In these extraordinary and challenging times, we are focusing the Thoughtful Leaders Blog on topics that we hope will be most helpful now, such as: self-care, mindfulness, teaming and communicating virtually, moving through fear and uncertainty, and, as always, Thoughtful Leadership.
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Wishing you good health, safety, and peace!
Robyn and Lisa
Have you ever sat at your desk and realized that you just spent the last fifteen minutes staring at your computer screen stuck? From time to time, I find myself hitting a wall at work, usually mid-afternoon, and often when I am faced with a looming deadline or something I really don’t want to do or I’m just not inspired to do.
That’s when I know it’s time to take inventory. I do a quick little self-inventory where I take note of the three keys to my state of being – mind, body and spirit. When I check in on myself and notice my state of mind and thoughts, my physical well-being, and my mood and attitude, I can then figure out what I need to do and how I need to care for myself at that moment in order to get back on track. Here’s how you can conduct your own self-inventory:
- Mind – Notice how clear and focused your thoughts are. Sit quietly and connect with the current state of your brain. Are you suffering from “foggy brain?” Are your thoughts scattered? Are you on a train of thought that is moving you toward the goal or outcome you need to reach? What is your self-talk? On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being fried and 10 being open and ready to work, how would you rate your current state of mind?
- Body – Notice how you are feeling physically. Close your eyes, center yourself, and do a virtual body scan. Start at the top of your head and work your way down through your torso, limbs, internal organs, to the soles of your feet. Notice your posture – are you hunched over? Are you tired and sluggish? Do you feel aches in your neck and shoulders? Are you hungry or feeling the effects of low blood sugar? On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being suffering miserably and 10 being energized and ready to roll, how would you rate your current physical state?
- Spirit – Notice your mood. Sit quietly and connect with your spirit in this moment. What feelings and emotions are present? What (or who) is weighing on you? How would you describe your present spirit? Joyful? Calm? Anxious? Sad? What’s there? What’s impacting your current mood?
Often I find that there are multiple things affecting me as these three factors align and overlap with each other. If I haven’t eaten, then I feel physically drained and I have trouble focusing. If I am feeling sad because it’s a day when I am missing having my mom here with me, then I may feel physically depleted and unable to concentrate my thoughts on the task at hand.
Once I take my self-inventory of mind, body and spirit, then I know what I need to do. If my brain is fried, then I may step away from my desk and take a walk outside, or do a crossword or word jumble to get my brain back in gear, or set aside the current project and move on to something new for awhile. If my body is suffering, then I may lay down and close my eyes for awhile, or breathe and stretch, or eat a piece of cheese or a protein bar and have a cup of tea. Or maybe I need to power pose to shift my physical state. If I am feeling low in spirit, then I’ll do something that makes me happy like play with my dog or listen to music or call a friend. Or I might sit quietly and journal to capture my thoughts and sort through my emotions.
So the next time you notice a shift in your state of being, do a quick self-inventory and then do something to take care of yourself.
What actions do you take to care for your mind, body and spirit?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.
For more ideas and support for practicing self-care, contact Robyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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