How to supercharge yourself
by Amélie Desrochers
After weeks of crisis management’, feeling like your fuel is running low? That’s quite normal says Sandra.
This crisis is especially strange because most people are stuck at home. The stored energy can’t circulate freely. For those who are used to the fight or flight mode, there is no way out: it leaves us feeling temporarily frozen.
The main consequence: it’s much harder to metabolize your stress. You can’t evacuate it as you usually do. That, my friend, may drain the energy right out of you. It’s perverse and hardly noticeable, but it’s bringing you down.
Since we’re in this crisis for the long-haul, here are some tools to optimize your energy.
Acknowledge your limits
“We’re seeing a lot of people at their worst right now” says Sandra. People who are usually patient, grateful, and caring may seem on the verge of exploding. You may feel this way too. That’s totally normal and it may be like this for a while. Between the kids at home, the lack of vacations and all the obligations, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done – all things considered. Your #1 priority is to manage your energy, fill up your tank (rest) or renew your tank (move) as possible and as often as possible. Being a tolerant leader, a generous friend, and understanding boss, should not be on your list right now. Take care of yourself (manage your stress and energy) first. Your leadership skills will only benefit from it in the long run.
Pick your battles
Your team is anxious, angry, upset? Or they want to reinvent the world daily? Fine. They’re a suggestion box for that. It can be a Slack channel dedicated to complaints and innovative ideas. Or an app like Officevibe. Build a safe space where they can express themselves and air their grievances, it’s crucial. But you ought to step away from all this anxiety that is not yours and that people are trying to burden you with. Protect yourself and preserve your energy. Remember, you are a leader, you can’t be a “waste deposit”, nor a punching bag if you want to stay focused and strong- for the good of the company.
We’re in the midst of destruction and reinvention. Some sectors of the economy will collapse, lots of jobs will be lost. That was unavoidable (inevitable?). You may feel guilty because your company is actually doing great. Finally, your vision is resonating with others. This is your time. Don’t apologize for doing well. You’ve worked hard for it, you are in a positive mindset, you inspire hope and well being. People actually need this. No need to volunteer at the local hospital. You’re generating a positive impact simply by being your awesome self! Feeling jealousy around you? Even better. Your company’s success will always bother, but jealousy may also be a great driver for those who need to get out of the rut. “Guilt will only slow you down and not benefit anyone. Guilt can be surprisingly destructive and hard to get rid of. Seek help to deal with guilt” recommends Sandra.
Gather with care
Boozing & zooming is booming. Your team has moved the weekly 5@7 online to keep the spirit high? Lovely. But beware of who you’re drinking with. Celebration is fine. But keep complaining to a minimum in work settings. Colleagues who are feeling down may bring to down as well. If the mood is not right, simply disconnect and refuel elsewhere. Go for a walk. Buy some flowers. Share a nice meal with your partner. Call your mom and ask for a pep talk. Your team will certainly benefit from your positive energy when you get back.
Charity begins at home
Self-care matters. A lot. We won’t stress this enough. As a leader, you may feel compelled to help people around you. So many people need help and you have all these skills! Take plenty of downtimes, consume nourishing distractions, spend time with your family (if it’s nurturing), or by yourself. Take a bath, read a good book, go for a walk, if only for a few minutes. Take this downtime as an opportunity to clean up your act. Do your taxes on time this year, for a change. Remember, it’s much easier to help (or blame) others (je ne comprends pas cette phrase). The world needs well-rested and clear-headed leaders.