INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
We often intend to recharge over the holidays but end up more exhausted afterwards (for a variety of reasons). Try this to help. In the quiet, in-between moments on your break, repeat this mantra:
“I have enough, am enough, am thankful enough.”
Happiness evaporates and exhaustion settles in when you feel that what you have (which is enough), is never enough. Joy and energy disappear when you question whether YOU are enough – good enough, smart enough, whatever enough. Use the time off to rediscover happiness in what you already have, and that you don’t need to be more than who you are, to be happy.
Read this slowly. YOU…ARE…ENOUGH. And you don’t have to take on everything by yourself, or be “on” all the time, for everyone.
Read that again.
This mantra also encourages joy through gratitude. University of California research draws a direct correlation between gratitude and feelings of happiness. Showing gratitude can be as easy as writing thank you notes, or writing down three things each day you’re thankful for. Just don’t be stingy with it – and the time of year is perfect to practice.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake I’ve made)
Sticking with the theme of recharging over the holidays, avoid this mistake I used to make every year. The holidays are coming to an end, and the dread begins to settle in. “I don’t feel like going back to work,” begins its refrain. As it should, if you look at it as you’re headed back to “the grind.”
Instead, commit in the new year that you’ll prioritize working on things that already have momentum, where energy is flowing downhill. Spend more time working on things that leverage your strengths and with people who give you energy, rather than sap it. Put your shoulders into that project whose potential is really starting to emerge. Spend more time on those things that you know your boss is going to support. As author James Clear says, “The idea is to sprint downhill, not grind uphill.”
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
One more time with this issue’s theme – try this research-backed strategy for de-stressing and recharging.
Less phone, more forest.
I know you know how much stress your cellphone can cause, and how nice it is to get out in nature. But here’s data to really make these truths register.
Research shows that just the mere presence of a cellphone can be distracting, let alone what happens when you turn it on and start doomscrolling or email surfing.
Instead, get out in nature more. And it doesn’t have to be a long break. Cornell University research shows that just a 10-minute walk in nature can substantially impact your recovery from stress. If you can immerse yourself in the great outdoors for 20-30 minutes, even better, as Harvard research shows this length of time produces the optimal drop in cortisol levels, the hormone that regulates your body’s response to stress. Not to mention it will also help you burn off all those holiday calories.
Happiest of holidays to everyone! Come back in the new year rested and ready to LEAD ON!