Be gentle with yourself. You are doing the best you can – Paulo Coelho.
Paul Coelho’s quote feels highly relevant right now, particularly as the world of work seems to have turned on its head during the past eighteen months.
It is an excellent reminder that we all need to practice some self-care and some self-compassion. So, I was delighted this month to take part in a panel discussion with executive coaches Jenny Garrett, Carol Stewart, Leyla Okhai and Obehi Alofoje on Avoiding Burnout in a 24/7 work culture.
You can catch up with the panel discussion here
And here are a few of my guidance and tips:
- Avoid Overwhelm – if you can, build elasticity into your diary. Leave some gaps. Easier to slot things into existing gaps if required.
- Let some things go – does everything need to be 100%. Some things will need to be good enough. Familiarise yourself with the concept of good enough – and decide what falls within this category.
- For those of you that are Strictly fans, it might be more helpful to think about your tasks as dancing partners rather than juggling balls, plates etc. Focus on one partner at a time.
- Use daily journaling – to release the worries, concerns, stop or prevent them from taking up permanent residence in your head. Stop, prevent them from scurrying about inside your head.
- Create pockets – 20 to 30 minutes away from the screen – get as much fresh air as you can. I have enjoyed spending time in my garden, use whatever outdoor space is available/accessible to you. It also helps to move about and take a stretch.
- Schedule in and stick with some ‘me time’ – this is not a luxury – it’s your oxygen mask.
- Check your energy levels – you may need to see your GP. Read more here:
- How is your sleep – disrupted sleep patterns might be an indicator that something is amiss.
- Protect your sleep – establish a regular, consistent going to bed routine – hot shower at night, a little reading in bed, no screens after 9 pm.
- Control – consider and establish what control you can take back. Who is in control of your diary?
- Establish clear boundaries – around your time, space, tasks.
- Experiment with your day – in the past 18 months, I have shifted the start of my day by 60 minutes. I started with 15 minute chunks and noticed that this small change multiplied as I became more alert in the mornings.
- Get yourself checked out – though this might be more easily said than done.
- Watch your ‘to do lists’ – what are you doing with these? They might not be helping if they are overlong and appear never-ending.
- Think about how you say no- I found this article on LinkedIn and think it provides a valuable framework for saying no:
- The more I work in front of a camera – the more I can appreciate and sympathise with those delegates/participants who choose to keep their cameras off or decide to have them on intermittently. It is hard work looking at yourself all the time. Read more about Zoom Fatigue here.
- It can be helpful to give yourself a break – relax, breathe, and allow your face to assume its most natural shape, expression. Read more here.
I hope this helps.
Until next time.