I believe that taking care of yourself – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually – is not a luxury if you’re a leader or entrepreneur (or anyone, really!). It is an absolute necessity.
I’ve worked with clients to create weekly or daily “non-negotiables.” This is PROTECTED time that you spend filling up your well – so to speak. If your week is filled with meetings, sales calls, client sessions, team projects, you can easily become drained. This is especially true for the empathic, highly sensitive person. This non-negotiable time can help revive your energy and improve your mood, particularly when you’ve had an exhausting or busy week. I also like to suggest that people build in non-negotiable time to help build resilience so that you’re more ready and able to handle a busy or stressful week.
The first step is figuring out what is restorative to you. This will look a little different for everyone, and it’s so important to know yourself really well. If you’re a morning person, then you might prefer having your protected time first thing in the morning. If you’re a night owl, you might prefer to have your protected time after your family goes to bed. Find a time that works for you!
Being outside in nature
Going for a walk
Drinking tea/coffee in quiet
Bath (I love adding Epsom salt
Talking with a close friend
I would encourage you not to make this too difficult. Let this be easy. Try to add in 5 minutes of meditation. If you can’t do that, add in 1 minute of sitting quietly. Everyone has 1 minute to spare in their busy day! Do it while you’re in the restroom ;)
One of my non-negotiables is a salt bath on Sunday evenings. My new apartment has a bathtub, which I haven’t had in the last nine years, so I’m taking full advantage of that. I take a warm bath with a cup of Epsom salt and a cup of Minera Dead Sea salt. I meditate during my 20 minute bath, and I envision my mind, body, and spirit being cleansed with the salt. I imagine all of the negativity of the week flowing down the drain. I visualize each chakra being cleaned. I also visualize myself being restored and ready to take on the week. I’ve found myself really looking forward to this time in my week, and I feel so refreshed after. I noticed that my mood is better and my ability to handle stress is much stronger. When we’re busy and running from one thing to another thing, it can be so healing to have some quiet time to reflect, restore, and visualize how you want your week to look.
If you don’t have any non-negotiables and if you spend very little time for yourself, I’d challenge you to ask yourself why. For a long time, I felt like I wasn’t worth the protected time – like it was a luxury for other people but not for me. I slipped into this place of being a martyr and believing that I didn’t deserve the restorative time – or that I (for some reason) didn’t need it. Over time, my self-talk has greatly improved, so I firmly BELIEVE that I require this time. Not when I don’t have anything else going on. But, always.
Now that I’m working with clients and running a business, I am the driver or this bus and the catalyst for change for other people. I CANNOT approach client work from a place of exhaustion and fatigue and martyrdom. It’s not healthy for me and not healing for anyone else. Let’s imagine you have a business that requires you to travel to appointments. You need a car that works well to get you there. You’re going to put gas in the car, clean it periodically, and take it for regular maintenance – because you NEED it to run your business successfully. Now, imagine the car is your body and mind. We easily run from meeting to meeting or task to task and forget to eat, don’t work out, neglect sleep, or allow ourselves to bathe in negative, self-critical thoughts all day. How in the heck can you be at your best in your business or leading a team??!! You cannot.
Try adding in 1 non-negotiable to your week, and see how your week feels differently.
Lots of love,