7 Ways to Invest in Your Emotional Health as a Leader

Feb 28, 2024

Good leaders are emotionally healthy.  When you are emotionally healthy, it sets you up to love well and lead wisely.  But let’s be real, investing in our emotional health isn’t something we were all exposed to growing up. And it’s not usually a class you take before launching a business, leading a staff, or planting a church. 

So here’s a few practices to help you invest in your emotional well-being:

1. Commit to regular times of journaling and reflecting.

Experience alone doesn’t make for a good teacher. Reflect on your experiences to truly extract the right lessons from them. Carve out time regularly to debrief and reflect on your past week or day. Celebrate the wins and process the losses.

2. Pay attention to your feelings.

I was raised in an era of church where we were taught that feelings were bad and not to be trusted. We need a more theologically sound approach to emotions-— one that recognizes God designed us to have emotions. They shouldn’t dictate our life’s choices (that’s a recipe for disaster), but they are indicators that help us identify what is going on in our hearts. When you are feeling frustrated, discouraged, angry or sad… don’t simply try to talk yourself out of it in the name of faith. Instead, ask yourself why you are feeling what you are feeling. Let it lead you to greater self-awareness.

 3. Schedule times of rest and margin.

It’s impossible to operate at your best when tired or exhausted. Honor the Sabbath—- set aside one day a week where you stop working, and instead, rest, delight and worship. And make sure you have margin in your daily schedule. You are a high capacity leader, but you are not a machine. You need times throughout the day where you can pause, breathe, take a walk, pray, engage in a fun conversation, and eat a healthy meal.

4. Set and keep healthy boundaries.

Easier said than done, but it’s important that we have boundaries. When you say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything for fear of letting others down or missing out, you ultimately say ‘no’ to your emotional health. So get good at saying ‘no’ or ‘not now’ when what is being asked of you infringes on who and what matters most to you.

5. Devote time daily for Bible reading and prayer.

Your spiritual health impacts Your emotional health. When you practice daily rhythms to abide in Jesus, your mind is being renewed and your heart purified and refined. When you are rooted in God’s love for you, it empowers you to live and lead from emotional strength.

6. Be real with your people.

Emotional health requires the practice of vulnerability. We all need to lean on others and share what’s really going on in our lives. And we need people who can genuinely celebrate with us when we experience victories, both big and small. You are not an exception to the rule because you are the leader. If you want to invest in your emotional health, then go deep and be honest with the people you know and trust.

7. Take care of your physical health.

The neglect of your physical health weakens your emotional health. Take care of yourself. I’m talking fitness, nutrition, sleep, etc.. These don’t matter because you should fit into a certain pant size or look a certain way (you are stunning just as you are), but because God wants you to experience life to the full! And if something feels off when it comes to your emotional highs and lows, talk to your doctor. Advocate for yourself to get the answers you need.

Thanks for reading!

I pray this is a help to you!

Why not share this post to cheer your friends on as they invest in their emotional health?