Leaders : 3 vital areas of self care in this uncertain times

self care

There are over 6 million Singaporeans on a partial lockdown since 7 April 2020 because of the covid-19 pandemic.

Working from home and restriction over freedom of movement has taken a toll on our well-being. This has resulted to us not being able to focus on achieving our goals or getting the desired results which we want – happiness, relationships, financial results, productivity or any outcome we are trying to achieve.

Hence, it is important to take care of ourselves so that we can support our staff through these uncertain times. Here are 3 self-care areas (PET) to take note during these lockdown :

3 Areas of Self-care

  1. Physical

Staying active and exercising is important to keep our immunity strong. Beside this, exercise has other benefits like release of endorphins that help us to feel better, more focus and think positive.

We should watch what we eat especially that we are home-bound for many of us. When we have the right balance of nutrition, it can increase our energy levels and motivation.

These are some questions, we can ask ourselves and/or our remote working staff.

  • How have you been taking care of yourself?
  • Do you have a body-movement plan indoor or outdoor for the week?
  • Are you caring for your (and your families) wellness?

 

  1. Emotions

With no clear indication of where this pandemic will take us and when it will end, many people are worried about various aspects of their life, like health, their finances and their career or business. These emotions like frustration, anger and anxieties, when left unchecked for a long period of time, can affect our physical well-being in the long run. Many research studies has shown that poor health will lead to more emotional worries. It is a vicious circle.

Being awareness of your own feelings is the crucial first step in allowing us to take charge of our emotions. Secondly, acknowledging these feelings help us to cope with them better. The more we avoid thinking about them and deny their existence, the more they will come back and haunt us.

I often use this metaphor with clients to convey the counter-productivity of emotional avoidance. Imagine, if each of these emotion (that we don’t want) as an inflated ball in a pool and we try to supress it by pushing it under the water. However, the balls keeps floating back to the surface, so we have to keep pushing it down or holding it under the water. It takes energy to keep it under the water and out of your consciousness. When we have too many of these unresolved “emotional balls” in the water, at some point, they might all bounce up from underneath the water and hit us in the face – hurting us.

“Naming” our emotions or talking to someone that we trust can help us to feel better or more neutral. We can then embark on the path of acceptance that can bring some form of relief. It also helps us to have more energy to focus on what is most important, move forward and take actions.

These are some questions, to check on ourselves and/or our remote working staff.

  • How are feeling? What emotions are experiencing right now – sadness, frustrations, anxieties (name each one of them)?
  • What exactly are these emotions about (stay curious)?
  • Where are you finding positive emotions right now?

 

  1. Thoughts

Our brain is constantly reacting to external stimulus and deciding whether it is safe or do we feel threaten. One of the key hormones in our body – Cortisol – is released in response to stress in order to survive potential threats or prepare for exertion. When our fight or flight system is activated – which occurs during times of stress and anxiety – our muscles contract creating tightness and constriction. These chemical reaction in our body can weaken the activity of the immune systems and it has been shown that cortisol inhibits memory retrieval of already stored information. Basically, cortisol shuts downs the part of the brain connected to big picture thinking, creativity and risk taking. We basically have limited access to information that allows us to rationally carry out effective decision making. That is why we see in the news, there were fights over toilet rolls in the supermarket and people hoarding of basic supplies even when the government ensures the people that are enough stockpile and all supermarkets are opened during this circuit breaker.

Here are some questions, to support ourselves and/or our remote working staff.

  • How are you holding up mentally?
  • What is most worrisome or distracting to you?
  • What are the silver-linings to your current situation?
  • What are some of techniques or activities that you have access in the past that can support you to focus on your present moment and be present?

 

Our PET will affect our Results

During this time, if we find ourselves unfocus and unproductive at work, we may want to check on our Physical, Emotions and Thoughts. Our physical, emotion and mental wellbeing will determine whether we should take certain actions or stay inactions. We all know that without effective actions, we are stuck and will not achieve those results that matters to us.

If you are a manager, it is important to reach out to your staff and show some empathy and compassion. Once we have addressed about these 3 areas, then it’s appropriate to move on to work.

Lastly, it is important to stay positive during this crisis. Mr. Fred Rogers (an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister) once said, “When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mom would say look for the helpers; you can always find people helping…”.

We all need some optimism and hear some good news now. We can look out for the silver lining from this lockdown and take good care of ourselves in order that we can take care of others (i.e our families, loved ones, and  staffs).

 

For more information about leadership coaching and getting support, please contact Samuel at sam@beacon-search.com

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Samuel, the Managing Director and Founder of BEACON, is a certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coach, NewField coach and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with International Coach Federation (ICF).

As an Executive Coach, he helps companies to develop their high potential and to continuously develop current executives’ leadership skills so as to ensure company continued success and profitability. He support new managers and senior executives become effective leaders.

 

 

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