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How to get off the hamster wheel and restore

Picture by Dr. Ginny A. Baro, Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Get off the Hamster Wheel

In the middle of June 2021, I attended a one-week business retreat for women executives in Costa Rica hosted by my colleague and friend Pilar Avila from Renovad.

We received much-needed R&R during the retreat while connecting with other business leaders from different geographic locations, backgrounds, fields of expertise, and with diverse missions and stages of our businesses. I planned this retreat to give myself space to continue growing my practice and replenish my energy and resources.

Like any other business commitment, having this trip on my calendar forced me to create the space and structure to relax. Taking your well-being as seriously as it needs to be by making it a priority on your schedule will help you get off your hamster wheel.

Why does it matter? Your self-care is as important as your "results" so that you can fill back up and then give the best of your productivity, creativity, and resourcefulness to your work and the people you support.

Members of the retreat got so much out of it, in addition to making incredible connections with other accomplished and heart-driven leaders.

Although I was feeling restored after the intentional retreat, it was still challenging to maintain that sense of serenity and not jump right back on my hamster wheel of work. As professionals, we "do" the hamster wheel so well! We're pros. What most of us find incredibly uncomfortable is not feeling harried and stressed from "the work."

Listen to and Follow What Your Body Says!

I realized on my way back from Costa Rica that I returned feeling introspective. I wasn't very productive re-engaging with the projects that I knew were on deck to tackle next.

That first week back, after meeting with the leaders I coached, I rested. Although my brain wanted to kick into high gear, I noticed that my body was not up for the hustle and bustle it typically goes through daily.

As I resumed my leadership coaching practice, speaking engagement contracts, and planning activities for leadership programs starting in September 2021, I purposely gave myself grace. I acknowledged where I was and proceeded to meet with my clients peacefully, going through my day as calmly as possible.

Sometimes when we think about being by ourselves and leaving our children or significant others behind, we may feel a little guilt as if we're not supposed to, or we're not allowed to. Guilt itself implies that we've done or are doing something wrong--for many of us, that's how our brain is wired.

The work my clients and I engage in helps them re-write that script so that they don't feel guilt for prioritizing their self-care--on the contrary, so they recognize that it's essential to their well-being, fulfillment, and business success.

Bringing It All Together

As you read this...

I invite you to create the space to practice self-care, spend time alone to be a bit reflective, check in with yourself, and be.

It's effortless to stay on our hamster wheel--our comfort zone--and refuse to get off of it. And often, you may even feel bad when you think about jumping off the treadmill and take a break.

It's significant to note that what you do to restore doesn't require a trip overseas if that's not attainable for you at the moment. What's most important is to listen to your body, and if it's letting you know that it's time for a break, that you take one--even if it's a staycation, daybreak, a couple of hours of downtime--without finishing chores! LOL. Or as simple as 20 minutes in your room alone, laying down with your eyes closed and a hydrating mask on your face!

How will you take care of yourself this week or weekend?

How do you plan to stow away for a day, a few hours, or even 20 minutes and replenish?

Imagine you create the "structure" for your self-care. What would that look like, and what would be the benefits in your career and life?

The time you set aside could be spent solo--no kids, partner, or family, simply making time to do whatever brings you joy at the moment. In your own company, I challenge you to identify what that is and be courageous to pencil it in your calendar--that's how you prioritize yourself and create the supportive structure to help you achieve your dreams without burning out.

I schedule to attend VIP days and local retreats hosted by my colleague and friend Sensei Victoria Whitfield throughout the year. These are already on my calendar through 2022. I've experienced the benefits first-hand and would not be taking up your valuable time and mine to speak about this significant subject unless I were confident that my life and career feel in alignment and flow--which translates to good business and happy clients.

As a member of my community and leadership coaching programs, you would enjoy the benefits of my Fearless Leaders Self-Care Retreats, which support the leaders I coach to build that support structure and re-wire our brains to embrace a new way of thinking...

My self-care is unselfish.

As you take care of yourself, you restore, fill your cup, and bring that joy and that fullness to the people you love and support daily, including your family, your loved ones, your partner, and your clients.

Please share what you are committing to in your self-care by leaving us a comment or replying to us.

In the meantime, be fearless! (act despite the fear)

Coach Ginny 💕

P.S. You can always reach me at to set up a complimentary strategy session and explore how our programs can help you and your leaders rise to your full leadership potential without burning out.


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About Dr. Ginny A. Baro

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a sought-after international motivational speaker & leadership coach, a career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. Ginny specializes in partnering with organization to develop leadership teams at all levels of management. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or moving into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees and delivered keynotes impacting international audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound. Join our community and receive valuable strategies delivered to your inbox (we don't spam). Read other articles in our blog, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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