In early March until recently, I did what all good leadership coaches do – focus completely on their client’s success. After all, we were in indeed facing a global pandemic. The adrenaline was rushing through my veins as I sought to support current and past clients. Sound familiar? I am sure many of you reading this rallied to support your team and your clients.
What ensued was a season of burnout…In fact here are the results of my Burnout Assessment – notice the highest score? I was for sure emotionally exhausted.
The leaders I have been supporting through training and coaching have experienced a similar phenomenon. In fact, a recent American Psychology Association study stated that Americans are fully stressed and even more burned out at work. However, there is good news – we are moving to recovery which is a good sign. The image below demonstrates the phases of trauma response:
For you as a leader, moving out of burnout is not a quick and easy fix. It will be a process or a series of choices to help you fully recover. In fact, what you do each and every night after work will make all the difference. We call this recovery.
Here are a few of the key recovery tactics to consider:
1.) Detachment: After work, it will be even more important for you to put that phone away and charge it in another room. Close the laptop and keep it closed at the same time every night. I would suggest before dinner, so you can move into recovery mode with your family.
Your ability or inability to detach each night from work both physically and MENTALLY will help you recover. The mental part is hard, but it is doable. You may need to practice breathing or mediation. Consider using the CALM app for your phone. Even if you just meditate for two minutes, you will experience recovery.
2.) Social Interaction: This one is tricky in times of COVID. You need to maintain social support to fully recover. Ensure you are connecting with your closest friends and family during this season. Also, be sure you are reconnecting with your network to ensure you maintain your strong professional network.
3.) Relaxing: Unfortunately, I am not sure that Netflix is the answer to relaxing. It does provide comfort, but it may not create renewal. Comfort is ice cream and renewal is reading, resting and exercise.
4.) Sleep: Now more than ever it is critical to go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time. Americans are sleep deprived and remember more time working does not equal more productive. In fact, your productivity starts to dip at around 50 hours / week. Do not let your work interfere with your sleep.
What is your strategy toward recovery?