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Summer Self-Care Tips for CEOs — Or Any Other Busy Executive

Summer Self-Care Tips for CEOs — Or Any Other Busy Executive

It’s summer time, and the living is easy.

Or is it?

For most chief executive officers, summer is just another three months to work. And that shouldn’t be. Whether it’s summer or another time of the year, it’s important for chief executive officers to take time off.

Work today is not the 9-5 routine of our parents. The globalization of business, lightening fast developments in technology and instantaneous communication mean that CEOs are pretty much on 24/7. Adding to this is the fact that being a chief executive can be isolating, which can exacerbate stress. Unremitting pressure can lead to burn out and poor decision-making as well as health and emotional issues. Taking time for oneself is not selfish – it’s critical to your well-being, and the continued health of your company.

[Related: Don’t be a Career Loser – Take All Your Vacation Time]

If you truly feel you can’t take a full-fledged vacation, here are some suggestions to consider.

Schedule ‘time-sensitive’ work outs.

I recently booked a series of five, 30 minute personal training classes at my local Y. It’s easy to commit to and, after two just sessions, I’m thinking of signing up for more. Exercising is an excellent stress-buster, and feeds into a healthy lifestyle. And thirty minutes is enough time for a solid workout that complements my work schedule.

Read a book.

Reading is an underrated form of leisure. According to Reader’s Digest (http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/benefits-of-reading/), reading not only lowers stress, it builds empathy, creates a more positive mind set, and strengthens your brain. Whether it’s from your tablet or an actual physical book, make time to lose yourself in a good read. Better yet, join a book club – it will commit you to reading, while the social activity around the reading - meeting new people and building relationships outside of work - are bonuses.

Take Fridays off.

Most businesses are closed Friday afternoons during warm weather months. Taking an additional three or four hours off each Friday morning during the summer should not impact your business. There’s a reason why you have a staff – they can manage the business while you’re out of the office. And if there’s an emergency, they know how to reach you.

[Related: Four Simple Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use the Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer to Their Benefit]

Meditate a few minutes each day.

Stilling one’s mind to a calming quietness can seem daunting to a harried executive. But try to: meditation can take as little as five minutes and the results can be, pardon the pun, mind-blowing. According to Harvard Business Review’s “How Meditation Benefits CEOs” (https://hbr.org/2015/12/how-meditation-benefits-ceos), the practice increases emotional intelligence, strengthens resilience, and fosters better relationships.

Disconnect from your electronic devices.

We’re spending waaaay too much time connected to our devices. I started working in the 1980s, and somehow, I was able to address all of my responsibilities without a cell phone glued to my ear. If you get queasy just thinking about disconnecting for a whole weekend, select one day to stick your devices into a draw. You will be surprised at how much time you actually have when not checking emails, sending texts, etc.

Try one or all of these self-care suggestions, and see how much they can improve your well-being. And some of these tips can turn into habits, which can turn out to be a very good thing for you – and your company.

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Jennefer Witter is the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group Inc. (www.theborelandgroup.com), a New York City-based public relations firm specializing in corporate and executive visibility. An in-demand speaker on business topics, Jennefer is the author of "The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed" (AMACOM). She has been featured in the HuffPost, the Associated Press, Business Insider and on Bloomberg Radio.


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