Have you ever underestimated the impact that your thoughts and feelings have on your overall energy levels? I bet if you went back through the last few weeks that you could draw a direct correlation to how easy or hard things were based on your overall emotional state. It always reinforces for us as leaders that if we don’t understand how we are feeling or deal with the “here and now” it results in a physical drain to our ability to be energized for our teams or deal with what is happening to us.
There are some weeks where our feelings will affect our energy levels negatively and a lot where we will benefit positively from things that inspire or humble us. When those moments of negative emotional energy creep in… there can be a tendency to dwell on them and spend more time replaying and overthinking them than finding ways to move forward.
For example… I’m not sure I have ever known anyone who couldn’t sleep at night thinking of all the things that inspired and energized them. Anyone who has ever lost sleep is usually churning through worry…anger…fear or regret.
The key is to pause…connect the dots…deal with the here and now…to feel it…and move on honestly (not fake it till you make it) because that contributes to taking longer to get your energy back…and our teams need us more than ever right now!
So what can we do about it? Here are a few suggestions to lift your spirits and to get your energy levels back. I know that none of these are “rocket science” but more of a reminder for all of us to get back to basics and to make time for things that can help us break the cycle we may be in.
Read a book that inspires or engages you. Here are few suggestions that are off the beaten path:
- “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull
- “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are: Library Edition by Brené Brown
- “I’ll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair” by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray
Find a way to laugh! Watch a funny movie, TV show, or comedy special
- We have been binge watching a British show “Taskmaster”. I can’t remember the last time I spontaneously and genuinely laughed like I do when I watch this show
Pick a project around the house that will make you feel good when it is finally done
- I have to say…nothing feels as good to me as a clean fridge. Take out all the shelves…rinse them all off…inspect all the bottles and containers that have been lurking for a while. It brings a smile to my face and unexpected joy in my heart the next time I open the door. Just me?
Play your favorite tunes…turn it up loud!
- Late in the afternoon around our house we often take turns shouting out our favorite high energy tunes at Siri that we haven’t heard in a while. Sing it loud…sing it proud. Any suggestions for our next dance party?
Pick a game you haven’t played in a while and establish a tournament
- Since I can’t find anyone in my house that will play Scrabble with me…my husband and I have broken out and dusted off a deck of cards we bought in Italy. We currently have a very competitive Gin Rummy tournament happening on a daily basis. Who knew learning to shuffle cards again would be so tough?
Start a blog, a vlog, a podcast or some other way to work through/share your thoughts to inspire yourself and others
- I have to say…Saturday morning…cup of coffee in hand…music playing in the background…figuring out a topic for a blog post…clears the cob webs and helps find clarity in chaos. Not sure if it always inspires others but I don’t regret trying.
Become a pen pal – reach out to check in on others
- My daughter has discovered a resurgence in being a pen pal. It is a cross between letter writing and scrap booking. Our kitchen table is covered in paper and craft supplies as we comb through our address book and write letters to family and friends. I have to say it has been a lot of fun.
Create a family cookbook
- Not sure about you…but sheltering in place has resulted in us digging through old cookbooks and rediscovering tried & true family recipes. It has been a wonderful distraction and trip down memory lane to invest time in the sights…smells and memories of dishes that we haven’t had time to indulge in for a while (even if it isn’t good for our waist lines). As a result we decided to create a family cookbook with our favorites from family and friends over the years. It will be a great keepsake that we would have never found time to do before!
Donate or champion a charitable effort – make a difference
- There are so many people we know in our community or National Charities that could use our support. In our household we have been keeping an eye on and donating to a go fund me for my University Roommate’s granddaughter who was born with a rare genetic disorder. We have also been long time supporters of Make a Wish and now my daughter works for them. All of these efforts humble and inspire me.
Get a good night’s sleep…sleep in late once in a while
- I have to admit with early morning meetings sleep has been a tough one these days. I have been trying to establish a nightly routine to wind down early and maximize the amount of sleep I can get. Even though I am not the type to sleep in…I have also been trying to force myself to sleep a little later on the weekends. I know I need it…I just need to allow myself to do it.
Lastly, I read an article on HBR.org a while ago by Scott Edinger titled “Three Elements of Great Communication, According to Aristotle” . How we communicate to each other effectively is not complicated and has withstood the test of time. Communication is at the core of so many things we do as leaders (verbal and non-verbal). It has the ability to inspire us (and lift our energy) or destroy us (and deplete our energy). How we communicate our changes, our initiatives, our philosophies matters. I want to be inspiring in my communication as well as authentic. It will not only affect the mood around us…but our own mood as well! How about YOU?
Leadership questions of the week for YOU:
- Can you think recently where your emotions or feelings had a material impact on your energy levels? If so…what do you think the impact was to those around you?
- What has inspired or lifted you recently and how can you channel those moments more to not only lift yourself but to lift those around you…and thus your energy levels?
- What do you think of the suggestions above? Any you would add?
- Even though we all have activities that we know will lift our spirits and energy level it is often hard to allow ourselves the time and focus to do them. How do YOU motivate yourself to find time and commit to these kinds of activities?
- Can you think of moments recently where your communication style lifted energy levels or depleted them? What could you do differently to communicate in a more authentic and inspiring way?
Thanks for reading….and remember…YOU make a difference!
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