Prioritizing Wellness and Supporting Resiliency in the Workplace
Uncertainty breeds stress in the workplace. One day, we were going about our lives like any other day, and the next, we were figuring out how to function in a prolonged lockdown. The pandemic brought on change unlike any we could have imagined. Even today, as we’re closing in on two years later, many workplace environments look drastically different for many of us. Many workers stopped traveling, and are working to build relationships remotely. Many businesses found that their employees liked the flexibility of working from home, and have implemented some level of hybrid work. We continue to see outside forces driving operational uncertainty, like a disrupted supply chain, inflation, and labor shortages. And now, we’re well into the holiday season, which is always a stressful time.
In short, anxiety and stress have become the new normal. Executives, managers, and employees at all levels are struggling with wellness and resiliency to stress. Leadership Excelleration’s Diane Egbers discusses how to manage wellness and support resiliency in our latest podcast.
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The Leading Edge podcast is made possible thanks to the very generous support of Leadership Excelleration. Learn more about our services on our website www.lei-consulting.com. Leadership Exelleration – Be more, lead more, and achieve more with us by your side. Today, we’re pleased to have Diane Egbers, founder and CEO of Leadership Excelleration, with us.
Hello, everyone, welcome back. I hope you like this new, more succinct, and short version of the Leading Edge podcast. I’m happy to be with you today on the topic of wellbeing. Oh, my is that so important. As we approach the holidays, at the end of the year, anxiety and stress have become the new normal, as we know. But when you add the holidays to the mix, you can really have a challenging situation in the workplace.
One of the reasons that we have so much to think about in terms of our wellbeing this time of year is that it brings up so many emotions at the holidays. Those of us that have lost those that we love, it brings sadness. Those of us that have lost social connection, we miss those social connections. Those of us who have too much to do, and not enough time in a day, because we have so many obligations to meet, it makes us stressed. And so whatever comes out for you at the holidays, it’s a vital time to focus on your wellbeing.
As we think about this time of year and how much we have going on, we also need to consider that our well being as leaders is a vital focus. And what I think about is that we only have the emotional energy to influence others positively when we are doing okay ourselves. And if any aspect of our wellbeing is off, it translates into less emotional energy for others, less focus on others, for us as leaders, and less time and attention in being in service of others.
So today, I want to just ask you to take a few vital moments today to really think about your own wellbeing. Put that emphasis on yourself, so you have more to give, especially at the holidays. It’s important for all of us to recognize the signs of stress. Sometimes stress and anxiety are interpreted as performance issues, when they’re actually related to a sense of wellbeing. For us as leaders, when any aspect of your wellbeing is slightly off, you can feel the impact both personally and professionally. Don’t we all know that.
It’s important to recognize the signs of your stress in yourself and others. It may be physical, spiritual, social, or psychological. Think of it as a Fitbit for your life and work, not just your physical health. You are that Fitbit. How you are checking in with yourself is what we’re talking about today. It can include a loss of motivation, where previously you’ve been passionate and enthusiastic. And suddenly you’re finding yourself lost and unsure about how you prioritize tasks. You might notice someone that has a sudden change in normal work habits – meetings are missed or deadlines are pushed back again and again. You might notice changes in personality where a normal happy person is suddenly moody and having sudden outbursts. Another sign of stress could be changes in appearance or personal hygiene. All of those things are things not only to be mindful of and others, but to also think about ourselves as leaders and how you are managing the stress and anxiety that come with the times that we’re in.
At Leadership Excelleration, we’ve created a model for wellbeing that really focuses on social, physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of wellbeing. It is that idea that an integrated life is important. We know that being balanced isn’t always possible. But integrating those things into our daily thought process and our daily mindfulness is so important.
For example, supporting your social wellbeing might be able to help limit some distractions. Many of us are working full time, splitting time between the office and a remote home office, where it’s important to limit the distractions during our work hours. One strategy for those of you as leaders or maybe be having multiple workspaces. You might have a workspace that’s not in an open living area, and then you might switch your workspace halfway through the day to give you a view of green trees and a view of outside. And that might be helpful to your wellbeing.
Another aspect of our wellbeing is, of course, physical wellbeing, and that’s what we really do have a Fitbit for if any of us take a look at it. It’s everything from keeping a routine, sleeping well, and exercising – all of those things that if you lined us all up in a row and interviewed us, we’d all say that we absolutely know those things. But it’s about maintaining those habits. I moved recently into a new home, and it took me about four weeks to get back into my stationary bike physical activity routine every day. I really saw the detriment in that I wasn’t sleeping as well. And so for each one of us, it’s one of those habits or routines that we build each and every day that help us to focus on our physical wellbeing.
Focusing on spiritual wellbeing is also important. It is what connects you to others. It could be volunteering, meditating, praying, journaling, or nurturing your spiritual self to stay centered and calm to help us to be resilient. What is it that helps you to be mindful and centered and connected on a daily basis?
And finally, as we think about keeping that positive mindset will support your psychological wellbeing, not losing sight overall of the long-term perspective of our own personal happiness, and to avoid isolation, especially right now as we head into holidays. Schedule time for remote coffee breaks with friends and coworkers. Join professional associations to encourage socialization and avoid isolation. Stress and anxiety are not new to the workplace, although the pandemic has really brought a new focus on wellness and resilience at work.
At Leadership Excelleration, we wish you a happy, well, and resilient holiday season with you, your family, and your employees. Take a few moments every day to be mindful about your wellness and whether it’s focusing on a positive attitude, thinking about your spiritual, physical, or social wellbeing. Take that time for you. You deserve it. Happy holidays.
That’s it for today’s podcast. The Leading Edge podcast is made possible thanks to the generous support of Leadership Excelleration. Each leader has great potential, and we thank you for investing your valuable time to listen to our podcast. If you have input on this or previous episodes, or have a topic or guest suggestion or just want to sound off, please reach out to us and engage by following us on Twitter. Our Twitter handle is @TheLEpodcast.