Leadership begins with self-care

Managers think that self-care is a weakness. When I became aware of this, it was a very confusing observation. Many managers do not practice self-care. (When I write managers, you can also think of professionals like caregivers, consultants, etcetera). They think that working a tooth harder will help them. They think that skipping breaks doesn’t matter. They think it is fine to live by the day’s delusion. Asking for help is completely out of the question. Fast food sometimes takes precedence over healthy eating. If they have to choose between work and self-care, in most cases, work is chosen. Working past 10 p.m. is certainly no exception. If you recognize yourself in the above examples or work in an environment where the above examples reflect your work culture, this article is written for you.


Not doing enough self-care is also hypocritical. Many managers tell intensively that people are the company’s most important capital. However, their behavior lags tremendously. They forget their self-care. But they are an example for many.

What do you do with something really important? You take good care of it. If your car is important, you take good care of your car, such as frequent washing the regular car maintenance. If your garden is important, you spend a lot of time there. If your people are your most important asset, you take good care of them. And you start with yourself. You start with self-care.


These managers are making a fallacy; they look at self-care as something that doesn’t apply to them. They think that working non-stop is better than self-care. However, this view has negative effects on the functioning of the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that you need to think, make choices, make distinctions, understand issues, think in terms of solutions, and develop self-awareness to inhibit your impulses and emotions.

A fit prefrontal cortex has close relationships with mental fitness, clear thinking, and resilience. These traits, throughout the day, ensure that you make better decisions and produce better work. Simple and true.

You can make a parallel with physical health. Exercising your body can help you stay physically healthy. The same is true for your mental health. For mental health, self-care is super necessary.


We all know very well what good self-care is. This means eating healthy, getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep, ensuring a good work-life balance, not working at night, ensuring a good social life. Managers should set a good example by visibly demonstrating these behaviors of self-care. Your public visibility that you are taking good care of yourself will inspire others. Why not take a walk during a meeting? Purchase a standing desk. Meet more often while standing. Take breaks between appointments, bring your healthy food, and stop sending emails after 7 pm.


Taking good care of yourself is a requirement for today’s manager. It is not tough, to go on and on. It is brave to make a difference by making your self-care very visible. Colleagues will follow you.

Share this post