written by Angie Morgan & Courtney Lynch

We’re noticing a trend with the leaders we coach; many aren’t feeling their best.  

One client shared that the ways she used to refresh to get back to feeling great now only get her to semi-okay. From weekend getaways, to extra white space during the week, or getting extra sleep, some of her “go to” refreshers don’t seem to be producing the same results they once did. She just can’t shake the malaise.

Another client shared how no matter how much he exercises, relaxes, or rests, he just can’t seem to reach his peak energy or focus level.

The question raised from our clients is pretty consistent: “Why does life feel so off?”

The sheer duration of pandemic living is impacting us all. We’ve lost our buffer for day-to-day stresses. And, when a significant stressful event like a death in the family, a move, or a job loss or change happens on top of that, the load can feel unbearable.

One reason weariness has set in is the rapid change of energy allocation many leaders have experienced. Pre-pandemic we might have spent 80% of our energy on our work, and 20% for life beyond. During pandemic living, our energy split might be drastically different as we spend 50% focused on making life happen for kids, partners, and ourselves, and still need 80% of our energy for work. We can only surge at an energy deficit for so long. Burnout has arrived when it takes more and more for us to recharge just to get to good enough. The feeling of reaching “greatness” can seem elusive.

If life feels off for you, here are ways to work through it:

  • Find fun and community. Many of us have spent less time socializing, entertaining, or gathering during the last eighteen months. Don’t let disconnection be a habit. Try to engage with others. Humans are social creatures, connection fuels us. Seek out fun and engagement at a pace that’s comfortable.
  • Let go. If your kids are getting back to school or your partner is now back to work, make sure you are adapting your behavior, too. Let the new structure others are experiencing bring relief to you and curtail the time you spend being of service or support to family members whose routines are coming back. Give them the space to flourish once again.
  • Get organized. If your email inbox isn’t in order, if your desk is a mess, or your files haven’t been purged in a while, clean up and square away your workspace to prepare for a fresh start.
  • Dig in differently. Identify a project that you want to do. Define what success looks like for the initiative, set up milestones and get going towards results. Experiencing a win brings joyful momentum.

We live our lives in seasons. Some are fantastic and some can feel never-ending for all the wrong reasons. Pay attention to the type of season you’re in. Acknowledge that with grace and compassion for yourself, this too shall pass.

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