IRL (In real life): How one CEO practices self-care
If you follow us on social media, you already know that we are huge proponents of practicing self-care (if you don't, start now). We believe that self-care is important for both individuals and organizational sustainability. We know that it can be difficult to incorporate a regular self-care practice into our already overscheduled lives and thought it would be nice to hear from a member of our community who is making it work. Pam Brown, CEO of Insight Counseling Center, graciously agreed to share some of the ways she takes care of herself while running a thriving nonprofit.
Q: How do you define self-care?
A: I define self-care as developing habits, behaviors, activities, and routines that help me get to and remain in a place of balance and serenity.
Q: What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
A: I love to read. Knitting is a new hobby I picked up about two years ago and it is so relaxing! In fact, I’ve been known to bring a knitting project into meetings and I find that I focus better when my hands are moving. I suppose it’s similar to the way some people doodle during meetings.
My absolute favorite self-care activity is gardening, particularly in my rose bed. After a long day at the office, I love nothing more than to walk around the rose bed to deadhead spent blooms, cut flowers for arrangements to share, and take pictures to post on Instagram. I recently became a Consulting Rosarian, which means I volunteer to advise people about growing and caring for roses. If anyone reading this wants some assistance, just give me a call!
Q: How can nonprofit staff incorporate self-care into their daily experience?
A: There’s a saying that “simple pleasures are the best.” Self-care is individualized. What appeals to me may not appeal to someone else. I encourage people to create little habits and daily routines that provide them with a sense of joy and peace. For example, I enjoy having a scented candle nearby while working, or running an essential oil diffuser. I also enjoy exercising first thing in the morning. Doing that gets my endorphins hopping and gives me a sense of well-being. I recently completed my 15th half marathon, so that workout time is important! And while I can be hit or miss at this, I continue to build upon a morning prayer and meditation ritual that includes a few minutes of reading scripture and quiet time.
Q: What myth about self-care would you like to bust?
A: That there’s not enough time for self-care. I may only have five minutes, but even that short time of closing my eyes and breathing deeply can make all the difference. I’ve been known to run out to my car and turn on my Calm app for five minutes. Ah…