In the last year, burnout, work/life balance and self-care have been trending topics in the workplace. The pandemic has made work/life more difficult to balance. Managers not only look out for the physical and emotional well-being of those they lead, they also must lead by example and model good self-care.
In her popular article Nine Types of Rest, Enneagram expert Steph Barron Hall suggests there’s a connection between personality and the type of rest a person prefers. The Enneagram, also known as the Enneagram of Personality, is an assessment tool that uses nine interconnected personality types to describe human behavior.
Let’s explore Hill’s nine types of rest and how they can instantly help managers recharge and practice good self-care.
When did you last take a real vacation? A getaway from the office and all work responsibilities? Turn off your cell phone, activate your out-of-office email message and commit yourself to absolutely no distractions.
Research shows that managers who take time off are more productive leaders. So, schedule some downtime. Really recharge and be sure to encourage your team to do the same. You won’t regret it!
Permission to not be helpful
As a leader, you don’t need to know everything. By giving yourself permission to not be helpful to others, you create space for others to step in and step up where needed. You’ll earn back time and energy for the things that make a greater impact.
I know it sounds counterintuitive to do something unproductive with your time as a strategy for recharging when you feel depleted. For some people, unfocused and mindless activities serve to reignite a spark in them. Experiment doing mindless activities to de-stress from work and see how it goes.
Appreciating art and nature
When was the last time you took a break from working at your desk? Took a 10-minute walk outside? Research on the positive benefits of nature on our mental health is overwhelming. The mental and physical benefits of spending time in the greenery or admiring art at least once a week should not be discounted.
Alone time to recharge
We all need time in solitude; it’s good for our psychological health. At work, set a reminder for yourself to hang a do-not-disturb sign on the door and close it for 10 to 15 minutes each day. This will give you some much-needed alone time.
A break from responsibility
Delegation is a skill that some managers have difficulty practicing. Taking a break from leading a task will give you time to refocus your efforts.
The next time you’re at work, make a list of tasks someone else can manage. Then delegate them!
Stillness to decompress
Mindfulness meditation is a proven approach to reducing stress. It promotes slowing down from the hustle and bustle of life — allowing space to be present in the moment. By remaining still and focusing on one’s breath with intentionality, mindfulness meditation allows you to decompress from the stressors of the day. Try it.
There is more focus on psychological safety in the workplace. It’s important to have spaces where you can be your authentic self, show vulnerability and share your honest feeling when times get tough. It’s also important as a manager to allow others a safe space to let their guards down. How can you create a safe working environment in your workplace?
Alone time at home
The recent rise in telework makes alone time at home feel more within reach. You can create a relaxing space in a room or small area in your home. It can be the bedroom, bathroom or on the porch. Once alone in the space, practice spending a few minutes each day reading or just taking in a few mindful breaths.
There’s universality in physical and emotional wellbeing. Practicing self-care, as a manager, is vital for an organization and its people to thrive. Because the Enneagram focuses on growth and self-reflection, it’s a useful tool for managers who want to assess their wellbeing.
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Kima Tozay is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and subject matter expert on Counseling and Advocacy programs in her role at Navy Fleet & Family Support Center, Everett, Washington. Her government career spans 15 years, starting in the Navy. Kima completed her Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Washington and has held positions with the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) and the Army. Kima’s greatest career accomplishment is receiving the Federal Employee of the Quarter Award for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. She earned an Executive Leadership Certificate from Graduate School, USA. You can connect with Kima on LinkedIn.