-care, we can shift the narrative from one of neglect to one of empowerment.

 

It is us realizing that self-care is not a sign of weakness, nor is it a waste of time, but rather a strategic move towards sustained success and wellbeing.

 

As we move forward, I encourage you to challenge yourself and the misconceptions that can hold you back from embracing self-care as the essential component of quality of life in both your personal and professional lives.

 

It is time to give self-care a seat at the table and the attention it deserves so that we ensure that we, and our teams, are not just surviving, but we are thriving as well.


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Leslie Gaudet Brainz Magazine
 

Leslie Gaudet, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Leslie Gaudet is a Self-Care Coach who helps female entrepreneurs make self-care a priority so they and their teams can thrive. With nearly 4 decades of corporate experience, Leslie understands the toll that burnout can take on ambitious women and their companies.


Now Leslie guides female business owners to transform their lives by incorporating self-care practices into their lives and workplaces. When entrepreneurs prioritize self-care, they become better leaders who can motivate their teams, foster supportive work cultures, and drive business growth.


Leslie provides women entrepreneurs with tools to practice self-care daily so they have the energy, focus, and confidence to sustain motivation, avoid burnout, and fully engage in their priorities. Her approach helps female founders care for themselves from the inside out so they can avoid draining their emotional and physical reserves.


Leslie is passionate about empowering women to live life on their own terms through self-care. She believes self-care is the lifeblood of success in business and beyond.


With Leslie's support, female entrepreneurs learn to model self-care for their teams. The outcome is a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce. By taking care of themselves first, women business owners can spread the benefits of self-care throughout their companies and experience more work-life balance, stronger relationships, and business success.

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