10 Self-Care Steps to Consider
Step 1: Set quality time for yourself
- How do you choose to spend the first hour of your day?
- You can choose good options: eat a healthy breakfast, reflect on the day ahead, meditate, do yoga, exercise, etc.
Step 2: Reflect on your intentions for the day
- Consider developing an acronym to reflect on your intent for the day.
- Look in the mirror each morning and reflect on how you can be a better leader.
- Remember the acronym “IAM.” It helps you focus on your Intentions, Actions, and Manifestations that you set out to achieve each day.
Step 3: Focus on your talents
- We tend to be very critical of ourselves and forget to focus on, nourish, and further develop our talents.
- Consider taking an online assessment, such as StrengthsFinder 2.0, created by Gallup, to uncover your talents.
Step 4: Choose to bring positive energy to your workplace and team
- We make choices to bring either positive or negative energy to those around us each minute of the day.
- Remember the acronym “QTIP”: Quit Taking It Personally.
Step 5: Set a health goal
- Set a goal of not having to take medications.
- What can you do to achieve that goal? Watch your diet, exercise, be aware of your posture, get up and walk around at least once an hour at work, and take a walk at lunch hour.
Step 6: Strengthen your resilience
- Personal resilience is the capacity to maintain well-being and work performance under pressure, including being able to effectively bounce back from setbacks.
- Take the time to reflect on your day. Did you achieve your intentions? Let go of the negative inputs.
- Take the time to journal.
Step 7: Pursue work-life balance
- Learning how to make “NO” your go word is a powerful practice that can help you cultivate better self-care.
- Saying no to people, things, opportunities, and situations that don’t align with your highest good is a profound act of self-love.
- Say no to finishing an article or book that loses your interest. Trust that you have learned what you needed to learn.
- Find activities to enjoy after work, and make time for them.
- Consider putting time limits on checking your email.
Step 8: Focus on being present
- Enjoy the moment instead of multitasking. Leave your electronic devices at the door when attending meetings.
- Focus on your colleagues, peers, and team. It will bring joy and meaning to your work.
Step 9: Schedule quality time with family and friends
- Consider scheduling monthly date nights with your significant other and/or friends.
- Schedule time for those phone calls to catch up with family and friends.
- Consider taking vacation time when you need it instead of saving time as a trophy.
Step 10: Accept and then achieve work-life balance
- Recognize and accept that the new normal is a life that integrates home and work more seamlessly.
- Welcome text messages with photos and words of encouragement from colleagues, family, and friends.
- I recently received a text from my husband at work with a photo of him and my dog, with the following words of encouragement: “Hold your head high. We are proud of you and love you.”
Rath, Tom. (2007). StrengthsFinder 2.0. New York: Gallup Press.
International Council of Nurses. (2016). Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving Health Systems’ Resilience. Retrieved from http://www.icn.ch/publications/2016-nurses-a-force-for-change-improvinghealth-systems-resilience/.
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