Just a month shy of Christmas and many executives are feeling the impacts of what has been a volatile year. Do you find yourself holding your breath knowing that Christmas break is just around the corner? Have you felt physically and emotionally exhausted, cynical about work and uncertain about your ability to even do a good job? If so, you're not alone, burnout in 2020 is on the rise.
What you (or your family) don't want happening is getting to your well-deserved break and you falling into a heap, spending your time-off in recovery mode with the inability to recharge and properly connect with others. A "2020" hangover you might say, but one that lasts for weeks, further fuelled by the indulgences often fraught throughout the holiday season.
All is not lost, you have 4 weeks to give yourself the chance of actually enjoying your break, what can you do?
5 Things You Can Do to Set Yourself Up for An Amazing Break
Clarify how you want to feel over the holidays ~ rested, relaxed, energised, content? Acknowledge that your core desired feeling is not just going to happen, that you'll need to do the groundwork to get there and starting now, well-ahead of time is mandatory.
Start a simple 5 minute meditation practice each morning. This will not only give you a foundation of calm and clarity for each day, but it will fuel the executive centre of your brain and start building the neural networks associated with functions therein. Think better decision making, planning, emotion regulation and the like. When you become comfortable with 5 minutes, up it to 10.
Give yourself permission to take regular micro breaks through your day. Quite often we wrongly believe that busyness is the path to success, we correspondingly fill our calendars with back-to-back meetings and create never-ending to-do lists. Science tells us that taking regular breaks actually improves our performance and our productivity.
Exercise. Exercise is a stress-buster and brain-booster. It provides our bodies with the tools to combat the challenges we face, overcome adversity and perform at our best. Feeling lethargic and unmotivated to start exercising? Knowing that exercise actually provides us with more energy, combats afternoon fatigue and improves our mental capacity is a catalyst for starting. Don't have the time? Get up earlier, get outdoors for a walk during those long conference calls, remind yourself of the why.
Up your dose of positive emotions. I speak often about Barbara Fredrickson's work on positive emotions and that's because they are the key to both feeling good and bouncing back. Think joy, awe, inspiration. love, serenity, gratitude, amusement, pride.....when did you last experience those emotions? When we make positive emotions a priority, it broadens our mind, increases creativity, and makes us more resourceful and more resilient. Get intentional about your daily diet of positive emotions, adopt that gratitude practice, be mindful in each moment, connect with those you love often.
The amazing thing about these 5 things is that they are all readily available to you and at no cost. Simple, practical, behavioural practices that will make a BIG impact, now is the time to start!
Kirsten works with individuals, teams and organisations to help them feel good and perform at their best. Get in touch with her today if you're looking for some support, accountability and motivation to become a happier, healthier version of you!