It’s not rocket science, and it may save your mental and physical health.
In a time when being busy is seen as productive and as a society that thrives off of “the hustle,” it can be difficult to pull away and take a break. Now more than ever, people can experience burnout, because they’re staying at home.
In order to keep the health of our minds and bodies, we need to be able to recenter and restore. Whether it’s taking short breaks throughout the day or a day off to rejuvenate, self-care won’t happen unless you intentionally make time for it.
To understand different forms of self-care on an executive level, I connected with three founders on how they are practicing self-care in order to avoid burnout.
1. Get enough sleep
Caroline MacDougall, CEO and founder of Teeccino, a top-selling coffee alternative, says sleep is one of the most important self-care practices you can add to your routine. “As a CEO, I’ve found that sleep is crucial to my ability to make good decisions and keep the business thriving,” shared MacDougall.
She also opens up the conversation with employees about the importance of rest. She says, “The more you rest, the more creative you can be — which can lead to less burnout. Additionally, talking about [rest] issues as a team helps address those concerns that otherwise might disturb your nightly rest.”
Self-care isn’t strictly reserved for rest or sleep. Creating a company culture that is open, nonjudgmental, and responsive is essential to encourage her teammates to air problems in a safe environment. “As a leader, I find that the more I listen, encourage self-care as an essential part of our company culture, encourage brainstorming without criticism, and use humour to relieve tension, the better we all sleep and innovate,” adds MacDougall.
2. Make time for the things you enjoy doing
Getting out of the house, safely, is important to do. Getting some daily sunlight boosts our immune systems, something we all need to keep pushing forward.
“Burning out is so easy to do,” says Gardar Stefansson, co-founder and CEO of Good Good. “I like to drive over to my favourite spots in the city and spend time outside with my loved ones. I also like to put on a good podcast and go for a run or sit back and play video games; it lets me relax, zone out, and focus on one thing. This usually works quite well for me to feel recharged and avoid burnout.”
3. Stick to a good routine
In the current climate, working from home begins to take a toll on people emotionally and physically, so it’s important to remember to always wiggle in self-care moments.
“In a time when we are working from home and juggling other responsibilities remotely, burnout can happen fairly quickly. It’s important to try to stick to a routine to keep the normalcy alive,” says Shelly Sun, CEO and founder of BrightStar Care, a national franchise specialising in in-home care services.
“I make sure to get a workout in first thing in the morning, even if it’s a short walk around the neighbourhood; it allows me to wake up my body and to relax,” Sun says. “During this stroll or workout, it’s always a great time to listen to your favourite podcast — this allows me to catch up on the latest and have a true moment to myself.”
She adds, “While keeping a routine is helpful, it’s also so important to remember to be flexible during these times and remind yourself that there is always room to pivot. Allowing myself to do these things enables me to put my best foot forward going into each day feeling refreshed.”