Taking care of yourself is a key part of being a successful leader. To that end, it’s necessary to build in time for yourself to ensure you’re putting your best self forward every day. “Health and wellness” will mean different things to different people. To some, it may mean eating cleaner, cutting out processed foods and making smarter choices with natural, whole foods. To others it means finally establishing a regular exercise routine every morning before hitting the office. To others it may mean taking 15 minutes out of the day to meditate or do yoga, or even start parking far from the building in order to get a walk in twice daily. Perhaps to you, it means taking steps to reduce the anxiety and stress that is infiltrating your life. Whatever the case may be, health and wellness should be a priority for every leader.
Prioritizing Health for Success
As a leader, you’re more vulnerable to stress than others. As a result of putting others first as well as your growing business, you may have been neglecting your own health, happiness and well-being. It may work for awhile, but no one can keep that up for very long. The sad result is often failure and burnout. With burnout comes a loss of productivity, which is never good for anyone’s bottom line — or health for that matter. The recipe for long-term success begins and ends with you.
At its core, leadership is about the ability to set a vision and persist over the long run as you lead yourself and others to take on the challenges of running a successful business. Taking care of yourself now will impact your energy levels and stamina over the long haul. Yet so many leaders ignore this simple fact and just keep running on empty. As your tasks grow bigger and the work piles up day after day, it’s understandable that self-care will be relegated to the back burner to make way for more critical priorities. But while it’s understandable, it’s also not OK. Those who don’t prioritize their health can become fatigued, stressed, dehydrated, sick and yes, unbearable to work with. This pattern of behavior is more common than you might think. One thing is for sure: managing your health is a vital part of being not only a successful leader but an effective human being too.
Stress: It’s a Killer
You didn’t get where you are today by shying away from challenges and the stress that comes with it. But just because you’ve made it this long doesn’t mean you’re immune. Some day, it will affect your ability to be a successful leader, and that’s science talking. You may blame your nagging headaches, frequent insomnia and decreased productivity on illness. However, stress may be at the root of it all. Stress symptoms can affect your whole body, as well as your well-being, thoughts, feelings and behavior. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and can increase your risk for heart attack, says the Mayo Clinic. Common effects of stress on your body include:
- Muscle tension and pain
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Upset stomach
- Difficulty sleeping
In addition to the physical health side effects of stress, there’s also mood to contend with. It can lead to anxiety, depression, restlessness, lack of motivation and focus, and irritability.
Anxiety affects a large segment of the population, impacting approximately 40 million people in this country. From SSRIs to benzodiazepines, there are many medications prescribed to treat anxiety. However, many people can’t tolerate these meds, not to mention, they’re highly addicting. As a person in a position of power, you may not like the idea of depending on drugs to feel better. This is where CBD enters the picture. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to have powerful anti-anxiety properties, and when administered as needed, it can be a safe, well-tolerated, beneficial approach to treating a number of anxiety-related disorders, from panic disorder and OCD to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social phobia.
CBD, a natural, effective way to treat anxiety and stress, can be used as an adjunct to other healthy living choices, from eating well to exercising. The main objective is to feel good so you can be the strong leader at work that you were born to be. It takes a plan, and it takes a lot of dedication to success, but your health and well-being should be center stage every single day.