Your mental health is just like putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be at your best for your organization.
But, as life gets busier, and board roles get more demanding, it can become challenging to find the time and energy to do so.
In this post, we will review how to prioritize your mental health so you are a better, more effective leader.
- Set healthy boundaries: You are used to being the first one in and the last one out, but it is crucial to your mental health that you set firm boundaries to limit how much you are thinking about your work on a day-to-day basis. Being able to manage thoughts can prevent burnout and build resilience. In practice, this may look like telling peers that you will be unable to respond to emails after 5 O’clock, explains WebMD. Setting boundaries does not make you a lazy leader, it makes you strong and more empathetic.
- Exercise empathy: Exercising empathy is not only crucial to treating your team with respect and kindness, it is also an important part of nurturing your own mental health. Demonstrating empathy fosters a sense of community in the workplace, showing others they belong and reaffirming that you belong there as well, says The Community Research Center.
- Have non-work goals: Your organization cannot be your only passion, explains Fast Company. Having goals outside of your position can ease the pressure of your work. Think about what you are passionate about. Do you want to run a marathon? Take cooking classes? Go on a backpacking trip? Foster your passions outside of work in order to fill your life with accomplishments more than just your position.
- Learn what helps you stay still: Thoughtful Leader explains that if you are not the first one to take care of yourself, no one will be. The article explains that you should take a step back when you are “too busy to leave.” It is particularly hard in the workplace to take a step back and take care of yourself, but it is crucial to practice stillness and peace for yourself. Just like sleeping after an active day, your mind needs time to reset and rest as well.
- Set an example: Fast Company explains that your actions are felt by those you lead. If your team sees you making a significant effort to take care of your own mental health, they will be much more likely to take care of their own. At the end of the day, your organization will thrive if those within it are taking care of themselves so they can show up and be their best.
May might be Mental Health Month but make a habit of prioritizing yourself year-round. It is crucial for you and your team to make this a habit to avoid burnout and tension within your organization. Take the time, breathe, and be the best you.