As a leader, you are no good to your team unless you are your best you. Oftentimes, we put all of our energy into making sure our team is doing well. We push our team members to reach their individual goals and help them become better. How much do you focus on YOU? This post is not about finding ways to relax and enjoy life. This post is about challenging you to take care of YOU.
If you are honest with yourself, many leaders are not able to answer “yes” to all of the questions above. Here are a few tips to help you get on track with being the best YOU.
If you know you can’t peel yourself away from work, make your annual appointments during school breaks. If going to the doctor for these visits are dauting for you, plan a reward for yourself. If you like to shop, plan an afternoon of shopping after your appointments. If you like to eat, plan a date with yourself at your favorite restaurant after your appointment. If you like going to the movies, take in a movie after your appointment. Basically, give yourself something to look forward to after you take care or your health.
Make a healthy lifestyle a priority. Plan your day to make sure you fuel yourself. Wake up a bit earlier, if need be, to make sure you have a well-balanced breakfast. Find the time in the day to stop and eat lunch. Lunch is probably the most missed meal by educational leaders. Figure out when your campus is generally on a “down time” and make that your lunch. You can also split lunch time amongst you and your APs. Take a chunk of time and designate it as lunch. Assign the time to each administrator while the other administrators cover duties. This will not only help you take the time to eat, it also helps you model to your assistant principals how important it is to stop and eat.
Find time, either in the morning or at the end of the day, to do some type of physical activity. Try different things until you find what you enjoy. Try taking a walk around your neighborhood, jogging at the neighborhood park, try taking a yoga or cross fit class at the local gym, or put on a dance workout video in the comforts of your home. The point is to get moving and get healthy.
Your brain and body cannot function unless it has rested. I know it is difficult sometimes to silence your mind and relax, but it is vitally important that you do so. Just as you do with young children, create an evening schedule for yourself. Give yourself time to do whatever your responsibilities are for your home. If you need to work at home, schedule that time and make sure you stop at your scheduled time. Find evening routines that help you unwind. It could be a long soothing bath, reading a book, or watching ratchet tv.
The message here is that YOU are important. My challenge for you this week is to conquer at least one of the tips above. Ready, set, go!
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.