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The Power of Self-Care: How Prioritizing Your Well-Being Can Enhance Your Leadership Skills

self care Apr 24, 2023

How Self-Care Can Make You a Better Leader

The term "self-care" is thrown around a lot these days. You can pretty much categorize any action that brings you personal joy as tending to your needs. Bingeing a new Netflix show? Self-care. Indulging in comfort food? Self-care. But technically it's more than that.

Self-care refers to the deliberate and intentional actions and behaviors we engage in to promote and maintain our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It involves taking care of oneself in a holistic manner, such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, engaging in physical activity, engaging in stress-reducing activities, and prioritizing activities that bring joy and fulfillment. 

For leaders, self-care is particularly important because it helps us avoid burnout and maintain our ability to function effectively in both our personal and professional lives. When we neglect our physical, emotional, and mental needs, we are more likely to experience stress, fatigue, and other negative consequences that can impact our ability to work, build relationships, and enjoy life.

By taking the time to care for ourselves, we are better equipped to manage stress, stay focused, and maintain a positive outlook, all of which contribute to our overall well-being and success. Ultimately, practicing self-care allows us to live a more balanced and fulfilling life, both personally and professionally.

Improved Physical and Emotional Health

As a leader, stress can feel like part of your job description. But the truth is, chronic stress can have a significant impact on your job, affecting physical, emotional, and mental health, as well as the ability to lead effectively.

When leaders experience chronic stress, it can lead to burnout, struggles with physical health that can weaken the immune system, mood swings, irritability, decreased emotional regulation, anxiety and depression, and impaired cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making.

The good news is, self-care practices can have a significant positive impact on both physical and emotional health. For example, a commitment to getting better sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet helps contributed to overall better physical health which makes you better able to handle stress.

When it comes to emotional health, engaging in practices like mindfulness and meditation, promoting self-love and self-acceptance, and building better relationships with boundaries can keep your emotions safe and ready to take on challenges. 

Self-care also has a positive impact on leadership skills! They can help you manage stress more effectively, develop a greater understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and limitations, develop greater resilience, and communicate more effectively.


Increased Focus and Productivity

Stress doesn't just affect your physical and mental well-being. It can also tank your focus and productivity!

When you're stressed, you may may find it more difficult to concentrate, have impaired cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making, be more likely to procrastinate or avoid tasks altogether, have decreased accuracy in completing tasks, decreased motivation and energy.

But self-care can help balance all of it out. When you practice mindfulness, you can help reduce stress levels, gain increased focus and productivity, promote positive emotions, and enhance creativity.

So how can you bring all of that to fruition? You can start by practicing mediation and mindfulness, taking care of your physical health, journaling and engaging in practices that bring you personal joy.

Better Decision-Making and Leadership Skills

Stress can have a significant negative impact on decision-making and leadership skills, leading to less than desirable decisions, reduced productivity, impaired communication, and decreased performance.

To combat the negative effects of stress on decision-making and leadership skills, it is important to engage in stress-reducing activities, such as exercise, mindfulness, and self-care. By prioritizing stress reduction and maintaining good mental health practices, leaders can improve their decision-making and leadership skills, which in turn leader to greater success in both personal and professional lives.

Could there possibly be more self-care practices we haven't already discussed that improve decision-making and leadership skills? 

At this point, not really! The same healthy practices of engaging in mindfulness, taking care of your body and engaging in activities that bring you relaxation apply here. Keep practicing self-care and you will continue to see its benefits.

Positive Impact on Team Morale and Performance

Chronic stress impacts team morale and performance in a big way. It's been found to lead to reduced motivation, impaired communication, decreased creativity, and decreased job satisfaction.

To combat the negative effects of stress on team morale and performance, it is important for leaders to promote a culture of wellness and support, including offering resources and support for stress management, providing opportunities for team members to connect and engage with each other, and prioritizing self-care practices. 

As a leader, you can encourage team members to take breaks throughout the day, practice meditation or deep breathing, engage in regular exercise, prioritize good sleep hygiene, maintain a healthy work-life balance can help reduce stress, and provide team-building activities, such as team outings or social events, can help improve team morale and promote a positive work environment, leading to improved job performance and teamwork.


Encouraging Self-Care Within the Organization

Creating a culture of self-care within an organization is essential for promoting well-being and improving team morale and performance. We've just discussed tangible things you can implement within the workplace so that employees can engage in their own self-care, but perhaps the most important step you can take is to lead by example.

Leaders should model self-care practices and encourage team members to prioritize their well-being. If they see you taking steps to prioritize self-care and manage stress effectively, they are more likely to do the same!

It's also important to provide education and resources on self-care practices, like stress management techniques, as well as make sure you are creating a supportive environment that promotes open communication, empathy, and understanding.


Most people don't need a big push to do something they enjoy, but when it comes to self-care it's easy to cast aside during stressful times. As a leader, it's integral to incorporate self-care into your daily life because it improves your physical and emotional health, reduces stress, and enhances your decision-making and leadership skills––all necessary components to leading a team.

Do you need to see how you're doing when it comes to self-care? Take our free assessmentThis exclusive Talent Magnet Institute Self Care Inventory has twenty-eight questions and will take less than 5 minutes of your time.

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