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SELF-CARE More Important Than Ever

Self-care isn’t a self-indulgent luxury for people with more time than you; it’s an essential tool for high-performing leaders who want to excel in their business.

by Dr. Joanthan Kirchner, AIIR CEO

Self-care isn't selfish

During my tenure as an executive search professional, I was privileged to frequently interact with many senior executives globally. I also witnessed burnout has become a common topic and self-care was not perceived correctly.

While the emergence of video conferencing gave us convenience, it also creates the literally back-to-back meetings without walking from the desk or to a meeting room. Combining that with the BANI environment, leaders tend to go all-in by working at maximum capacity.

In the article "Self-Care Isn’t Selfish — It’s Essential for Sustaining High Performance," I learnt that there are some practical methods for incorporating self-care into one's routine. I particularly like:

  1. Practice Small Acts of Self-Kindness: Going for an extravagant retreat or buying a designer's bag is a nice treat and could remind us why we work very hard, and yet that good feeling does not last long. Taking small acts regularly is more effective. Last year, I started a daily routine that I would do one thing for my heart, one thing for my mind and one thing for my body. The activities are: journaling for heart, meditating for mind and practicing Qi Gong for body. I am motivated to maintain this routine which allows me to be at my best throughout the day. Other small acts I enjoy is moving regularly (standing desk is highly recommended) and sipping coffee/tea mindfully.

  2. Build Self-Awareness: Knowing our own limits provides us opportunities to pivot and grow. As I start to become more sensitive to my stress & anxiety level, there are two positive outcomes: First, I could give myself permission to reset myself, i.e. going slower in order to go faster, that my overall productivity will go up. Second, I become more sensitive to others's burnout risks which enables me to offer support.

While many leaders might be shy away from self-caring themselves, this is more important that ever. Leaders that model self-caring not only sustain their own high performances, but they also create the environment allowing their teams to do the same, resulting in the high performance expansion from individual to collective and a compassionate culture where everyone on the team understands and supports each other to practice self-care.

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