Living, Working and Leading Consciously in 2021
For the people whose jobs it is to look after and organise others, living consciously has never been more important. But what exactly does it mean?
With everything going on in the world, it can be easy to succumb to worry and overwhelm, rather than existing and taking in the moments as they come. Conscious living changes that. Essentially it’s about taking the space to pause and examine your reality as it is; understanding the things you have control over and can change for the better, and letting go of those you don’t, so that you can move forward in a more purposeful way.
The benefits of conscious living are numerous. From personal, professional and spiritual fulfilment, to reduced stress and improved physical and mental health. Living consciously allows you to be responsive rather than reactive and ultimately, increases happiness and satisfaction.
Sound good? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Create habits and routine
Prioritise the things that actively make you feel better and commit to doing them as often as you can, whether that’s daily, weekly or monthly:
Schedule time in your diary each day to ground you in the present. Take ten minutes and check in with how you’re feeling, noticing any areas of tension. When you’re ready, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique: inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and then exhale through your mouth, while making a ‘whooshing’ sound for eight seconds. This will help reduce any stress and anxiety.
Remove clutter to help refocus on the important stuff. Before starting work, tidy your working area or consider adding colour and greenery with a regular plant or flower delivery which will lift your mood and purify the air around you.
2. Prioritise the health and wellbeing of you and your colleagues
A happy leader makes a good leader - focusing on your own wellbeing allows you to contribute fully as a manager and colleague:
Encourage flexible working conditions into the company culture that adapt to individual needs and working styles.
Acknowledge key awareness dates such as Mental Health Week with DIY kits and care packages for teams that can include healthy snacks, teas, candles and make-your-own bath bombs, pressed flower cards or signature scent with essential oils.
Arrange inspirational talks and educational masterclasses with experts and motivational speakers that can really make a difference. Holistic support in the workplace that focuses on mindfulness, healing techniques, parenting tips and making sustainable choices, can promote collective conscious living.
Support the health and nutrition of your team on site at the office or by delivery with weekly energiser breakfasts such as immunity building goji and chia porridge, energy boosting ginger shots, cacao and banana smoothies or turmeric lattes.
3. Promote authentic connections
Authenticity is at the very core of conscious living, when you are true to yourself, you can seek and foster it in your relationships with others that cultivates deep bonds:
Hold regular check-ins to see how people are doing and employ active listening - ask questions that encourage open dialogue and create connection.
Implement a programme of events that connect people through shared experiences, stimulates conversation around varying topics (i.e mental health and stress), encourages creativity and inspires wellbeing practices. This helps build individual resilience and team culture and creates a safe space where people will feel truly valued, heard and motivated because they can be their authentic selves.
Team building with a twist - foster authenticity by identifying the needs of your team and programming regular online workshops and fun outdoor activities that cover the six key pillars of wellbeing: nutrition, physical, emotional, creative, social and environmental. Whether it’s virtual escape rooms, a team pancake challenge or bake off with celebrity chef or family-friendly local park treasure hunts, it’s a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues inside and out and turn those working relationships into friendships.
4. Stay true to your values and incorporate them within your work
Aligning your job with your purpose, beliefs and goals increases motivation, engagement and morale. Try:
Speaking up for what matters at all levels and managing up as well as down, by helping seniors achieve their mission, seeking and giving constructive feedback and encouraging openness and trust.
Lead by example; be the change that people need to see so that others soon follow.
Get creative! A team vision boarding workshop is a great way to plan what you want to achieve for the year and offers opportunity for reflection on how to align where you are with where you want to be.
5. Champion the power of support and giving back
Last but by no means least, creating a supportive working environment where people feel heard and nurtured and getting involved with external initiatives can bolster morale and elicit that feel-good feeling.
Adopt a more emotionally intelligent, service-type approach to leadership - be there to serve your colleagues and help them realise dreams and reach their goals.
Initiate company charitable partnerships and local projects people can get involved with on a regular basis that encourages community cohesion and social responsibility. A win all round.
Once you’re ready to shift your focus and live more mindfully, you will start cultivating the life - and work life - that you want to lead. And when they start to see the magic happen, we’re sure your team will want to join you!