3 Ways Female Leaders Can Improve Their Self-Care

For too long, self-care has been a boys’ club. While golf time, “bro” time, and man-cave hours are considered perfectly acceptable ways for men to relax after a hard day, women are sometimes left in the dark.

We don’t necessarily receive the same sort of automatically assumed “time away” to relax, refuel, and care for ourselves. Come 5 p.m., many women make dinner, take care of the household, or keep working ’til they drop in order to prove themselves.
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Let’s face it, ladies: It’s time we think more seriously about how we love ourselves. Taking care of ourselves first will help us not only feel better, but — excitingly — nurture our highest potential as well. Here’s how I found my self-grateful groove:

The Three Tenets of Self-Care

The bottom line is that you must first take care of yourself before you can care for others. Here’s how you can learn to put yourself first and take care of body and mind:

Treat yourself like your most beloved partner.

A scene in The Mindy Project, in which Mindy is struggling to appreciate her pregnant body perfectly exemplifies this. Feeling downtrodden and desperate to make peace with herself, she hires a stylist, who asks Mindy to look in the mirror and describe what she sees. Mindy is ruthless, self-deprecating, and eager to point out her flaws, but the stylist interrupts her and says, “What if this were your best friend? Would you say those harsh things about your best friend?” Mindy’s stylist brashly tells her to look back in the mirror and speak to herself as she would to her own best friend.

Unfortunately, this is how too many of us think about ourselves. We might not say it out loud, but we constantly pick on our own flaws and imperfections. It’s not healthy, and it’s not the road to self-care.

Instead, look yourself the mirror and describe five things you like about yourself. Try this each morning, thinking about how you’d talk to the person you love most. How would you help her feel ready to face the day? How would you help her feel confident, loved, and cared for? Use that same language with yourself, you’ll be astonished at how you begin making time for your needs and your own happiness.

Listen to your body.

“Your body knows what it needs, and your body will tell you when it needs it.”

This concept is foreign in our society, and most of us have never heard it from anyone else.

Start listening to your body: Feel the sensations in your gut, your heart, and your head. Let your natural signals guide your diet, sleep, and daily habits. When you listen to your body, you eat more healthily, sleep better, take time to relax each night, and create a more fulfilling life for yourself.

Don’t live your life based on others’ expectations.

Many of us feel the pressure to partake in certain activities because we’re told we should. Enjoy whatever activity feels good to you — not whatever the latest trend in self-care happens to be.

The key is to make ‘you-first activities’ a high priority. As a leader, you don’t have the luxury of putting yourself on the back burner. It’s vital to the success of your company that you are on top of your game at all times. My gym time, meditation practice, my phone calls with my grandma — these activities are the first tasks on my calendar, and they don’t budge for any reason.

As a female business leader, you’re already extraordinary and deserve your own best care. Women might be 50 percent of the population, but we hold just 14.2 percent of the top leadership positions.

Love yourself like the strong, successful woman you are: You deserve it.

Women In Business
Women In Business
Women In Business

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