As a leader, you hold a vital role in shaping the mental well-being and overall success of your team. But have you ever thought about the importance of prioritising your own mental well-being, not only for yourself but also for your team members? Research shows that today’s leaders face higher levels of burnout and mental health challenges than ever before. In a world where mental health can be easily overlooked, it is essential for you to protect your own well-being to become the best possible leader for others. In this article, we will delve into the main reasons why your mental health matters as a leader, and share with you our top strategies to take care of your mental well-being.
Why your mental health matters as a leader
Prioritising mental health as a leader is critical to fostering personal and organisational success, for the following reasons:
- Your personal fulfiment is important: as a manager or leader, your responsibility is not only to bring out the best in others, but also in yourself. By putting your mental health first, you can improve your productivity and make a more significant impact on your organisation. Neglecting your mental well-being, on the other hand, can restrict your positive influence within the organisation, and hinder your overall job satisfaction and growth.
- You represent the organisation: as a representative of the organisation, you play an important role in achieving goals and working towards the organisation’s purpose. Your actions, decisions, and behaviour have a significant impact on the desired outcomes and results of your organisation.
- You are a role model: by taking care of your own mental health and well-being, you are setting an example for those around you and helping to promote a positive workplace culture. By valuing your own well-being, you send the message that mental health is important and encourage others to take care of themselves as well.
By making your mental health a priority, you do not only take care of yourself but also create an environment that supports the well-being of your team. This can lead to increased productivity, higher employee engagement, and overall organisational success.
Strategies to help improve your mental health as a leader
Here are some strategies that will help you thrive as a leader by taking care of your mental health:
Reframe self-care as an investment
View self-care as a strategic investment that directly impacts your productivity and effectiveness as a leader. Prioritising elements such as diet, exercise, and sleep helps enhance your overall health and well-being, paving the way for outstanding results.
Set healthy boundaries
Clearly define your boundaries and effectively communicate them to your employees. Boundaries are essential to preserve your time and energy. For instance, you might let your employees know that after a certain time in the evening, you will not be checking or responding to work-related emails unless it’s an urgent matter.
Set workplace well-being goals
Pinpoint areas in which you aim to enhance your overall well-being and create actionable steps to achieve these goals. For instance, if you want to enhance your stress management techniques, you might allocate daily mindfulness time that involves breathing exercises or meditation. This proactive approach enables the integration of positive habits into your daily routines, fostering progress towards a healthier and more satisfying work-life.
Use your calendar
Make use of your calendar to block off time for personal and social commitments, just as you would for work-related tasks. Setting reminders for your self-care habits throughout the day can also help ensure you consistently focus on your well-being and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Start and end your day with routines
Start your day with a positive routine such as exercise, meditation, or journaling. This sets a positive and uplifting tone for the rest of your day. Similarly, creating an evening routine allows you to disconnect from work, unwind, and make time for your family or hobbies.
Treat yourself with kindness, recognise your strengths, celebrate your achievements, and acknowledge that mistakes are part of your growth. By offering yourself compassion and encouragement instead of harsh self-criticism, you create a supportive inner dialogue that nurtures your self-esteem and overall mental health.
Seek professional support
Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength and a proactive step towards personal and professional growth. When faced with overwhelming challenges, reaching out to a coach or a psychologist can offer you a safe space to discuss your concerns, gain clarity, and develop effective strategies to overcome obstacles.
In conclusion, prioritising your mental well-being as a leader should not be considered as selfish but rather a wise investment in yourself and your team’s success. By taking care of yourself, you can become a more effective and resilient leader, ultimately benefiting both your own growth and the well-being of those you lead.