Self care is more important than ever for women leading in the corporate world. After a WTAF year, of giving so much for so long… keeping businesses growing, implementing BIG changes, emotional pressure of furlough and making redundancies all whilst keeping up with responsibilities at home. 

There has been no respite. 

No wiggle room 

No time to breath 

Now more than ever women need to implement self care BEFORE it gets to survival. This is a necessity NOT a nice thing to have. 

All too often when women come to work with me they’re already at the point of self care being about survival. Signed off with stress, struggling with anxiety, referred on for counselling or prescribed medication .. These are all true realities for women coming to work with me in the last year. 

Clients coming to me  saying “I don’t know who I am or what I want anymore.” Selfless-ed the life out of their own existence! 

At the heart of it is when lack of self care goes past neglecting your needs and compromising who you are. And becomes martyrdom, saying yes, giving so much, being constantly tired, eating the wrong food and resentment for all that you’re giving. 

NEWSFLASH: You WILL NOT lead in the most impactful and influential way, by completely abandoning your needs in martyrdom. Every second you role model your value and worth, a complete lack of self care shows the world you DO NOT see your value and worth. You can’t then be surprised when others treat you that way! 

^^^ Said with love BTW, not to scare you but to shake the tree and help you see the truth.

To be the best leader you can, take that time to prioritise your needs and take care of yourself. From the basics showering, washing, Dr appointments and check ups to the deeper level of saying no, setting boundaries and cutting out toxic influence in your life. 

In this blog, I’ll be sharing what self care is, the truth about self care, why female leaders resist self care and 5 steps to start to implement more self care. 

What is self care? 

Let’s start at the beginning, geeky definition from the WHO, this feels very clinical and medical. 

the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”

Self care is deeper than physical and body needs, the face masks and bath bombs. Self care is not about nice to have, it is a necessity to keep that energy to love your life and work. That is the superficial level that we all easily recognise and know, that in itself is a multi million pound industry. 

Self care at its heart, to me, is really meeting your needs, when you need them. There are two challenges that come with it: 

  1. KNOWING, listening and nurturing your own voice with your own needs e.g. rest over doing.
  2. ACTING, implementing and delivering on those needs, when you need it eg book the check up and stick to it. 

And those needs split into two: 

  1. Physical and body: Your body and physical well being 
  2. Emotional and spiritual: Your needs when you need it, time, space, joy. 

Many don’t know what they want. Looking externally, rather than leading internally. NOT just a face mask, candles and bath bombs! But owning your needs without making it with everyone else always coming first   – selfless becomes martyrdom. 

Where does it come from? From an early age women are applauded for being selfless! Like it makes us MORE value and worth, whereas it just created  a generation of women fearful of speaking up for what they need. 

And then wonder why women find it harder to step into leadership roles and KNOW that they’re worthy and valued in them!  

“Rest and self care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. ” 

Eleanor Brown

Why are female senior leader so resistant to self care? 

  1. Too woo woo – The idea that simple things, how can they be that powerful? Leading is often seen as in action and doing, yet in truth impactful and influential lasting leadership is based in leading YOU first. (Link back to previous podcast)
  2. Leaders being “strong” – Wrongly it has been a sign of weakness, sign not coping and dropping plates to need self care and time out. Yet the reality is the last year has hot housed the work experience for so many women that self care is now a necessity NOT a nice to have. 
  3. No time for YOU – Your diary is rammed and so busy, there is NO time and when you get home family responsibilities kick in.There is NO time, yet if you don’t make time you’ll be forced to take time. 
  4. The perception of being selfish is BAD – The truth is that being a little selfish is GOOD. A little selfish means being a more energetic mum, a more inspiring and positive boss, a more go to senior leader. 

Truth about Self Care: 

The truth is there needs to be a NEW perspective on being selfish. NOT about being a bitch, stepping over everyone else and only thinking of yourself. 

Selfish is about showing up more for yourself first to be a more impactful and influential leader. In this content selfish is the opposite Selfish, it becomes about being selfless.

Selfish = Self Care + Self Love + Self Discernment = Role modelling your value and worth. 

Being the role model of a strong women leader, KNOWING your wants and needs.  So you can be MORE of you, have more impact and influence. To become an even more powerful positive force for good for everyone around you. 

Opposite – Selfish is almost selfless 

It’s hard, it’s not easy but become the Joan of Arc of your life. Burning down what is not for you to fall back in love with your life and career, feeling on fire without burning you.

How to implement self care 

– Point 1: Self care NOW – Start now, what do you NEED NOW? Make it a daily check in. “What do I need today?” 

– Point 2: Non negotiables – Identify, nurture and HONOUR your non negotiables like you would a board meeting! 

– Point 3: Boundaries and NO .. whole episode on this coming up on my podcast here!

– Point 4: Create a LOVE list – As simple as it sounds, a list of things you LOVE doing just for you. BOOK them in your diary, to focus on your soul NOT on all your roles.

– Point 5: Hierarchy of Needs – Create your own hierarchy of needs, like Maslow’s but for you eg for me hunger and sleep are the basics! More info here to create your own.

A Final Nudge with love… 

Time for a new way to look at self care, self care is about what you need when you need it. Now more than ever women in leadership need to implement self care BEFORE it gets to survival. This is a necessity NOT a nice to have.  A little selfish selfcare will help you be the impact and influential leader you KNOW you are, to show up, speak up and shake things the f*ck up! 

As a female business leader, you’re already extraordinary and deserve your own best care. Women might be 50 percent of the population, but we hold just 14.2 percent of the top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.

Love yourself like the strong, successful woman leader you are: You deserve it. The world needs it!

If you’ve found this useful, I’d love you to share? And which from above will you start with? Message me here to let me know.

If you want help to be STOP holding yourself back, I have just 2 VIP client spaces to work with me. Drop me a message or email me here.

For a little bit extra, here’s my Overwhelm to On Fire: The 5 Minute Head Clearing Checklist for Women in the Corporate World just click here to download your FREE copy!

Big love

Nic x