As you consider how you spend your energy in your day (that is a personal observation challenge), here are some ideas to consider to build your very own drop in petrol station to re-fuel yourself through your day. Nothing on this list will be a physical addition to your day. There may be a couple of small changes but on the whole, it will be about bringing a focus to what you are already doing and creating space to breath.
Make a pledge to listen to your body Your body is constantly communicating, so now we are going to commit to observing its communication and responding to it. Have a water bottle on your desk and drink from it regularly. If you get consumed by your work and you tend to forget to drink, set alarms on your phone or reminders in your diary to drink. You may think this is basic and how could you possibly need a reminder to drink but if you haven't been drinking water then chances are you get consumed by work and need a gentle nudge to listen to the communication from your body more consciously. When you get the reminder, smile at the moment of space you have offered yourself because the more you can appreciate the little moments, the more you build those little moments into your day and the less you need the reminders. Each time you do it, you refuel your energy reserves.
Get up and go to the loo when you need to. Don’t hold on, or do 'just one more thing'. The moment you respond to your body your nervous system relaxes a bit because your body is being listened to and it doesn't need to speak louder to get you to pay attention! Walking to the bathroom/restroom/toilet is part of re-connecting with your body so bring your focus to see if your shoulders are perhaps up by your ears or you are feeling more tense than you have realised. See how many thoughts are racing through your head and if, perhaps, you are berating yourself for not doing that 'just one more thing' or if you are appreciating that you are listening to your body and re-fueling rather than getting consumed by the demands of your job which leave you on empty at the end of the day. Take a moment to breathe You have given yourself this moment, you have made space in the day to respond to a bodily function, you have honoured your body's message, therefore take a moment to appreciate it. Take your time, use the cubicle if it is an option, notice if you close or slam the cubicle door, how you flush. Make space to feel your breath going in and out of your nose, feel the temperature on the way in and on the way out. Look in your eyes in the mirror, remind yourself that this is a moment of space that you have chosen to offer yourself. Walk back to your desk re-connecting again to your body and check if your shoulders are the same or perhaps your body is less tense. Appreciate that you offered yourself that moment and feel how prepared you are now to complete your work.
Taking moments in the day to walk away from the desk means you are more productive when you get back to your desk, there is a fresh perspective, the body feels less consumed and there is more space to observe what is needed in the job and respond accordingly.
Reaction = draining your fuel More space in the day = less reaction Less reaction = more space at the end of the day for you and your family
There is nothing extra-ordinary about the suggestions above, but what they offer is an opportunity to consider how you are using your finite energy resources and examples of moments in your day to refuel those resources.
Therefore, nothing new to do, simply a focus brought to how you do what you do which equals space for you.
Have some fun finding other moments in your day where you can bring a little more focused ‘you’ time and watch the tank refuel during your day. As you make the focus about recharging, simply observe how you feel at the end of the day.
If you need support from a health professional, then embrace it and see it as making space for you and role model self-care as a foundational aspect of good leadership.