As an executive coach, this is a question I keep hearing from my clients. We are used to demanding a lot of ourselves. That’s normal when the way you got to where you are took ambition, discipline, and dedication, and it’s critical when your role involves being responsible for others. Yet, the pandemic we’re living through has challenged so many of the practices that got us to where we are, and from Zoom fatigue to being “always on” and more, we’ve all felt drained more often than we’d like to admit.
In its 2021 Work Trend Index, almost 40% of respondents described themselves as outright exhausted. According to Britain’s Office for National Statistics, one in five adults experienced some kind of depression in early 2021, up from around 10% pre-pandemic. And on the other side of the Atlantic, surveys show that the percentage of Americans reporting an anxiety or depressive disorder has risen to 41.5% from 36.4% between August 2020 and February 2021. Over the course of our professional lives, we’ve learned how to manage the day-to-day of our jobs and to look after ourselves – if perhaps not always as much as we wished we did. But then the pandemic came along, disrupting the rhythms we learned to work within and, at the same time, offering an opportunity to stop and reflect. From going fully remote to hybrid to trying to “return to normal”, we’ve all done what we can to make the best of a situation that we cannot change.
In some areas, we may have gained a new level of agency; in others, we’ve found ourselves continuing to struggle to find a balance that allows us to flourish.
Maybe you’ve felt that despite the abundant stream of self-help tools, resilience tips and stress-reduction techniques that are available, you are still looking for how to integrate these various strategies in an effective and flexible routine.
When you look at how to strengthen your resilience and wellbeing, I’ve found that what helps the most is being able to clearly focus on:
- Identifying what you need to be at your best
- Establishing what being “at your best” looks like
- Building strong daily habits that motivate and sustain you
Over my 24 years as an executive coach, I’ve helped driven, passionate professionals to achieve and sustain their goals by specifically improving how they manage their energy. The key, I’ve found, lies in charging your five “batteries”.