By Heather Stang, MA
There is no doubt that our work in the hospice and palliative care industry contributes to the greater good. But when we feel rushed, overwhelmed, and driven to distraction, it is easy to lose touch with our passion for care. And while on-the-job stress is common in any industry, those of us who dedicate our lives to serving others are particularly susceptible to stress overload and compassion fatigue.
If you are a hospice and palliative care leader caught in this downward spiral, you know how hard it can be to make clear, creative and wise decisions on the fly. You may even find it harder and harder to treat yourself and others with heartfelt compassion. Left unchecked, this distress can lead to mistakes, burnout, and even a stress-related illness, but the good news is that there a way to help yourself get unstuck, or better yet, prevent this scenario from unfolding in the first place.
One way to reduce stress, improve your health and cultivate leadership excellence at the same time is mindfulness. Mindfulness is more than navel gazing on a cushion, I like to think of it as the right kind of mind control. Far from a passive activity, cultivating mindfulness requires focusing and refocusing your attention on what is arising in the present moment while maintaining an attitude of heartfelt objectivity.
You have likely heard of the wide range of health benefits in brief mindfulness interventions, including reducing anxiety and migraine headaches, improved immune functioning, and even decreased psoriatic lesions. But what you may not know is that there is a growing body of evidence supporting that mindfulness has a positive impact on leadership.
And aren’t we all leaders? Whether your job title states it or not, you influence a wide range of human beings, not the least of which is yourself!
I hope you will attend The Mindful Leader: Thrive in Just Minutes a Day, the pre-conference workshop offered at the 2018 Management and Leadership Conference that will show you how to be the best leader you can be. We will review the principles of mindfulness, survey the current research, and even test-drive several key meditation techniques so you can only cultivate self-care – which is important – but experience how mindfulness can help you become a better leader and develop the Four Foundations of Leadership Excellence.
You can even start your MLC days off right and deepen your mindfulness training by joining me for morning meditation from 6:45 -7:45 am on Monday and Tuesday. Monday you will experience Mindfulness Meditation for Resilience and Self Care, and Tuesday we will learn how to Overcome Work/Life Challenges using meditation. This is open to all MLC attendees, whether you attend The Mindful Leader pre-conference session or not.
There is still time to register for The Mindful Leader on Sunday, April 22nd. I can’t wait to share these Mindfulness & Leadership tools with you!