Restarting Your Spark
The long awaited days of traveling, going to baseball games and concerts, and hugging friends and family with minimal fear has returned! As someone who loves to be on the go and around people, I feel freed! But also, who would have guessed how exhausting it could be! Returning to a semblance of pre-pandemic life, I sometimes find myself more tired — going into work, interacting with others, driving — for me, it seemed counterintuitive that something so “normal” would make me so tired.
As I’ve been talking with friends, family, and colleagues, I realized I’m not alone! People are feeling a sense of burnout — whether it was at the start of the pandemic, as life picks up in our return to ‘normal,’ or maybe it’s both. As a society, we have been on an 18 month rollercoaster ride. On top of it all, we have still had to perform our job, go to school, show up for people in our lives, and somehow take care of ourselves, all with lingering uncertainty about what life will look like moving forward.
A few months back, I wrote Reimagining Normal, to encourage us to embrace the opportunity to ‘redefine’ this new normal. And while we work to redefine it and show up in new, authentic ways, it is also important that we take time to realistically check-in with ourselves and assess what we need to do to maintain our energy.
A study by FlexJobs found that 75 percent of workers have experienced burnout, and 40 percent of those surveyed said it was a direct result of the pandemic. So rather than fighting the feelings of burnout, perhaps we need to flip the narrative. What can we do to prevent it?
The Center for Creative Leadership proposes five dimensions to burn bright, not out. These include physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing. By focusing on each of these dimensions, we can better ourselves, and consequently better those around us at home, work, school, and our personal lives. Check out some of our favorite tips to help you and your team regain your spark and burn bright!
Physical: Staying physically active is one of the best ways to recharge both your mind and your body. Focusing on your physical health does not mean you need to exercise for hours. It could be as simple as eating foods that fuel your body, setting reminders to get up and move, or going out for a walk on your lunch break. At Leadership Inspirations, team exercises have been one of our favorite ways to break up the day and re-energize together. Have you tried a Coconut Stretch yet??
Mental: Maintaining your mental wellbeing is another key to finding your spark when feeling burnout. I tend to find this one easy to overlook, especially when things get busy. For example, when my smartwatch tells me to breathe, oftentimes, I’ll look down, silence it, and think that I don’t have time for that, without even considering the benefit. However, that is when it is most important to! Setting reminders and making a commitment to stick to them can be a great way to check in with yourself and remain present. Another great way to change up your thinking are brain teasers. Not only are they fun, but they can get you thinking in new ways and spark creativity. Changing up each day can be a great way to check in and reset. Our LinkedIn can help! Each week we feature posts like our Motivational Mondays, Quotes, Question of the Day and more!
Emotional: Additionally, there are simple tricks to practice emotional wellbeing. One of my favorite ways is to practice gratitude. It is a simple way to flip our mindsets and focus on the good in our lives. Check out the post The Gift of Gratitude for more ways to practice it. There are also tons of apps and videos that can guide you through gratitude exercises, and if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up, try putting on a happy song or playlist! This is one of the simplest ways to shift your mood! Check out how this song quickly shifted our moods! Stretch turned Dance Party
Social: As humans, we are wired to connect. Therefore it is crucial that we remain focused on relationships, especially when times are stressful. As a Leadership Inspirations team, we love to reconnect monthly with new and old colleagues and have some fun! Though socials and gatherings, virtual or in-person, are a great outlet, there are also a variety of other ways to connect! Invite a team member to eat lunch together or organize a lunch buddies system with your group or put a Post-it Display of Appreciation (PDA) on someone’s desk! Any of these will help to build social connections. If you need conversation starters, check out our Questions of the Day!
Spiritual: For your spiritual spark, find what guides you. As you can imagine, this is something that might look a little different to each of us. Finding a deeper purpose and connection to my work is also something that I value. If this resonates with you, check out my latest post on Taking Pride in Your Why to discover your driving force. There are also more simple exercises we can practice each day! A gratitude journal and yoga are some of my favorites. Like any of the other dimensions, find what works for you and use it!
The key to restarting your spark is to try! Experiment with different activities and practices in each dimension. What gives you energy? What helps you show up as your best self? What starts your spark? Practice whatever it is, and share it with your team today! Need help facilitating this? Contact us today for a customized Team Development Program!
*Meet the Author*
Caroline has been with Leadership Inspirations for 3 years. She has recently received a Masters in Leadership Development and holds B.A’s in Psychology and Integrated Educational Studies.
Favorite Quote: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make” – Jane Goodall
Fun Facts: 1) I’m from Seattle 2) I LOVE Golden Retrievers 3) I have celebrated Holi in India