How to Make Energy Deposits for Those 1st Quarter Blues?
During a recent presentation I gave, I talked about the importance of taking a mental health day. It really started with me sharing with the group that many people get sick around this time of year supposedly because of the flu or allergies. I have a protégé whom I’ve watched run herself ragged. She called me over the weekend and she sounded terrible. She blamed her sore throat and other alignments on the flu. I suggested that she go to a Klinik or somewhere to be treated. I followed up with her that evening, and she stated that the doctor said that she merely had a cold and that needed time to rest. She was taking some over the counter drugs that didn’t seem to work. But when I tell you she sounded horrible, I’m not kidding. Something had brought her down to the point that she needed immediate bed rest.
Unfortunately, some professionals rely on Mother Nature to shut them down versus being proactive and taking care of themselves. We simply don’t have enough sense and maybe courage to give ourselves permission to STOP. Yes, simply stop and take a day or two off. Around this time of year, you may go on vacation often returning feeling overwhelmed and exhausted because you didn’t really rest. Sometimes vacations are as tiresome as work. What I am proposing is that you staycate and rest. This may mean laying in the bed until late afternoon reenergizing, rejuvenating and relaxing. If your job is in jeopardy from taking a day off and unplugging you have bigger problems than this blog can address. You should be able to take care of yourself before you become ill, and savvy managers understand that. A healthy employee is a productive employee. Just let whomever you are accountable to know that you need this time off. How many times have you called in sick for a physical ailment, but often neglected your mental well-being?
What I often hear is push-back on people taking a mental break. Someone once asked, “but what if you feel that you are letting people down by taking this time to yourself?” This sounds as if the person attaches guilt to taking care of oneself which many professionals experience. But, you are of no good to anyone to include yourself when your body actually breaks down from the wear and tear associated with burning the candles at both ends. Let me back up. The reason why you feel as if you peaked out and are pooped out is because you usually come out of the gates running, in January. You set some lofty goals and have high expectations. You are probably on several committees, a part of the sandwich generation where you are taking care of your children and parents; whereby, you are sandwiched in, tasked with projects that are priority to your boss, etc. I’m planning a Women’s Forum, in June, I’m launching this new endeavor with limited resources but willing to offer a marquee product that my clients have become accustomed to. And, as I write, movers are in my unit so that they can pack me up for a long-distance move, I have some personal matters I must attend to, I’m traveling weekly to and from one country to the other, and I’m building a business that is like a jealous lover, i.e. very demanding of my time. Think about it… The first quarter is when the big boss usually showed up from overseas, new projects were assigned, you decided to join a gym, club or something that required time as a part of your New Year’s resolution, you may have started school or whatever. The new year brings new situations and we usually go at it hard, fast and heavy. So, this is around the time we have a melt down that I will coin as the 1st Quarter Blues. It’s all too much and you are going to have to rest up. I’m feeling drained like a lot of you who aren’t paying attention to your body or mind. What becomes ill in the mind will manifest through the body and appear to look like the flu, allergies or some other ailment that will have you sick in the bed. I nearly died twice in December 2016, so I’ve been very mindful of being aware of my body, spirit and mind connection. In truth, I treat my body like a temple during the week and like an amusement park on the weekend. In short, I use moderation as a formula for healthy living. I go to bed at a decent time and shut off my brain as much as possible on the weekends. This allows me to reenergize and refuel. But, sometimes that isn’t enough. You may have to simply take time off. I was saying to a friend once, that I was making some energy deposits when he asked me what was I doing over the weekend. He asked me what was energy deposits. I explained that energy is like a bank account. We make deposits by resting and doing things that we love that relaxes, refuel or reenergize us. Then there are withdrawals which take the form of working really really late, staying up late, doing things that drain us of our energy like being around negative people or people whom we don’t like, etc. Therefore, when I know that I’m going to be making withdrawals during the week, I deposit more into the account over the weekend to make sure I keep a positive balance and not become over drawn. It’s just that simple. Make energy deposits for the 1st Quarter Blues to remain productive and balanced.
If you take pride and measure your success by how much sweat equity you invest and work you accomplish that may be a problem long term. You will begin to unravel. I’m not saying that it is wrong to be a go getter and go doer, but at what point do you allow yourself to rebuild. Think of yourself as a body builder lifting weight or that you are training for something. The rule of thumb is to work hard and then rest. For some odd reason, we have bought into the concept that you work hard, work harder and then burn out.
A few years ago, while preparing dinner I dropped a large glass casserole dish. Now, that is nothing to write about, right? But, when I look at what I was experiencing at that time, I can see that my body was showing what my mind was experiencing. The glass went everywhere to include on top of my feet with the meal laying there ruined. I just stood there dumbfounded for a minute because it shocked me. My hands shook a little as my son watched. He asked, “Mom, are you okay? Don’t move I can lift you up,” as he came over to help me. Seriously there was glass everywhere and I couldn’t move. Oddly enough, he then asked, “Do you feel weak?” I had to admit to him not only did I feel weak but I was exhausted. Unfortunately, I find strength in doing things which could lead to my demise. Some of us pride ourselves on doing more than the mere mortal, but it will catch up to you and that time is usually around now as our immune system let’s down its guard and everything is able to attacks us.
Do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to play hooky and take a mental wellness day off for yourself. I’m intentionally shutting down and allowing myself to unplug. What are you going to do to make sure you are staying in peak performance versus being peaked out? I would love to hear from you to start dialoguing about my blogs. I invite you to engage me. If you would like to be a part of my network to receive information and stay connected with me, please send your email address to indigo@4-DPerformance.com. Also, if you or woman whom you know would benefit from learning how to achieve life balance, please register for my Women’s Forum at http://4-dperformance.com/womens-forum/.