Dr. Leatrice Brooks, LP
Holidays are for You Too! Intentionally Reset during your Time Off
With post-Thanksgiving Day sales in full force, I ordered some super sweet holiday loungewear yesterday. Okay, they were Christmas pajamas. I bought them with the intent to use an external stimulus to pull myself into some relaxation over the upcoming end-of-year time off. Many of us take time off, but some of us don’t relax. Often, due to family needs and obligations, leaders readily transfer work energy into corralling things at home. Other times, we see the slower work pace and lack of meetings as a time to catch up on work responsibilities and even get a little ahead. Instead, I propose being present with yourself, your personal needs, and intentionally resetting for next year.
Time away from work can generally be used as an opportunity to reset. To truly be “off” and reconnect with the parts of yourself that sometimes get lost when we’re caught up in work. Since high achievers often fail to slow down regularly, resetting takes us back to our high-level baseline functioning. It allows your body and brain room to rest so you can reconnect with your creative leadership, which often gets lost in the weeds of production. This is where innovation and next-level thinking happen.
Resetting can be tricky, yet still possible, during the holidays when there are many moving parts. Read a personal interest book, listen to a podcast, listen to music in headphones, or put in earplugs. The point is to reconnect with yourself. Consider what you need for your mental health and well-being. The self-awareness that resetting fosters feed presence and long-term sustainability.
Balance may seem like an impossible task, given our responsibilities. For many leaders, our reality of being connected with others is a large part of our work. Even so, we sometimes feel guilty about disconnecting. Around holidays when the focus is typically on family, friends, teams, and other relationships, it may even seem rude to not be “on” the whole time. Instead of succumbing to these internal and external pressures, remember that you are part of the equation and can choose to celebrate and recognize yourself and your needs. You have a responsibility to do so if you plan to give to others at your best.
Creating balance requires planning and being intentional in scheduling downtime. This may look like a couple of days of extended unplugging or multiple short stents. Whichever way works for you, the goal is to be with yourself. Even if you can only mentally be with yourself because physically is not possible, do it.
Boundaries, like balance, is a word that leaders sometimes struggle with. Great leaders are also givers at heart, so setting boundaries may feel unnatural, particularly when prioritizing yourself. At their core, boundaries are a healthy way to ensure your needs are met. They are essential for people who forget about and make themselves an afterthought. Boundaries help you maintain the capacity to give at the level you desire.
Establishing boundaries during the holidays permits you to feed yourself. When communicated and respected in relationships, boundaries allow you to pour back into yourself and re-fill your cup. Boundaries acknowledge your limits and should not be interpreted as limitations. They are about making healthy choices, something we often encourage others to do and need to follow through with ourselves.
Presence Leadership and Resetting
I like the word “reset.” It makes me feel like there’s an opportunity to start over. It acknowledges a need without all the negative connotations that often come with the word “change.” It’s both liberating and empowering. Resetting reopens minds, reinvigorates, and enables you to reimagine your world. It prevents us from leading out of habit and falling into the status quo. When we reset, we can better hear and see the needs of the people we are leading and serving. It gives us what we need to forge an amazing path we may not otherwise have considered.
Call to Presence
Make the following commitments to yourself and map a plan to get results.
Decide what you need to reset.
Commit to giving to yourself.
Communicate what you need with others.
Enjoy yourself as much as others do.
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Licensed Psychologist, Executive Coach, Speaker
Dr. Leatrice positions organizations to maximize productivity, master collaboration and teamwork,
and retain high achievers.
“Great Things Happen When You’re Present”
© 2022, Dr. Leatrice R. Brooks