by Molly Waters


Group practicing self-care

At Big Buzz, we put people before projects. This commitment allows us to work with clients on marketing strategy and consultation first, hear and act upon the urgent and important then pivot in order to produce the best results. That’s focus at its finest.

That type of focus can be hard to find when operating a healthcare organization. Between managing investor expectations, implementing your sales and marketing plans, responding to the “Great Resignation” and more, your focus is being pulled in ten different directions on a daily basis. How do you continue to focus on the people and be a great leader amidst the chaos? You model and practice excellent self-care.

“According to the survey, nearly one-third of adults (32%) said sometimes they are so stressed about the coronavirus pandemic that they struggle to make basic decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat. Millennials (48%) were particularly likely to struggle with this when compared with other groups (Gen Z adults: 37%, Gen Xers: 32%, Boomers: 14%, older adults: 3%).”
– Stress and decision-making during the pandemic, Stress in AmericaTM 2021, American Psychological Association

With 56 million millennials currently in the workforce, the struggle of making basic decisions is not something that should be overlooked, but instead proactively addressed within your organization. Stress at the personal level rarely leads to success at the professional level.

It Starts with Modeling

It can be difficult to mandate self-care to manage stress among others without first modeling it. Big Buzz’s longtime business coach sees leadership as a “mental and emotional state, a way of being.” Ask yourself, “How am I mentally and emotionally showing up right now?” Are you:

  • Answering emails in the wee hours of the morning because that is when you finally have time to sit down and parse your inbox?
  • Rushing from one Zoom call to the next never feeling present because you are playing catchup on one while trying to prepare for the next?
  • Working while you eat lunch or just skipping the meal altogether?
  • Postponing 1:1 calls with those you manage because there are seemingly more urgent matters?
  • Showing up to team calls looking (and feeling) disengaged or apathetic?
  • Defaulting to “I’ll just figure it out on my own” instead of making time to collaborate with others?

If you identified with any of the above scenarios, you are not alone. And it is unlikely you will never fall into one of those traps. But take a moment to consider how that behavior is impacting others around you – creating more chaos and overwhelm – when focus is what you really want.

Now it is Time to Practice

Jacqueline Ashley, DSW wrote an article for Forbes where she stated, “As a leader, by role modeling multidimensional self-care, you’re helping others see that they have permission to take care of themselves, too.”

What can you do to show others on your team what excellent self-care looks like?

  • Start and end your days at a reasonable time. Ideally, meetings and emails should happen between 8 am and 6 pm. Healthy boundaries are more challenging than ever with home offices taking over living areas, making it difficult for many to detach from work during off-hours.
  • Take a lunch break. This is definitely a recommendation you have heard before, but there’s a twist here: the key is to not just take a break to eat. Do that, then take the dog for a walk, meditate or read. Big Buzz’s Creative Director has a daily ritual where she takes an hour each day to eat, get outside and take a power nap. This not only sets an example for those she manages, but allows her to finish the second half of her day feeling refreshed instead of drained.
  • When you hit a wall, invite others to problem-solve with you. Set the example that the antidote to stress, procrastination and overwhelm is collaboration, not isolation. With home offices, there is enough isolation happening already. Speak up when you need help so that others understand this is a welcomed practice within your organization.
  • Share your personal news. One of the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) principles is that you segue into meetings with something positive and non-urgent like sharing personal and professional good news. Professional good news may be easier or more comfortable to share but personal good news brings the focus back to people rather than work. Share about shows you are watching, a new podcast you found or something fun you did with your family over the weekend. This is a subtle way to share with your team that you are taking care of yourself and that they should too.

Is it Working?

At Big Buzz, we believe that putting people before projects helps everyone succeed. It creates happier and healthier employees, more focused conversations and better work. Measure these outcomes for your organization by gathering data from employee satisfaction surveys and NPS surveys.

Are you interested in learning other ways to keep your team focused? Big Buzz offers a free SWOT analysis to get you the insights you need to make the next right marketing move. Why is the session free? Because we are passionate about solving complex marketing problems. Get your free analysis here.

Big Buzz is a marketing agency delivering a steady stream of move-in-ready leads to teams serving the senior living industry. For more than 15 years, Big Buzz has helped senior living marketing and sales teams nurture leads to increase occupancy, grow and scale. CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of the book Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results, has been published in McKnight’s, has been a regular contributor to Forbes, and has been quoted in The Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune. The Big Buzz leadership team regularly lectures in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 3,000 attendees, including at Argentum and various LeadingAge chapters. Agency awards and accolades include recognition for excellence by the American Marketing Association, Gold Key Award Winner by the Business Marketing Association, HubSpot Academy Inbound Marketing Certification, and Top Advertising and Marketing Agency by Clutch.

by Molly Waters



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