Life-Work Trends

The Power of Caring for Your Mental Well-being

A manager taking a stretch break for her mental well-being

In an unpredictable world full of constant change and challenges, leaders are tasked with the enormous pressure of prioritizing the needs of their people while sustaining and growing the business. As a result, many leaders neglect their own needs, leading to burnout, anxiety, and overwhelm.

Because you are the only you there is, it is essential to place a high priority on your own well-being to maximize your fullest potential. Here are three things you can do today to help you on your mental well-being journey.   

1. Be Mindful of Self-Care

Self-care may look different for everyone, but when we are aware of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and emotions we can take actionable steps to manage the impacts. Introducing stress management and self-care practices into your day to day is a great place to start. When you are actively taking care of yourself, it can decrease any negative mental health symptoms and have a positive effect on your overall well-being.  

Here are some common self-care practices.

Keep a Journal

One way to be mindful with self-care is through journaling. Getting your thoughts and feelings out on paper can help you better identify the emotions you experience and give you clarity on what steps you need to take going forward. In addition, keeping a gratitude journal of three to five things that you’re grateful for or that went well for the day can help improve your mood and take your mind off any negative thoughts and feelings. 

Get Moving

Physical activity is not only good for your body, but it can also be a huge stress and anxiety reliever. Physical activity releases endorphins that make you feel good and boosts your mood.  Exercising or taking a walk can help clear your thoughts and refresh your mind. Because physical activity is very personal, you will have to determine what works best for you. The important thing is to get your body moving.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can help you relax and calm you down. Being intentional with your breathing lowers stress and can help you think more clearly. There are many types of breathing exercises you can put in practice, such as deep breathing, pursed lips breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, meditation, and yoga to name a few. Take time to explore with different methods and find a technique that works best for you.

Take Care of Your Body

You only have one body, so it is important to take care of the one you have. Making healthy options with the food you eat can fuel your body and give you more energy. It is also important to get the proper amount of sleep and rest to recharge your body and mind. 

Take Care of Your Mind

There are many ways to reset your mind. This may be an opportunity to learn something new, read a book, or start a project that you have put off in the past. Keeping mentally active can boost your thinking skills and keep your mind sharp. Furthermore, keeping activities in place that you enjoy, having fun, and laughing can counteract some of the intense emotions you may be feeling.

Self-care practices are important for your own well-being and protect your mental health. 

2. Be a Grace Giver

Give yourself and others some grace. You don’t have to know all the answers or have it all together all the time. It’s ok to not be ok, but the important thing is to learn what to do when you are feeling that way, so you can minimize the negative emotions. The same is true for others.  We can’t always know what others are dealing with in their personal and professional lives or why they may be acting a certain way. Extending grace and kindness can go a long way to nourishing your own well-being and in your relationships.  

3. Be a Boundary Setter

When you do not have healthy boundaries in place, it can wear you down and lead to stress and burnout. Without healthy boundaries, you may feel undervalued, unappreciated, or taken for granted. As a result, you may become defensive, skeptical, resistant, or even resentful.   

Setting boundaries is important to your own well-being and those around you.  There are many ways to set healthy boundaries. Here are a few:

  • Be clear about what you want and need.
  • Know your priorities.
  • Know your limits.
  • Clearly communicate your wants, needs, priorities, and limits.
  • Don’t apologize for wanting your needs met.
  • Be consistent with your boundaries.
  • Assess your success, adjust, and build on your boundaries.

When you set healthy boundaries and they are clearly defined and communicated, it can give you peace of mind and more time and energy to focus on the things that truly matter, like your well-being. 

There is power in taking care of your own well-being. When you take care of yourself, you can take better care of others, you can make wiser decisions for the business and in your personal life, and you can maximize your fullest potential.   

Remember that you are the only you there is. Take the time to focus on your well-being and spend time caring for yourself.

For more practical advice about caring for your mental health in the workplace, check out this resource.