[Today’s Tuesday Reading is from Brian McDonald, President of MOR Associates. Brian may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Editorial Note: This is the last Tuesday Reading of 2020. The next Tuesday Reading will be in January.
These last nine months have been a particularly challenging stretch for most of us. The COVID-19 virus has loomed as a threat over our world resulting in over 1.7 million deaths and over 77 million being infected. This virus alone has created an unparalleled disruption and worrisome anxiety. As the virus spread it caused enormous economic hardship and devastated the livelihoods of many businesses and individuals along with families.
We also experienced a “moment of truth” as a society when it comes to social justice. The murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement brought to the forefront the need for our society to reconcile the systemic inequities. We also experienced one of the more divisive elections that is still polarizing.
At the same time fires threatened our friends in the west while hurricanes brought havoc on our friends in the southeast.
This has been a challenging stretch on many levels. The coming weeks hopefully offer people some time to step back from work and take a much needed break.
Our wish for you during these next few weeks is for you to have the mindset and plan that will allow you to Rest-Recharge-Reflect and Reset.
Our brains prefer predictability over uncertainty. Our brain prefer a rhythm and routines we can follow that have been largely disrupted. Our brains prefer we aren’t in a threatened state. When we are in fear our brain is emitting chemicals to help us prepare for a fight or flight.
We need to find a space where we can disconnect from this current high alert state. We need to take a break from the 7x24 news cycle. We need to take a break from the near constant presence of work now that our houses have become our office as well. We need time to let our minds rest from the near constant apprehension that can easily evidence itself in a state of agitation. Making time to take a run or a walk or exercise will help. Making time to be fully present for the people who mean the most to you will help. Making time to get the sleep you need will help.
Stepping back from the busy pace and constant anxiety and resting will help you regain your balance. What will help you recharge bringing back the energy, the excitement and engagement you find most rewarding? For introverts this may be genuine time for yourself. For some people this may be genuine time having fun with your children. What do you need to help you get your mojo back? What does get your mojo back mean? “To regain one's confidence, energy, or enthusiasm”
For some people, acts of kindness or generosity will help with a recharge.
MOR has consistently encouraged leaders to adopt reflection as cornerstone practice. Reflecting on these last nine months will provide insights on what helped you navigate this difficult time. Reflecting on this will help you appreciate what helps you be resilient during times when we are tested. Looking back you may be better able to discern what worked, what you may want to change along with the lessons you learned. For all of us, stepping back and appreciating what we have helps us realize despite the trials and tribulations we are blessed in many ways.
If you can rest, recharge and reflect this will set the stage for you to reappraise how you want to proceed in the stretch ahead. Adjusting your pace, finding a healthy rhythm, setting boundaries between work and home, adding in what’s needed to keep your energy going, ensuring there are some bright spots along the path will all help you make these next 3-6 months easier to traverse without it taking the toll so many paid in the past nine months.
Yesterday’s winter solstice was the darkest day of 2020. There is now a little more daylight each day and with the vaccine a lot more light just over the horizon.
Whatever you celebrate, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, in this season, we wish you the best as we look ahead to 2021 and a safe and brighter future.