Did your workload seem to triple in the Spring with the onset of COVID-19? Your answer is probably yes. Like most of your peers that work as changemakers, demand on your time has increased tremendously. Individuals engaged in helping professions like you have been in an ongoing mode of overdrive and by now you may be feeling it physically, mentally and perhaps even emotionally. You may feel drained.
Fall is typically thought of as the start of harvest season, but the month is also known for being a time of refocusing your energy. After all the seeds of loving care you have nurtured for the benefit of others the past few months, it is time for you to do it for yourself. Now is the time for you to refocus your energy and nurture seeds of wellness for you.
Continuing at the pace that was thrusted upon you in the Spring is unsustainable. It does not serve you well, nor does it benefit your family or the people you serve. It goes without saying—hopefully—that being physically, mentally or emotionally unwell, drains you of your energy to show up for yourself and others, and can eventually have you on your back. Knowing that, why allow that fate for yourself? Don’t. Instead of allowing burn-out related illnesses into your life, consider using the Fall season as your time to refocus your energy. There are many ways to do that, but here are three simple things you can do to recharge your life starting now. Try one or all of these activities to refocus your energy for your wellbeing.
- Make room for quiet time in the morning to journal, pray, meditate or whatever you do to connect to your inner peace.
Establish the foundation for your day when you first wake up, particularly when it is still dark, because it is the best time to connect to your calm, clear state. You are still closest to state of calm experienced in sleep, and so, you are able to see your world clearly before the anxiety of a hectic day can enter. When you create this experience for yourself, you are able connect to that calm clarity throughout the day when the hecticness that others introduce tries to make its way in.
- Prioritize movement and creating fresh meals at least three time each week.
You know that exercise and eating healthy are ideal, but not always easy to do, so don’t make them things to do. Instead create experiences. Allow movement to be something simple like walking with a friend or playing with your child. Let preparing meals also be a time you spend with people you care about. Center these activities around spending time with people you care about. This way instead of being chores you must do, they become fun experiences you want to do, again and again.
- Plan to do something creative at least twice this month.
Expressing your creativity or allowing yourself to become immersed in creative activities reduces stress, places you in your happy zone, and lightens the mental load of the responsibilities your carry during the week. It also improves your problem-solving abilities. Being playful is not indulgent or selfish. It is great for addressing challenges at work, and excellent for your health. So, be creative.
As a changemaker in today’s world, your work will not be slowing down anytime soon. The pace at which work comes at people in the helping professions like you coupled with the uncertainty you face daily can lead to stress, burnout and diminished wellbeing. You know this, so don’t allow it to happen. Instead, make the conscious choice to refocus your energy because here’s the truth: your family needs you well, those you serve need you well, and most importantly you need yourself to be well. Therefore, prioritize your wellbeing and continue to do your work as a changemaker, whole.