We all want to perform at our jobs—and we expect the same of our employees. As leaders, we want to be role models and show our employees how things are done. However, there’s just a thin line between burning for something and burning out. If you want to stay on the safe side of that line, there’s one thing you need to focus on: self-care.


So, how can we manage to make self-care part of our daily routine? You’ve just taken the first step in the right direction: you’re addressing the topic by reading this post. Let’s jump right into it and see what self-care actually means, shall we? 


Self-care: I am important

Self-care is all about accepting who you are. About taking care of yourself, about putting your own wellbeing and luck first. As leaders, we need to be able to take care of ourselves—that’s the prerequisite for taking care of our employees.


Healthy selfishness is… healthy

The term “selfishness” often has a negative connotation. But: Selfishness, or egoism, is not as bad as its reputation. Because self-care requires a certain (healthy!) level of selfishness. Among other things, this means making your health your number one priority.


How does self-care for leaders look like?

If you follow our 5 tips how to live healthy selfishness as a leader, you’ll do yourself some good while paving the way for healthy, and health-oriented, leadership.


  1. Recharge your batteries

Relax, respect your need for rest, and consciously take breaks. We’re all different and have different needs. Whether it’s six or eight hours of sleep doesn’t matter—you know best what your body needs. And that’s exactly why you should always listen to your body and give it a break when needed.


  1. Communicate your needs

Most of our days follow a tight schedule. So why don’t we plan our recovery phases, too? Start by gaining awareness of your personal needs for relaxation, then add them to your schedule. This also requires you to communicate your needs. As soon as your environment knows when you’ll need a break, people will respect those time-outs. Plus, you’ll send a clear message and act as a role model.


  1. Take time for self-reflection

It’s vital to reflect on situations which haven’t gone as planned or as you had imagined. After all, you don’t want those not-so-ideal situations to give you anxiety afterwards. On the contrary, you’ll want to be better prepared in the future. That’s why it’s essential to figure out what went wrong. Here are two practical tips for you:

– Write down the most important information and you’re corresponding feelings.

– Reflecting helps, mulling over a situation hurts. Ask yourself these simple questions to make sure you reflect upon a situation: What do I need to do differently in the future? What should I practice or learn?


  1. Find balance

If your to do lists are endless, those things you believe you can easily postpone are usually the last items on your list. And while prioritizing is essential, no question, you should never push YOUR activities that help you find balance (like sports or hobbies) to the end of your to do list. This will create an imbalance and is bound to lead to frustration in the end. Therefore, add the must-haves for your personal wellbeing to the top items on your list, whether it’s your evening meditation, the morning run, or reading that new novel during lunch break. You want these things to become part of your routine in order to stop stressing about them—or about other things.


  1. Be aware

Awareness might be an abstract concept, yet it’s just a matter of practice. We should learn to be aware of the present, of all those little moments. Especially leaders need to be able to consciously perceive their environment in order to do their job effectively. So, actively take some time (a couple of minutes are often enough) to be present and aware of what’s happening around you.


Self-care for better leadership

Self-care and self-management belong together and are interdependent. Only if you’re in a good place yourself and have enough energy, you can be there for others (no matter if on the job or at home).


In conclusion, it’s safe to say that self-care isn’t selfish, but necessary to be successful as a leader in the long term. So, get to work (yup, also self-care is work)!


You’ve just taken the first step: you now know that self-care is vital. Stop feeling guilty! Why don’t you drop whatever you’re doing and take a walk every now and then? And while you’re out there, think about what you could do just for yourself in the future. Always remember: self-care isn’t selfish!


What helps you be aware of and cater to your needs? How do you make sure you recharge your batteries regularly?