As we close this intense year, I am hearing from a lot of people at the moment that they are feeling tired and down.
It is more than the usual end of year need to recharge. I guess the best name for it is 'Covid fatigue'.
I was talking to a friend about it recently and she was sharing how she felt she was working all the time. That so many of the 'enjoyment' parts of life had been taken away by the Covid changes.
And so many of us I am sure are looking forward to recharging over the holidays. Having some nice times to close the year and get our energy back. And that's great - we all need it. But the reality is it might not be enough... yes it will help us recuperate after a stressful year and is essential. But that is only part of the story.
Covid 19 has brought massive change to our lives and our world. Understatement of the year (!) And that you know. The key question though is have you been tracking the change curve? And do you know where we are at in relation to it?
Because where we are at at the moment is significant.
We started with the denial stage. That was the time of the 'hoax theory' or of 'it's just the flu'.
Then we had the bargaining stage. I like to think of it as the 'to mask' or 'not to mask' stage.
Basically these were the times we were either trying to deny or minimise the impact of this thing on us. Maybe we could just carry on life as usual...
The first lockdowns showed us it was serious. But we could still live in the illusion that maybe it wouldn't stick around too long or that somehow life would get back to almost normal after the lockdowns. But then it didn't. And now we are facing the realisation that Christmas and New Year celebrations are going to be different and won't save us with their usual cheer. And it sucks our energy.
So we have come to the grief stage. The one where we have to accept that it is a big change. That it is here to stay for a while at least. It is that moment where we have to accept the change - rather than fight it - and what it has cost us. It means acknowledging our losses and grieving that certain things are not in our lives anymore. The symptoms are that we feel exhausted, drained, uninspired, unmotivated, down and sad.
The grief stage is the time of ending. In doing that, it also brings into sharp focus the things that really matter to us - those that give meaning to our life. And those that don't serve us. I have a number of new clients tell me that work was kind of fine before. But that this period has put a sharp emphasis on it. And that they have realised that they have been coasting too long - and that fine is not enough.
It shows us where we have been investing in the right things and where we haven't. It has us understand what we must include in our lives and work going forward to flourish. And also what we need to let go of and transform.
It presents us with the opportunity for new choices. As such it invites us to switch off the auto pilot and to embrace the turning point of a new beginning.
So as in any ending, like a phoenix, there is an opportunity for a rebirth - a new level of conscious creating that is more meaningful.
And that is what is being asked of us now... to not only recharge... but to reset.
The place to start is to ask yourself:' How can you recreate those things that matter to you in a different form? How can you use this to find a new sense of meaning and purpose? And do that however uncertain, difficult or different the circumstances are.'
If you need some tools to get through this period for yourself or your team, let me know. I have twenty years experience in leading the way through pivotal changes and supporting leaders to do that for themselves and their people.
Until Next Time,
Louise is a Next Generation Leadership Catalyst and Advocate.
She is the Founder and CEO of Positive Energy Leaders and the Creator of The Positive Energy Academy - An online course, incubator and transformational community to craft fulfilling, meaningful work and become an inspiring leader of positive transformation.