The hustle and bustle of work-culture and the fast-paced work life have been celebrated forever and a day. A lifestyle for many in the corporate world – but was it really working for you? I can confidently tell you it likely wasn’t. It wasn’t working before and it’s definitely not going to hold up in a post-COVID world.

I saw what stressed looked like and I see it now. I’ve been guilty of wearing it in the past. I also see it in my clients, my friends, in colleagues and we can read about it from authors like Arianna Huffington who shares of her own experience with a burnout in her book Thrive – the third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom and wonder. 

The long work hours in the office (and the work you were taking home), the long commute time, the occasional (or frequent for some) working on the weekends, eventually take its toll.

Somehow, so many of us got accustomed to a lifestyle simply because it was offering a paycheque at the end of the week. The pandemic illuminated habits and lifestyles that many were living and forcing them to review their choices.

It took a pandemic for many to recognize that lifestyle was previously mentally, physically and emotionally killing them (sorry to be harsh but it’s true).

While many have been itching to get back to “normal,” others have said buh-bye to old ways of working and embraced the new shifts made over the past several months. Many of these resulted in a more balanced lifestyle and helped to ease mental, emotional and physical stress.

One study from BUPA Global shows 52% of executives and individuals are focusing on health and wellbeing since the pandemic. My guess is that number will continue to increase over time.

Over the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure to learn some of those shifts in lifestyle and new behaviours clients I’ve worked with have decided to keep post-COVID.

Below is some food for thought that might have you reconsidering what you’re truly committed to as you reflect on your own lifestyle.

What are you willing to shift for your own wellbeing so you can show up as the leader you want to for you and your team?

1.)   Flexible work schedule – gone are the days of filling every open time slot with back to back meetings to “get it all done.” With many still working in remote environments, some caring for kids at home, a flexible schedule was/is necessary. It means more time needs to be allotted for unexpected interruptions at home and for mental breaks. This was a harder one that was met with some resistance initially, yet once firmer boundaries were created AND enforced, this is one aspect of work-life that has many of the leaders I spoke with embracing a much more fluid and flexible schedule.

2.)   Saying NO unapologetically – this really comes down to boundaries and boy, were they ever challenged for everyone! From relationships to work to workspaces and everything in between. The pandemic naturally brought many family, friends and communities together to encourage one another to stay in touch, stay connected and check-in on one another. The early months had Zoom calls and Zoom cocktail parties become a new thing. It also had people over-committing to even the smallest of requests and saying “YES!” when inside, they were screaming, “Are you kidding me? I’ve barely enough energy to make dinner – NO.”

For those of us who care so deeply and want to be the helpful go-to that can be relied upon anytime, it took a lot of courage and a knowing that saying NO to someone else didn’t make you a bad person. It just made you love yourself a little more and did both of you a service. 

How? 

  • You honour your own needs first
  • You’re being honest with the other person instead of being resentful while doing something you didn’t really want to do AND 
  • It leaves room for someone else to come in and serve them in a way that’s more helpful for both of you

3.)   Dinner time with family – no more working through dinner or checking email and leaving the dinner table early to jump back on the laptop. This is now a dedicated time to have dinner with the family and its embraced and celebrated. Some forgot how important this time can be together. The feeling of connection with their kids and spouses was a refreshing reminder that was much needed. It brought up the question, “How did I allow myself to work through dinner and miss out on THIS for so long?!” Dinner time with the family became a new non-negotiable and has become a new priority. 

4.)   Frequent quiet time breaks – this one was a pleasant surprise to hear. Thinking back to office days, this wasn’t always an easy one to achieve. With blurred lines between work and home life all under the same roof, the time away from any and all devices along with multiple breaks throughout the day, proved to be vital for mental stress and productivity. The feedback I heard was, work was still there when they went back to the computer, the world kept turning and everyone was OK while they stepped away for 15-30 min. 

5.)   More walks – nothing fancy here, just a low impact exercise that does the trick for getting you to move your body AND get you away from your computer. Whether you workout or not, some of my clients have embraced new workout routines, taken up new forms of exercise at home and have taken a liking to walks and hikes that get them out and into nature. The best place to go to hear the sound of your own voice. The one inside your head. 😉 Life pre-COVID for some left little time to workout and for others, took away their workout routines as many group exercises were cancelled and moved to online. Naturally, it forced people to explore new forms of exercise and going for regular walks became an enjoyable one that many have opted to keep for as long as they continue to enjoy them!

Sometimes a shift in lifestyle is also a shift in perspective and allows you to make new choices that support your overall wellbeing instead of hurt it. To create a new future, you have to be willing to embrace a new mindset and a new way of thinking . 

What new habits or behaviours have you adopted that you’ll keep post-COVID?

I’d love to know!

Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Make Your Connection 3-months group coaching program is where it’s at for the driven leader who’s looking to SOAR in their business, career and in life!! This program is for you if you identify with being an ambitious woman who’s looking to grab your role as the leader of your life and take bold action in your business, career and in life. Message me for more details and learn more here!! The group is capped at 6 women and kicks off November 15th.

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