blog

RESTING WELL: A FOUNDATIONAL SECRET TO LEADERSHIP YOU

By Louise Baring

by SHELLEY-COX

temp-post-image

My Foundational program is Leadership YOU™. Just as it is with me, the program grows and evolves based on my own self- and leadership awareness. Resiliency comes from constant training, growing, passion and also rest! My journey to peak performance as an entrepreneur has similarities to watching my young son learn to kayak. He has gone from the developmental group into the high-performance category. Sometimes we both need to slow down in order to succeed. We must remember that peak performance comes from taking care of ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually. Business is often as demanding and as fiercely competitive as sports. We can pretend this is not true, or accept it fully.

You have the opportunity to design your path to performance based on your passion. I am excited to share the following secret to my success: let go and find peace through spirituality, nature, family or whatever centers you. By allowing yourself to simply relax, you enter a phase that will calm the mind-chatter and noise. It is from this place that you can determine an authentic expression of your next move!

Leadership YOU™, my foundational program, is built on taking care of the needs of the heart first. These needs include addressing your spirituality and being faithful to your chosen values. This is where we find our energy for peak performance. We trust that what needs to happen, will happen. However, we set our intention to train ourselves physically and emotionally in order to emerge strong!

Do you know how to relax and truly rest? For many of us, hard work has allowed us to build our leadership paths in line with our passions. Motivation and persistence are ingrained habits. We work around the clock to meet deadlines. Hours fly by without our notice. We are the Type A’s, the perfectionists, the over-achievers. Though these traits have led to great success, we are in danger of undoing all of our hard work if we don’t learn how to slow down. Though it is difficult, it is essential that we learn to separate ourselves from what it is we do, and instead remind ourselves to BE. Discover how to rest well, in order to thrive in all aspects of your life. In turn, your performance will increase, your home-life will become more enjoyable, and your health will improve. Ready to get started? Read on!

Shed Light on the Neglected Parts of Yourself
For many of us, life has become an act of keeping ourselves, our families, and our careers in balance. Our days begin with addressing the needs of our children, ensuring our spouses are on track for the day and starting to tackle the giant to-do list of keeping our businesses afloat. At the end of the day, we collapse into bed, preparing to do it all again in the morning. Our own needs are often repeatedly pushed aside for more pressing matters. Forgotten homework assignments, outfits that need dry-cleaning, and bouts of the stomach flu are going to happen. So how can you squeeze in a bit of time for yourself? There is a way to manage it all!

Schedule Self-Care

It begins with scheduling self-care. This can be as simple as taking the time to drink a glass of water during your morning rush, or as complicated as scheduling that vacation in Barbados. In our hurry to take care of everyone else, we forget the importance of keeping ourselves functioning at optimal capacity. Do you sleep well at night? Get adequate exercise? Eat enough variety in your diet? Have a bit of fun each day? If not, you’re in danger of burning out.

When we operate at full capacity, we accomplish more, tasks are finished with ease, and we have positive stress pushing us forward. Sustained periods of this lead to negative stress, however, and send us into fight-or-flight mode. This is that shaky, panicked feeling you get when you’re up against the clock and feel like you can’t make your deadline. It manifests physically with a racing pulse, muscle tension, and shaking hands. Mentally, you may feel anxiety, frustration, anger, or depression.

The solution is finding a balance between work and rest in these times. Scheduling in breaks for yourself is a great way to start. During your break, walk around outside, drink a glass of water, eat a healthy snack, and focus on something other than work. Music can help shift you into relaxation mode. Physically leaving your desk is important, as it forces you to disengage from work. Mentally breaking must take place as well. Meditation or journaling can help redirect your focus away from daunting tasks in just a few minutes.

Pay Attention to the Warning Signs

Without regular self-care, we are in danger of developing several health complications. Imposter Syndrome affects 70% of the population, and successful women are at an even higher risk! It manifests as a fear of inadequacy, often despite great achievement, and is characterized by the inability to internalize success. Anxiety is also rampant, occurring twice as frequently in women as in men. Depression, heart disease, back pain, and a lowered immune system are all common among high-achieving individuals who feel they are putting more into work than they are getting out of it.

Wondering how you can become aware of these symptoms before they get out of hand? Use your scheduled self-care time to check in with yourself. Examine any areas of your life that are less than ideal. If shoulder pain has been plaguing you, spend a few moments evaluating your posture at your computer, or schedule a quick check-up with your healthcare provider. If you struggle with insomnia, watch your caffeine and sugar intake at the end of the day, and be sure to limit screen time before bed. Just as you would with an overwhelming work project, break your self-care into small, manageable tasks.

Separate Work and Home Life

While many of us pride ourselves in bringing work home with us, it is important for us to spend time cultivating our identities outside of our businesses as well. The roles of spouse, parent, child and friend are equally as important as the part of you who has never missed a deadline. Too many times, we approach these roles in the same way. We quickly solve problems, resolve issues for the day ahead, and treat our families like we’re expecting a performance review.

Setting boundaries is extremely important. Recognize that you have a limited amount of hours each day. Set a time to end the work day, and stick to it. Know that when the stresses of your career spill over, you’ll be taking time away from other aspects of your life.

One simple way to institute this is to create a ritual as you finish your work for the day. It can be simply shutting your computer down and taking five deep breaths or driving home with the windows down and listening to a particular song. Whatever you choose to do, allow yourself the time to transition away from work, and fight the temptation to revisit it. Just as you would not shirk an important meeting to hang out at home, ensure that you are not neglecting your home life in favor of your career.

Realize that You Deserve to Have It All
You’ve spent years preparing for the role you occupy. You work hard, go to bed exhausted, and know the meaning of “burning the candle at both ends”. Take the time to care for yourself in order to be the best at everything you do. A little extra family time will remind you why you go into the office every day. Finally scheduling that hair appointment will boost your self-esteem. A quick stroll through the park in the middle of your workday can relax your nerves and increase your endurance once you return to your desk. You can do it all. Just remember to pause long enough to appreciate all that you have accomplished.

The NEW leader is YOU! BELIEVE

I invite you to start now. Visit my website at http://shelleycox.ca/ and sign up for a free giveaway. If you have questions and want to connect, I would love to chat: 902-431-5189 or drop me an email: Shelley@shelleycox.ca

Sharing your Leadership Journey,

Shelley Cox