How are YOU? Most of us know one of the best ways to continue to move through the ravages of the pandemic is to check in on people, right? Of course! Look out for our fellow community members and especially the vulnerable.
I am not against any of that.
However, I am concerned about you. Is there is anyone checking up on YOU?
Today, I see a growing number of business leaders, executives and owners losing patience, exuding a hardened and edgy tone and more frequently proclaiming exhaustion and fed-upness over COVID. So many of my clients are near the end of their rope.
Do you feel like this too?
It’s not about mental illness. It has nothing to do with depression. It’s about sheer exhaustion. The gruelling pace and pressure these last fifteen months, we have all been under to adapt, to change, to keep going, to lead. Never, has the pressure – both professional and personal simultaneously, been this intense.
And if we are honest, it won’t likely ease up until we are all through the re-entry phase. Life as we knew it is over, and our exhausted minds and bodies will need to forge forward.
Sucking it up and soldiering on will not work.
There are rumours that very soon, there will be a groundswell of new opportunities for the right people. That many of our team members will leave for greener pastures. That there will be a considerable amount of people turmoil added to the re-entry mess.
I will venture to say you are not ready. And it is vital that you begin to get ready. Now.
We both know, playing stoic can not continue. Martyrdom must exit stage left. It’s time for getting and being real. Human. In order to get the best from our businesses and teams, we first must give the best of ourselves! If only we had the energy, right?
So, let’s take a deep breath and figure out how to begin the process.
In my opinion, the term self-care is silly. It applies to everything and says nothing. On the other hand, I like Pamper. Pamper is a word that is very clear about what it means. I invented a new word.
It is highly doubtful PampCare will ever be registered with the Oxford dictionary. However, what I CAN do is register the concept with you. And what PampCare means is “Take a Break. NOW!”
So many of us – across the entire globe – are teetering on the edge of exhaustion. Exhaustion from news and social media, exhaustion from stressed bosses, exhaustion from trying to keep everything together, exhaustion from politics, exhaustion from working ungodly hours at home, exhaustion from chasing money and keeping the lights on. Exhaustion is everywhere.
We are not machines or robots. We are mortal human beings. Who happen to be leading teams, departments, divisions and organisations. And we desperately need our own downtime, empty time, nourish time. Here a few ideas for you to consider looking after YOU!
- Turn off your cell phone for 12 hours, or
- Go for a long walk or bike ride, or
- Sit by some water, or
- Putter around the house or the garden, or
- Turn up the music very, very loud and dance your stresses away, or
- Cuddle with your fur critters, your kids, or your grands and simply be, or
- Call your parents, or
- Fix a gourmet meal or experimenting with a new libation, or
- Take a long hot bath, or
- Give your spouse a massage; demand same in return, or
- Spend the day reading that book you’ve been dying to dig into, or
- Play a board game or two, or
- Pretend you are a kid again and doing something absolutely juvenile, or
- Listen to a few podcasts, or
- Listen to some of the great old classic tunes (any genre), or
- Play a musical instrument, or
- Organize your photos, or
- Take on your favourite craft project, or
- Update your Bucket List
Doing any one of these things will give you a feeling of control over some part of your out of control life. Doing a couple of these things regularly (every day or week) will do wonders in replenishing your self.
Because you have been through a ton this past year, and there are still miles to go to get to the other side …
You might try some personal reflection
One of the programmes I have with my clients is a deep dive into their personal power. It includes (among other things) a review of their strengths, where their wheel of life categories rate, and how much fun and joy they have in their daily life.
All the good leaders I know set extremely high standards for themselves. And have spent much of this past year beating themselves up for NOT being able to fight all the forces that disrupted their lives. The result is they can only see the failures and none of the successes they have accomplished.
Taking stock of where you are today and how far you have come over the last year is a crucial step in refilling yourself with the energy you are seeking. It is the first step to helping you shine a light on your future actions. And it is a critical foundation on which you can lean as you go forward with the re-entry.
You ARE worth it
As a one of the amazing leaders, still standing, beaten, but not broken, I salute you. Inside of you is the same heart, soul and fire you had pre-COVID. A bit buried, but still there. Now, it’s time to find it, soothe it and make it strong again. Because you still need to rely on it. Because your teams, your departments, your business is relying on you.
Let me ask you again. How ARE You? I do care.