Time To Take Stock

By Jenny Campbell|July 8, 2019|Being Resilient|2 comments

It’s the time of holidays, yoo hoo! A chance to stop, breathe, relax, let your hair down, be silly again, sleep!
Here’s a question for you. How do you enter into your holiday?

  • Are you racing to finish everything off, maybe even adding those ‘would-like-to-do items’ into your to-do list just to get them out of your head once and for all? It means you’re battling right up to the last minute without slowing down, and you kind of catapult into the holiday with that race-race-race habit dominating. And that spills into – and potentially spoils – the first few days.
  • Have you started feeling unwell just before you are due to go off, and you are now really annoyed because you know it’s all caught up with you just when you are about to get the chance to relax? Now you have the double whammy of fending off the unwellness plus your frustration.
  • Are you just plain exhausted and expect just to sleep for the first few days? If the truth be told, you are past caring what you do altogether, you’d actually prefer to get some rest. So you just go along with whatever the others say, anything for a quiet life.
  • Are you looking forward to sinking into a bit of indulgent wine-drinking and sofa-slobbing moments, because you know that’s the only way you will actually relax? You know it shouldn’t be, but that is just the way it is now, and you have no wish to fight it, so you lift that glass?
Holiday time is often a barometer of how we are taking care of ourselves in the day to day. The Resilience Engine’s recent research on performance vs wellbeing showed that whilst we all really care about our performance in work, we trade on our wellbeing enormously to achieve this. An incredible 77% of us compromise our wellbeing for work, 36% dangerously so. That’s a hefty cost for performance. Ironically all this compromise doesn’t lead to higher performance but a lower one. The negative effects of stress kick in when wellbeing is compromised, and these lead to a performance drop. Number one on the stress-impact list is procrastination. Other negative effects include short-termism, a demand for clarity (whose mirror side is an inability to operate in ambiguous, complex situations), and a drop in empathic decision making. All lead to mediocrity.

Now truthfully, who wants to have mediocre performance and mediocre health?!

As a resilience expert, I fall short of the mark and find myself compromising my own wellbeing. My family gave me strong feedback recently that the compromise was much more significant than I had realised. Whilst I am way off burnout, I’m also way off being really fully myself. My family’s feedback is that it’s only on holiday that I am really relaxed, silly and fun, and have the energy to fully engage with them. So I am kidding myself. I have invested enormously in my wellbeing in the last two tough years. I started by prioritising my sleep by tuning to my circadian rhythms. I invested in my exercise, taking up regular competitive tennis. I pay more attention to what and how much I eat. And around 9 months ago I gave up alcohol to break a creeping habit of mid-week drinking, and instead now only drink occasionally. All that means whilst I’m trading on my resilience all the time as a small business owner, I am able to counteract it and remain in Bounceback. However, I’m kidding myself if I think that leaves a surplus for my creative, silly side to be unleashed. No indeed, I confess I am very tired, and really do want to rest and to sleep.

If you are like me, or like the many, many clients with whom we discuss energy and its’ relationship to resilience, your capacity for change, this all may resonate.

So here’s my invitation. Why not take stock truthfully during your holidays and see what you might like to change on behalf of your wellbeing? You don’t need to be heavy in it, but just look directly in the eye at your own truth, and decide what you want to change. Then start making that change immediately. It might mean watching silly films, or digging sandcastles, or playing rounders on the beach, or having the energy for those long, lazy evening conversations with your partner. Investing in your wellbeing will give you energy back and that will feel fabulous.

Investing in your wellbeing is an irresistible path once you notice you want to follow it. I can’t wait, who’s going to join me?

Wishing your resilience be with you all summer long,

Author: Jenny Campbell
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2 Comments

  1. Fantastic article Jenny, thank you. So relevant to me personally and my clients and colleagues. I find it also important to think about the preparation for the holiday to make sure I can fully switch off, be present while away, and not be worried about what I’m coming back to – including switching off work emails completely. Love the idea too of being silly more of the time!

  2. So true Jenny.

    I’m just back from 10 days off and slept like a baby for 8 hours each night which meant waking and feeling refreshed without the need for two big mugs of coffee!!

    My partner offered similar feedback too and here I am facing an 05:50 train tomorrow and a late night tonight to prepare for Thursday…..

    Mea culpa

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