Taking Time for Yourself

“Take time to recharge your batteries.
It’s hard to see where you’re going
when your lights are dim.”

Robert H. Connelly


As the holidays approach, the year’s end heralds a new fiscal year for some, tax time for all of us and time with families and friends to gather and celebrate.  ‘Tis the season when “some assembly is required” and “batteries are not included”.  What may have been a stressful year ends with a holiday season that, for some, can add to that stress.

Stress comes in good and bad forms.  Regardless of its source stress is taxing on everybody.  As leaders, at those times when you are stressed, it is still essential to be able to serve and support others so they can fulfill their duties to the best of their abilities.  It is important to continue to lead in a manner that provides direction and vision for the people who work for you.  You may be the one who folks look to when they are stressed or who recognizes when stress is affecting their ability to do their jobs.

Managing stress requires taking measures to reduce it.  Far be it for me to preach regular and proper exercise for, while I agree that it is very important, I will also admit my Nordic Track and weight machines need to be used more for exercise and less for hanging clothes and other forms of storage.  Let’s focus on the people with whom you surround yourself as support.  It is important to have a group of people you can rely on when you need to reenergize. 

Everyone needs someone to lean on.  We all need a supportive circle of friends and peers that speak into our lives as mentors for and objective observers of our careers and our lives.  Folks who provide honest feedback and caring empathy to support us in continuing to function at a high level and remain healthy both physically and emotionally.  I am very fortunate to have a growing circle of individuals that recharge my batteries through shared faith, humor, empathy and gracious but honest feedback.  So — the question is…do you?  Who is serving and supporting you? 

Every leader needs to be at peak energy to be able to lead well.  Any leader under stress without relief will eventually be unable to lead effectively.  Not only will their leadership falter but it will have an affect on those who look to them for direction.  As you serve you do so at an expense to your own resources.  In other words…your batteries run down.

Take a moment to consider who you look to when the chips are down and the going gets rough.  Who do you turn to for support when stress is high and the outlook is uncertain?  Even those of us with more than a few years under our belts can use a confidante/mentor; someone we can talk to and who can speak wisdom into our lives and hold us accountable.

If you have people in your life that help you recharge your batteries when you’re in need of a boost be thankful for them and take advantage of your circle of support when you need to.  If you don’t have some folks to lean on give yourself the gift that keeps on giving; namely seek out and build a circle of support that you can trust and rely on when you’re running on empty.

This holiday season take some time to make sure you have what you need to recharge your batteries for the coming year.  If you do you’ll be fully charged and available as a leader and support for your team.  You’ll be there for them and keep going and going and going and…

Here to serve,

John Duba

Next year…:  What’s in store for 2012?

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