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Putting Yourself First: Prioritising Your Self-Care

“It’s okay to take time for yourself. We give so much of ourselves to others, and we need to be fueled both physically and mentally. If we are in balance, it helps us in all our interactions.” – Faith Hill

As we step into a new year filled with possibilities, how are you feeling? We think of the festive season as a break and yet many of us return to work in the new year feeling that we may have had some fun but we’re drained from all the juggling at home and, with January a busy season for many of us, the thought of getting back into the office can be filled with a level of dread.

Self-care can feel a bit of an over-used buzzword but it’s a crucial aspect of how we support ourselves in the demanding world we live in. Where the juggle between work and home responsibilities can feel overwhelming, prioritising your well-being can be a game changer. Let’s explore the importance of putting yourself first and embracing self-care as a catalyst for success in your leadership journey and joy in your life.

1. The Balancing Act:

It can feel like managing a load of spinning plates or walking a tight rope – trying to find that delicate balance between managing personal and family responsibilities and your work commitments and ambitions. Many of us find ourselves trying to give our best to all these responsibilites but this can lead us to neglecting our personal well-being which, if we allow it for too long, can lead to burnout and fatigue. Recognising the need to put yourself first is both an act of self-love and a strategic move to create sustained success in all areas of your life.

2. Self-Care as a Leadership Skill:

Contrary to the notion that self-care is a luxury, it’s a fundamental leadership skill. Leaders who prioritise their well-being are better equipped to handle challenges, make sound decisions, and inspire their teams. Whether you are looking to take the next step in your leadership journey or consolidate where you are, viewing self-care as an essential skill transforms it from an option to a necessity.

3. Know what you need:

Many of us will leave focussing on self-care until it becomes a desperate need. We may recognise the signs of burnout – exhaustion, decreased performance, and a sense of detachment – and only then take action. However, this can leave us in a cycle of peaks and troughs, topping ourselves up just enough to get going again then hanging in there until we near crash point and doing it all again. Instead, if we get really clear on what we need on a regular basis to always keep ourselves feeling good then we can avoid that cycle altogether. Building clarity on what you need from a physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being perspective can have a dramatic impact on your day to day energy and effectiveness and is one of the key foundations we help you build in SOAR: Take Flight and Lead.

4. Setting Boundaries:

Putting yourself first involves setting clear boundaries between work and personal life. Establishing a healthy work-life balance not only contributes to your well-being but also enhances your effectiveness as a leader. Learn to say no when needed, delegate responsibilities, and create dedicated time for self-renewal. This isn’t about missing opportunities or being rude, instead it is creating balance for yourself with a sense of alignment to what matters for you and setting those boundaries from a calm , confident space with recognition that you deserve to have them respected.

5. Investing in Personal & Professional Development:

Self-care extends beyond physical and mental well-being; it includes investing in your personal and professional growth. Recognising self-care as a key leadership skill and developing it further is not just an investment in your career; it’s a form of self-care that aligns with your vision for your life.

As you move forward into 2024, remember that putting yourself first is not a selfish act; it’s a key approach to support how you serve your clients, colleagues and family and a core leadership skill. Prioritising self-care is not a sign of weakness; it’s a declaration of your commitment to sustained success and well-being. Heading into this new year, the conflicting demands of work and home life don’t have to lead to burnout. Remind yourself that self-care is an investment in yourself that you very much deserve.