There’s a lot of focus these days on employee health and well-being, as there should be. But what about the men and women who lead businesses, either as a CEO or owner? When it comes to taking care of themselves, how do these people—nearly all of whom are saddled with a high-stress position—fare?
The answer, perhaps not surprisingly, is business leaders can do better. After all, not taking care of yourself can lead to problematic health conditions, including insomnia, high blood pressure, weight gain, etc. Any serious health problem can have a significantly negative effect on the quality of business leadership.
“Not living a healthy lifestyle can take a serious toll on your health and wellness,” CEO Today Magazine reminds us, adding, “you only have one body, so taking care of it now should be a top priority.”
Here are tips on improving your highest-priority resource—your own health:
Cultivating a nutritious diet is a crucial factor in caring for yourself. We all know how important it is to eat food containing less sugar and sodium, and to avoid processed food products whenever possible.
The advice we’ve offered in the past regarding smarter eating habits for employees applies equally to CEOs and business leaders: “Get rid of junk-food vending machines. Sponsor ongoing potlucks and encourage employees to contribute healthy dishes. Offer nutritious drinks and snacks at weekly meetings.” These options enable employees and owners alike to “cut back on poor food choices, both at the office and in their personal lives.”
Pay attention to fitness.
Practically speaking, there may not be a great deal of time in your day to devote to exercise and other fitness activities. But viable options for physical fitness do exist:
- Walk up steps instead of taking the elevator.
- Use home exercise equipment before going to work.
- Join a conveniently located gym.
- Explore new off-hours activities, such as swimming or riding a bike.
Remember, “as a CEO, you must be on point and ready to tackle problems at a moment’s notice,” says concierge psychologist Carolina Raeburn. Eating right and getting exercise “may help improve your mood, increasing clarity and awareness.”
Establish healthy goals and routines.
Think of taking care of yourself as a proactive habit to cultivate in your daily life:
- Stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Schedule some “alone time” into your calendar and stick to it.
- Get up from your desk at regular intervals and walk briskly in or outside of your workplace.
- Adhere to a more reasonable sleep routine.
You don’t have to accomplish everything at once. Establish small goals around these routines and aim for bigger goals as time goes by.
Respect your feelings.
Of course, “feelings” aren’t tangible things like a budget plan or expense account. But feelings do matter and play a critical role in health and wellness.
“Whether you’re feeling guilt, happiness, sadness, or excitement, don’t label your feelings as good or bad,” advises Insperity. “Once you understand why you’re feeling a certain way, you can let them run their course and release them.”
Join a group of your peers.
Peer advisory groups like TAB aren’t there only to help CEOs and business leaders more effectively guide their businesses to financial success. Getting together regularly with other business leaders is also a great way to maintain your mental well-being, by engaging in conversation with others about business and life challenges, and even just by interacting on a consistent basis with friends and colleagues. You can improve your own self-care by learning what others do to take care of themselves.
Want additional insight? Read 5 Ways Business Owners and CEOs Prepare to Seize Opportunities now to learn more