The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating on many fronts. The toll it has taken on people’s mental health and wellbeing has been severe. Even senior leaders may not be doing enough to look after their own mental health. How can leaders bend rather than break during high-pressured times, as well as lead their staff and clients? Here is some advice for executives when it comes to their own mental health and wellbeing.
1. Do Not Ignore Your Stress
Leaders often want to appear as though they are 100% in control and therefore, don’t reach out for help enough. As a result, many suffer alone. However, asking for support and being aware of your weaknesses means you can bring everyone’s skillsets to complement each other, including leaders. Recognizing that self-care is necessary helps when tired and emotionally drained so you don’t start to make mistakes, wrong decisions, become argumentative, and your communication style changes.
2. Do What You Can
Everyone has a unique set of things that energizes them or depletes their energy. Excellent CEOs are aware of what those are for them. Developing personal working habits and balancing fun times with family or friends helps ensure that you can move beyond the exhaustion. Good CEOs stay organized and efficient but great CEOs focus their time only on what they can do.
3. Find Moments to Energize
If leaders don’t look after themselves, many people in the business will not either. Working from home and social distancing is not a fully satisfying experience, so we don’t get as much energy from business interactions as we do from face-to-face. As a leader, first, start naming what’s going on with you. For example, saying there are too many meetings and reducing them or you trying to mix things. If one meeting every day you have is a walking meeting, it adds up to five small walks a week. Little things add up to something meaningful.
4. Take Action Towards Change for You and Others
Feeling isolated and lonely as a leader happens from time to time. Being remote or having a geographical distance from other executives can increase this. Executives must therefore play an active role in contributing to better mental health support and wellness practices both for themselves and their employees if they want to lead in the post-COVID context.
Network ESC knows that good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand. That’s why we are here to help you succeed!