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January 21, 2020

Tough being back from holidays?


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The challenge of re-entry

Coming back from holidays can be a challenge. Your heart and head have been in a different zone. Especially, if you have had a good one you will have unplugged and it takes some adjustment to re-enter. One big tip to reduce re-entry heat is to allow some time for reflection and refocus. Clarification you gain from writing your assignment is so helpful. How does your work-place role description line up with this? Secondly, spend some time on steps you will take to reach your destinations. For those who work with teams, take time to share stories from your vacation. Building connection is so valuable at this time. Push back the demands of the seemingly urgent to focus on who you are and who you are with.

But I still feel depleted.

But what if you are back at work and you still feel depleted? Your vacation has not filled the tank and the thought of the year is overwhelming and you don’t have energy to bring change.

How is your emotional tank?

Are you healthy, surviving or approaching empty? Are you:

  • Healthy: Full of energy and life, love and work—ready to help others make changes.
  • Surviving: Head above water—I have surfaced but one major crisis would push me under.
  • Approaching empty: Experiencing fatigue, feeling numb with life, foggy brain—lost decision-making ability.

First sign of burnout.

I have been in all three places. The first sign of burnout I saw was that my holiday did not replenish me. I came back without energy and knew I had no strength to make change. In reflection, I also discovered that not only was I emotionally depleted, but also was highly detached in key relationships, and had very low satisfaction with work. It was a dark and scary place that seemed to have no exit. If you can identify with this I want to tell you there is hope and things will change for you.

Sustained high stress can cause burnout. It is not a inherent weakness. Every thing breaks with enough pressure. A longer break alone will not fix this. Just taking a sabbatical is not the solution. Please reach out and get help.

Who can help you?

Have you been to your GP—make an appointment now. If your arm was broken, you would get it set. If you have an infection, you would get it treated. Just the same here.

Do you have a mentor? Someone who is a well-being specialist, who can pour in from experience, and help you fill your tank. Can I help you find one?

Transparently chat with your board/HR/boss and ask them to help. Making a plan for your well-being is essential. This is not just for those in trouble but also needs to be preventative.

What changes can you make?

If your burnout is not yet acute, you will be able to initiate changes to help you replenish. Find a space/place to withdraw from normal responsibilities for a few days and make a list of changes needed to help you fill. Who can help you reflect on and action the changes to ensure your life is sustainable?

Pass this on to someone who can be helped by this.
Love to hear your story. Your comments on this blog will help others and let them know they are not alone and that there is hope.

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