Look - I get it. This pandemic shit is hard. Lives are being disrupted in ways we never imagined.
This may be an unpopular opinion but as a professional, now is not the time to go with the flow. It's not the time to let fear, overwhelm and uncertainty take over. It's not the time to just let things happen to you.
I know not everyone handles a crisis the same and I'm not suggesting that you suppress feelings, ignore signs of depression or anxiety or just put on a brave face. Those are some of the most destructive things you can do - for both your physical and mental well-being.
What I am suggesting is that you grapple with whatever this pandemic has presented you with and control what you can. Cry if you need to every once in a while (I like to let it out when I run), be angry, feel all the feelings, but don't get paralyzed for too long.
Leadership is more important than ever and your team, employees, family and others are counting on you.
Plus - fear and stress take a toll on your physical health. Cortisol levels increase, quality sleep evades you, exercise falls by the wayside and food is used as a coping mechanism instead of a tool to power you through these crazy times.
So, if today feels like every other day from the past month, I'm challenging you to physically change that. To create a difference in how you do things today to benefit your health.
Here are 3 simple and effective things you can do starting today to improve your well-being.
1. Move. Take three 10-minute walks today. I don't care if you break a sweat or barely get your heart rate up from it's resting rate. Movement facilitates so much more - clarity of thought, decision making, emotional release, and more. Plus, it keeps your joints, muscles and bones strong.
2. Hydrate. I am a broken record on this one. In the best of times and worst of times, hydration is your friend. It helps with everything from digestion to brain fog. Aim for half your body weight in ounces. Water, tea, coffee, sparkling water/club soda - it all counts. Pro tip - eat foods high in water content for an extra few ounces (celery, citrus fruits, strawberries, zucchini).
3. Sleep. Another key element to overall wellness. Sleep deprivation leads to lack of energy which leads to not exercising, making food choices filled with added sugar (hello, mocha frappuccino) and increased cortisol levels which mess with your metabolism. Shoot for 7-9 hours a night but if that's not in the cards, make the hours you are asleep quality hours.
None of these tips are revolutionary or new. But they are tested, tried and true. (Little rhymin' for your Monday).
The world needs you to be a great leader, regardless if you've lost your job, been furloughed or have increased responsibilities and demands on you. Now's not the time to just let it slide and see what happens.
Control what you can and be ready for what's next.
Go kick some ass. And, if you need help, you know where to find me.