Self Care for Executive Directors

Hey everyone,

As I’m writing this, the day has been so busy. I’ve been averaging about 6 hours of sleep this week because I was up against quite a few deadlines and things come up. I slept through my alarm clock and got to work a little later than I had hoped. All this to say, I’ll definitely be taking time for myself this weekend, since I met all my deadlines with a bit of time to enjoy a great production of “Little Shop of Horrors” tonight :)

I talk to Executive Directors all day, and all are driven, passionate about their cause and dedicated to furthering it. You don’t choose to be a chief decision-maker in a nonprofit if you don’t feel wholeheartedly committed. That being said, sometimes you need to take a step back and take time for yourself! I know that some days can feel like you’re wearing many hats, I totally feel that being a small business owner. So I’m sharing a few things I do for self-care and for some relief & relaxation.

  1. Meditation: I used to use the calm app, but I have since taken to doing meditation in a guided format in a class once a week for an hour. It is the best mental break, even if it’s for 5 minutes, and takes all my worries and cares away.

  2. Podcasts: Sometimes when you’re working, it’s nice to take a moment, tune out and listen to a good podcast! I love narrative ones like Throughline and Invisibilia, woo-woo ones like Highest Self Podcast, and entrepreneurial ones like The Female Entrepreneur’s Journey and Strategy Hour. They help to provide a little bit of relief when I’m doing more administrative things.

  3. 15-20 minute walks: Walking is something that I could always stand to do more of. I try to go on at least 3 walks a day, for about 15-20 minutes. They help me to relax, think and put life in perspective. Sometimes I even get some new thoughts on business expansion and grant proposals.

  4. Running/Figure Skating/Exercise: On average I work out 5-6 days a week for at least an hour. I love working out because it’s a great stress reliever. Figure Skating is really unlike anything else I’ve ever done. Running is awesome because I get to do relaxing jogs, and longer distance runs and hit major milestones. I recently ran a marathon with my friend Rachelle and I loved it!

None of these are new ideas necessarily, but they’re what I do to take a break and de-stress, so I figured I’d share with my favorite Executive Directors :)

— Janet

Janet Gonzales