Daily self-care is a habitual process we all agree is vital for others to engage with, but sometimes struggle to make the time to commit to ourselves.  Self-care requires time, attention, and energy, and more often than not, many strong leaders tend to focus their attention on others’ needs before even considering their own needs.  This is doubly true for those in the non-profit realm who are already immensely inclined toward philanthropic good and putting others’ needs before the needs of self.   Still, in order to be an effective leader, you first have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.  If you are frayed, overwhelmed, or at your wit’s end, you won’t be able to provide co-workers or friends with the support they need and the guidance you’d like to provide.  Take some time to follow these steps if you want to make self-care a more consistent part of your life.

 

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

The connection between the mind and the body is all too often ignored by modern culture.  In the crunch to be productive at all times, we’re actually harming ourselves and our capacity to provide work conducive to positive outcomes.  For example, many people are willing to sacrifice a good night’s sleep or a full lunch to complete upcoming projects.  While occasionally sacrificing these activities won’t produce much harm, it’s pivotal that you respect your body’s need if you want to operate at full capacity.  Getting good sleep, eating healthily, and most importantly, finding time to exercise are all crucial daily routines necessary for boosting your self-care.  Remember that exercise doesn’t mean you have to become a champion weightlifter or a lifelong gym rat.  Just making time to walk outside and clear your mind at the end of each day can be more than enough to provide your body with the activity it requires.

 

Find Quiet Time and Moments For Positive Thought

One of the most significant daily steps you can take is to create a chunk of time for yourself to sit quietly and reset your mind a bit.  This can be challenging for leaders and particularly difficult for leaders with families.  When you have so many responsibilities, it is difficult to find reasons to sit and be silent for a spell.  However, it’s something your body and mind require.  It’s imperative to block out even a small amount of time to deafen the excess noise in life and just relax with your self and your thoughts.  During this time, it’s beneficial to attempt to focus on positive ideas.  It can be easy for non-profit leaders especially to focus on the negatives around them.  Non-profits are so often trying to help others that it can leave those who work for them feeling pessimistic about their fight.  Take the time and make an effort to focus on the positives each day, and it will keep you focused on why you are committing so much time and energy to helping those around you.