Building your resiliency to lead 


by Dawn Y. Graber

Invest in your health Resiliency Self care #3


Resiliency Self-Care Practice #3 

During this time of stress it's vital that you
Care for Your Body’s Physical Health.
Many of us are talking about payroll decisions and cost projections and asking how do we truly hit re-set to figure out our next action steps. Some of us are pouring through the government loan and grant options and trying to get ourselves in the queues to receive small business help. Pretty hard to imagine eating your vegetables and doing some jumping jacks are that important now.
We know the brain uses great amounts of energy and needs fuel and water to function. We know that an active lifestyle promotes a clear thinking mind. But as our organizations and businesses experience the ramifications of the Co-Vid 19 crisis how can you prioritize eating well and exercising? I mean, seriously? 3 out of 4 of us are home now and many are trying to work from there. Most of us now have shelter-in-place orders where our regular shopping routines are gone and any semblance of a work-out program altered at best. Is it easier or harder to eat healthy or exercise now at home?
We will prioritize nurturing a strong body and mind when we realize that our best possible selves show up when we make intentional efforts toward physical health. Taking care of ourselves with food and drink and exercise allows us to be empowered to more fully use our leadership influence for good. 
So, prioritize your health each day
  1. Partake of high quality food choices (order ahead and pick up or explore delivery options some grocers Walmart offer.)
  2. Drink lots of water.
  3. Creatively exercise outside as appropriate or at home. 
We know to take care of ourselves. This is not something new. But at such a time as this prioritizing health - needs to be at the top of your self-care practices. And I don't mean just to avoid the virus. Of course, follow all the White House, CDC, FEMA, and your local governor's recommendations for your safety and those you love. But even outside of pandemics you will be a more effective and resilient leader when you commit to these healthy practices. 

Sheltering- in-place means I am not popping in the multiple stores I usually shop at to get those special items I love. I therefore have less than my ideal foodstuffs to cook from and eat. This reality is minor and almost embarrassing to consider with the suffering around us- but is causing a little adjustment to how to eat healthy. My husband and I are making it a challenge to create something from those never used items in both the pantry and the freezer. We also realize working from home we don't need to eat as often as we once did. For a light lunch or snack we find palm size portions are sufficient with some nuts, crackers, cubes of cheese, veggies with hummus, or half of an apple or banana maybe with almond butter to suffice. Thinking of and using sugar as a spice has changed our consumption and weaned us from the need to consume. Staying clear of added preservatives or nitrates or any ingredient we can't pronounce has helped us eat more healthy. 
For ideas of how to eat healthy and what to cook I enjoy following the healthy recipes of dietician  Chelsea at VICTAE  online and  use  the  NYT cooking app  for  highly rated new recipes.  
And do sit when you eat and relax. I've been making myself stop work over lunch and just read a novel. It feels a tad indulgent with so much to do but it is successfully providing a needed mental break from the stress of the news and tasks at hand. Too many of us eat while we work or on the go. Since we’re less on the go currently take advantage of just sitting and slowly eating in a relaxed state. Your body will thank you as well as your mind. 

For exercise simply jumping rope, body squats, crunches, planks, and pushup's against the back of a couch or chair will do the trickif constrained to indoors. If accountability is a challenge - get on a video chat with a friend and take turns choosing two or three reps of 3 or 4 exercises of your choice. My gym closed with my favorite trainer and so I’ve recently braved my slowly warming Florida pool to begin some lap swimming again. Tonight, my husband and I each chose 5 exercises from our former gym work-out class routines and did them a few times through out on the lawn with our 5 and 3-year-old neighboring grandchildren in our shelter-in-place bubble. We did wall squats off the garage and dips off of their dad's car's bumper. The 5-year-old got in the act and also took a turn each round leading us in what seemed like Kindergarten yoga and stretching moves learned from PE class. We even ran around the outside of the house 3 times. Mixing it up keeps us at it. If there's a compliant pet or young child in your bubble use them as weights and you'll laugh as well as increase your blood flow and oxygen throughout your body.
Now is the perfect time to prioritize taking care of yourself physically through quality eating and exercise. Reuters released today that the New Orleans projected Co-Vid19 death rate is projected to be higher because of the obesity of its citizens. 
Caring for your body's physical health needs during this pandemic is crucial for your mental clarity and energy as today's leader.  
You CAN build your resilience to lead in such a time as this by GETTING HEALTHY as a vital action of your self-care.  What healthy action can you add today? 

YOU are the person for such a time as this. The threat of decreased donor engagement for our organizations, interrupted supply chains for our businesses, layoffs, distractions from mission focus, the steep learning curve to work as a team virtually, and the stress of an unknown timeframe for this pandemic to end has knocked us for a loop. But RESILIENCE promises us “...the ability to bring energy- mental, spiritual, physical and emotional energy- to our lives, and particularly to situations that are difficult...” (Ferguson, Laurie J, PhD

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Photo from 123RF license

Dawn Yoder Graber
Post by Dawn Yoder Graber
April 2, 2020
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