Self-care practices are essential for midlife executive women to succeed in business and revitalize their energy. However, being an executive female leader is challenging. There’s a ton to contend with from crushing deadlines, being confident, and gender bias to finding work-life balance and overcoming imposter syndrome. To feel your best, be an empowered leader, and avoid burnout; self-care is essential.
However, many executive women don’t feel like they have the time for midlife self-care. Other’s feel guilty when they prioritize themselves. As a result, instead of rocking the boardroom they hit rock bottom. They’re flat out exhausted and may even have a health crisis because they’re not prioritizing wellness.
The last few years have given us so many reasons to be stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, which is why self-care is no longer a luxury. Self-care is a necessity. What’s amazing is when you prioritize self-care and incorporate it into your day, the way you do writing reports and holding zoom meetings, you revitalize your energy. The 5-minutes you take to nourish your body, brain, and spirit have a positive impact on your wellbeing AND your bottom line. Plus, like a Prius, when you recharge yourself you increase your IPS – ideal performance state – so you can get more done using less energy even under pressure and stress.
10 Self-care Practices to Revitalize Your Energy
To revitalize your energy follow these 10 self-care practices for executive women in midlife.
1. Prioritize time management
Set clear priorities and boundaries. Instead of trying to do it all, delegate like a midlife rockstar. Do you really think bad ass boss ladies like Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS Health, or Jennifer Lopez do chores or errands? Of course not. Focus on your genius zone – the things that you do best and only you can do.
2. Set self-care goals
To avoid overwhelm break your goals into small, manageable steps. Then create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time sensitive) around the steps. For example, if one of your personal goals is to lose weight and get back in shape, create SMART goals such as “I will bring a healthy snack to work every day” or “I will practice Spanish for 10 minutes every other night after dinner. Bonus: when you consistently hit your SMART goals for a week or two reward yourself to reinforce the behavior!
3. Practice mindfulness
Dedicate a few minutes each day to mindfulness meditation or breathwork. A huge body of research looking at the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace has shown that it reduces stress and improves focus, creativity, emotional regulation, decision making, productivity, performance, and physical health.
4. Eat right to optimize wellness
Nourish your body with a whole food, plant-based diet that includes lots of fruits and veggies, lean proteins (women need 50% more protein after 50 due to the dip in estrogen associated with menopause), and whole grains. Go easy on sugar, caffeine, and alcohol all of which can contribute to energy crashes and mood swings.
5. Self-care means motion
Sitting is the new smoking. Researchers have linked sedentary behavior to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and depression. Use a stand-up desk, move around throughout the workday, and incorporate regular exercise into your week. Bonus: go outside and spend time in nature.
6. Take regular self-care breaks
Research shows that the maximum amount of time that you can stay focused is between 60 and 90 minutes. Set a timer to step away from your desk and take short breaks throughout your workday to stretch, breathe, and recharge. Schedule treatments such as massages that help you recharge. Whether it’s a long weekend or 10-day retreat, take your vacation days!!!
7. Hydrate to be healthy
Dehydration can trigger numerous problems from overeating (we often mix up hunger and thirst) to anxiety. Set a daily goal to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.
8. Sleep well
Quality sleep is essential for cognitive function, emotional resilience, and overall wellbeing, so prioritize a good night of rest. Seven to eight hours is ideal.
9. Unplug and disconnect
Turn off your cellphone when you get home. Shut off all screens at least an hour before bedtime. You’ll recharge, increase mindfulness, and improve #8.
10. Practice relational self-care
Stay connected with friends and family. Schedule time to relax and enjoy the company of people you love. You’ll revitalize your energy and raise your vibe.
Take time each week to reflect on your wellbeing and self-care practices. Identify what’s working and is best for you. By prioritizing yourself, you’ll be able to handle the demands of your executive role and create a balanced, joyful life.