I’m very lucky to have just had a full 6-week break over December and January. Running my own business gives me the freedom to make this choice and allows me to recharge after what can be an intense consulting and travel load.
During my desperately anticipated 6-week break, I caught covid.
It was a humbling experience. I was one of the lucky ones – it was mild as far as covid symptoms go. But it was enough to floor me for a good week. The upside (and there always is one) is that it was the first time in years that I’ve actually stopped and done literally nothing. As all parents will attest – even holidays are busy when you have kids.
But being sick made me finally give up and stop. It made me tune into my body – to listen to where I was really at – not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. The fatigue I felt was significant. But even more than fatigue, I felt despair – even though I had absolutely no logical reason for it. My family was safe and healthy. I have a home and income. I live in a beautiful place. Despite mentally ticking off my blessings, these feelings lingered. It made me wonder whether I was suffering not just from the virus, or something else? Something I’d been ignoring?
It gave the push I needed to see a GP specialising in holistic therapies. After a full hour consultation where he inquired after every aspect of my life – work, family, health, history, emotional and mental state, he diagnosed me with burnout.
I’m not going to lie. It was a shock. Here I am – a performance specialist – working with clients to help them find more mindful and effective ways of operating as individuals and teams – experiencing burnout. I felt like a fraud.
This is where humility really kicked in. This is where I finally realised that 2020 and 2021 have taken a long, slow, insidious toll. And I’m not the only one. A quick search revealed that 71% of knowledge workers experienced burnout in 2020. And this is just the tip of the mental health statistics iceberg.
To finally recognise that I needed to actually start looking after myself better than I ever have – was important.
So what does “learning to live with the virus” really mean? What does emerging from burnout actually take? What conversations do we need have or continue to have with our families? Our friends? Our colleagues? Our employers and employees?
For me – it means more than a mental adjustment. It means actually learning how to accept, to be humble, to be open. It means harnessing intuition, creativity, kindness, intelligence and hope. It means learning more about communicating through digital mediums – adopting new technologies that provide transparency, accountability, visibility and connectedness (this one is going to be the most challenging for me!). It means trusting myself and each other to know what the right thing to do is, to act with intent.
So what are you going to make 2022 about? Are you holding out for something better? Or are you going to truly adapt and use this opportunity to evolve how you work, live, lead yourself and lead others? I for one – am taking this seriously and I hope you are too.
I’m running a FREE online event for business leaders like yourself at 11am-12noon on Wednesday 23 February, 2022 – to explore how this Keynote can help inspire your teams and re-ignite their connection to purpose.
I would love to see you there.
For more information on the Re-Ignite Keynote, see the thread below, of visit my events page.