4 Vital And Affirming Self-Care Habits When You’re The Boss

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Feb. 15 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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As a leader, you naturally care a lot about your business, often to the point where work is on your mind 24/7. This likely also makes it difficult to fully relax, no matter how enjoyable your last vacation was. With such a heavy load, executives are highly susceptible to mental health struggles and burnout. That’s why prioritizing self-care routines for bosses is more important than ever before.

A 2022 Deloitte survey found that one in three C-suite executives constantly struggle with fatigue and poor mental health. Additionally, as many as 70% have considered quitting their jobs to try to reset their emotional balance. 

For bosses, prioritizing self-care is vital, but it goes far beyond bubble baths and scheduling a massage once in a blue moon. Here are a few practical self-care routines for bosses that can be seamlessly implemented into their busy lives for a positive domino effect. 

1. Get immersed in the drama of a fiction book.

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As an executive, it’s normal to lean towards self-help, educational, and business-focused books. Being so invested in your evolution and the growth of your business is admirable, but if everything you do is for the sake of that development– including the books you read in your free time – it’s a one way ticket to Burnout Lane. 

According to Psychology Today, narrative absorption – the experience of being immersed or engaged while reading a story – can enhance our overall sense of well-being. In fact, in a neuroimaging study, it was concluded that participants who read more narrative fiction had greater activation of parts of the prefrontal cortex involved in perspective-taking when reading books that contain social context. 

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Researchers also believe that mentally transporting ourselves into a narrative world and out of our own physical surroundings provides a valuable opportunity for meaningful contemplation – as well as a temporary escape. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, put down the self-help book and pick up the fiction novel for a change.

2. Simplify your meals.

How many times have you skipped a meal because you had too much work to do? Time is precious when you’re managing a business, and even taking fifteen minutes to prepare something can feel like too long.

Instead of skipping meals or opting for fast food, simplify your meals. Think about incorporating a protein, a carbohydrate, and produce with each meal. This can be as straight-foward as a stacked sandwich with a side of your favorite fruit for lunch. 

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3. Find an exercise activity you actually enjoy.

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We all know that regular exercise is important in keeping our bodies mobile and strong as we age. Physical benefits aside, working out also reaps tons of mental health benefits, providing you with a swift rush of endorphins once complete. This can lead to better mental health, emotional wellbeing, and can even decrease stress over time.

But, getting into the routine of exercising can be its own separate battle. Rather than pressuring yourself to do whatever exercise you feel obligated to do, find an exercise modality you actually enjoy instead. Whether it be indoor cycling, outdoor runs, or Pilates, there is no right or wrong.

4. Pick up a hobby for fun. 

As kids, we all partake in tons of hobbies because no one is criticizing us and we don’t have bills to pay. Plus, we have all the time in the world. Inevitably, many of us lose touch with these hobbies as we age because there are more important things to do. Plus, if it’s not monetizable, what’s the point?

Well, that’s exactly the point. Participating in leisurely hobbies has been proven to significantly reduce stress levels. One study showed approximately 75% of participants’ cortisol levels were lowered after making art. 

Executives are notorious for always thinking up new ways to increase their income, but when was the last time you did something simply because it was fun? Whether it’s art, music, or gardening, pick up a hobby fully for you. Don’t criticize yourself. Just have fun.

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Kelsey Kryger
By: Kelsey Kryger

Kelsey Kryger is a writer specializing in lifestyle, health, fitness, and business/entrepreneurship. Her work has been featured in Parade, UNATION, SimpliFaster, Beyondish, Planet Protein, and more.

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