Humanity is usually defined as referring to the human race or human beings collectively. It can also refer to kindness toward others, benevolence, or the quality or state of being humane. While none of those are bad things, I want to talk about humanness; connecting with your own status as a human and remembering that all of the people around you are human as well. Operating from this deeper level of humanness enhances our interactions with others and optimizes approaches to our own well-being and success. For many of us, this humanness is showing up right now as resiliency fatigue. Read on for three strategies to help you embrace humanness and combat resiliency fatigue.
Remember: Space, Grace, and Pace
Some of us are struggling with feeling like we need to be “on” all the time and have it all together. Some of us are struggling with those around us at work (or even at home!) who are bringing new challenges to the table. Try these three words to help you navigate: space, grace, and pace. Consider giving yourself and those around you a little space, some extra grace, and throttling back your pace. A little space to be human and maybe even be less than 100%. A little grace when tensions run high and missteps happen. And consider the pace. For some, workloads are higher than ever. Days are packed with back-to-back meetings and calls, and for many, workloads at home have also increased. If you cannot slow down the overall pace of your day, try searching for micro-changes you can make to allow yourself some moments that don’t need to be rushed through.
Intentionally Build Authentic Connections
Studies of adults who have overcome adverse experiences consistently show that having one positive connection with another person is a critical factor in individual resilience. In times of stress or discomfort, we often retract or retreat. We hold feelings inside, we resist asking for help because others may also be overwhelmed, and we sacrifice investing time in building connections for the sake of tackling an endless to-do list. Challenge yourself to intentionally connect with one person each day who lifts your spirits. Even a quick call or text message exchange can do the trick and help you feel connected— and more importantly—supported. For your team members, remember that the socialization aspect of work has been disrupted. Build in ways for your team to still connect as a group instead of rushing right to get to the first topic on the agenda. Continue to check in with your team members, but make sure you’re doing it in a way that respects how they like to be communicated with. Chances are that a group video call isn’t a great time for them to be 100% vulnerable. Finally, instead of offering a well-meaning but vague “let me know how I can help”— try offering specific suggestions. Sometimes your teammates or family members may not even know what they need. This can be a great way to help them identify support that would be helpful.
Combat Resiliency Fatigue
There is a strategic advantage in putting people first, and this includes you. Resiliency fatigue is real. If you find yourself getting tired of being resilient, you are not alone! One of the challenges of our current situation is that many of the practices for self-care we have previously utilized are either no longer available or no longer working for us. To avoid self-care being added to a to-do list that brings stress instead of wellness, try focusing on micro-strategies for self-care that can be incorporated throughout the day: taking 60 seconds for a really nice stretch, sharing a funny joke with a friend, looking at old pictures that make you smile, doodling, petting your dog—whatever works for you. The goal is to keep it simple and also consistently integrated throughout your day. Lastly, one of the best ways to combat resiliency fatigue is to avoid it by being vigilant on taking stock of how you are operating. Try asking the question “Is this still working optimally?” on a regular basis. If you find something that’s not, give yourself permission to make a change.
This blog post is part of a four-part mental health series presented by Nicole Lance for Mental Health Awareness Month. Join Nicole and Eric M. Bailey, CEO of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, for a free ICMA webinar on Friday, May 29 titled, Extraordinary Resilience.
Nicole Lance empowers individuals and teams to accelerate outcomes through strategy. She is the CEO of Lance Strategies and managing partner of EXB Team and serves those who serve by providing training, coaching, facilitation, and strategic planning services. Find out more about how Nicole can serve your team at www.nicolelancestrategies.com and www.EXBteam.com.