Rarely do global leaders or public servants get asked “are you taking care of yourself?” With shareholder concerns, new product launches, arbitrations taking place, and lobbying in the works, maybe this question seems askew. When you have to be ‘on’ 24/7, this thought of taking care of yourself may seem over the top, perhaps even selfish, or something you will get to when you get time. It may even sound cliché.

Well, if taking care of yourself is deemed as selfish, I am one who fully does not subscribe to that mentality one bit. Not only don’t I subscribe to it, I will assert that it is counterproductive and unhealthy. Let’s take a closer look.

What good does it do when you have stress for 25 days of the month and then relax for 2 or 3 days? You may think that is the best you can do with all of your obligations, wants and needs. “Two days is better that nothing,” you may say. Certainly, two days are better than none at all but why not have a more balanced approach? Imagine what would be possible if you would take care of yourself on a day-to-day basis. Instead of craving a day of r& r, you could feel relaxed most of the time. Instead of needing to stay late at the office to clean up or complete projects, your time management skills would have allowed you to take care of yourself as well as getting the project done. In order to be an effective leader on any level, we need to manage our energy effectively. We are more creative when we are well rested, we are more effective in a crisis situation when are emotions are balanced, and we are able to deal with change when we know who we are not who we are not.

You are all up to big things and you impact many. You want your team, your company, your employees, and all your constituents to all take care of themselves. Happier and more relaxed people are more productive and better at taking and implementing direction and communication. It’s the same for you, no exceptions on this one.

Give yourself the opportunity to relax every day. When we are more balanced, small activities of self-care go a long way. That way there is no need for long transition times when going on vacation. Many of us Type A personalities use up 50% of the vacation time shifting gears. Some of you never let go entirely.

Okay, you’ve got the point and are game. So, what would it look like? Believe it or not, much of taking care of yourself has to do with time management and commitments. A good way to start is to make appointments with yourself. Take out your hand held and lock in some time to take care for yourself. Here are some examples you can do before or after work. Some, do while at your office. Set the time and make it a daily ritual to take a minimum of 15 minutes.

• Create 15 minutes of quiet time or meditation
• Drink a cup of herbal or decaf tea after work
• Go for a walk at lunch hour
• Buy flowers for yourself
• Watch a movie
• Turn all electronic devices off for 30 minutes
• Take a bubble bath
• Get together with a friends (not work related)
• Read a few pages
• Cook a fresh, healthy meal
• Take your partner out for a meal, sans children

The ideas are endless. All you need to do is begin.

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