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MOJO for Leaders

Updated: May 25, 2023

Are you a manager, a director, or a leader? If so, you have a tough job these days. This is true for any leader, whether you are an intrapreneur or an entrepreneur, and whether the people on your team are your employees, clients, or stakeholders. The priorities that the workforce is bringing into the work environment have really shifted. It was noted in an SHRM article, one that of the focal points for managers is to be mindful of, pay attention to, and support their employee's financial and emotional well-being.

What does that mean and look like exactly? Today, according to a WTW survey two out of three U.S. employers (67%) plan to make employee mental health and emotional wellbeing programs and solutions one of their top three health priorities over the next three years.

Accessible mental health services and well-being programs are certainly important offerings that an employer must consider but how do the levels of stress, overwhelm, and burnout impact you as a leader? If your job is to concentrate on your team’s well-being, who is looking out for you? How does your self-care become a priority?

I bet the short answer is that it doesn’t. Your self-care probably takes a back seat. You are most likely depleted and zapped of your energy because so much of it is going to others. It takes a lot of stamina to be there for your team, especially when you are supporting their emotional challenges and issues. The mental power required can be taxing. And if you do not have a good routine and practice of ensuring that your bucket is filled and gets refilled often, you will have all your juice sucked out of you.

When I was working in the behavioral health field and working with clients who had significant emotional challenges, those staff who did not take care of themselves would easily burn out and do so quickly. It was especially true for those of us who were natural empaths; those who can absorb and take on other people’s issues and problems. And now in the workplace, managers have become pseudo-counselors where they must at least recognize that emotional issues and mental health may be at play with their team.

So how do you fill your well? How do you inject the oxygen mask theory and take care of #1, before you take care of others? What can you do each day to keep yourself present, focused, and optimally mentally fit and do so to live as fully and in your zone as possible?

I remember one of the tips that I used to share with new managers regarding ways to recognize their workforce was to acknowledge folx right away and do things that were easily accessible, free and did not require you to jump through any hoops. I believe the same is true for self-care. What are things that we can do that are right at our fingertips, that are free, and that does not require permission from anyone else?

And typically, most of those things are right in front of us. We just do not tap into or access them. For example, what if I told you that researchers in Finland found that visiting the outdoors three to four times a week was associated with lower odds of needing treatment for anxiety, asthma, depression, or insomnia?

Imagine what the impact would be if we went outside for a brisk 2-minute walk a few times a day. What if you knew that doing 6 minutes of walking outside could reduce your stress and increase your green time over your screen time?

As a mental fitness coach, I work with clients to develop and build their core mental fitness muscles so they can navigate and manage daily life challenges and stressors. I do this, especially with leaders who need to recharge and re-energize so they can perform optimally. One of the chief ways in doing so is to focus on one physical sensation, called PQ reps, for one to two minutes. Here are some examples of PQ reps and things that you have accessible and available to you at any time during any situation each day.


  • Notice the rise and fall of your breath in your chest and abdomen.

  • Notice your breath entering and leaving your nostrils. Feel the air moving and what temperature it is.


  • Rub your thumb and forefinger together with such attention that you feel the ridges on both fingers.

  • Wiggle your toes, noticing each one of them.

  • Touch an object in your physical environment and notice what it feels like.

  • Feel the weight of your whole body on your seat.


  • Listen for the farthest sounds you can hear (eyes open or closed).

  • Listen for the nearest sounds you can hear, including your own breathing.

  • Isolate the sound of a single instrument while listening to music.


  • Look at something in your physical environment with intense attention, noticing every detail.

Other Ideas

  • Eat something and close your eyes; focus intently on the taste, texture, and/or sound as you chew.

  • Shower and feel the water as it washes over you… hear the water, smell the soap.

  • Hug a loved one and notice his/her/their heart beating.

  • Walk, noticing ALL that you can, one at a time: what you see, your breath, the feel of your feet as they hit the ground, your muscles as they move you forward, the sounds and smells.

These are some suggestions to help you get grounded now.

What are you willing and committed to doing? And what are you waiting for? We all intellectually know that to be our best and to serve others at our maximum and highest potential, we must prioritize our own emotional well-being and mental fitness first.

What is one action that you can inject and incorporate over the next week, 15 minutes a day, that will help you be more present and mindful?

Today, leaders are charged with needing to be aware and attentive to their team’s mental health. To do that well, self-care is even more critical.

“The more we practice mindfulness the more we understand the emotional dynamics of the self and others.” Amit Ray

Reach out if you want to learn more about the 8-week mental fitness program I offer through Positive Intelligence.


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