How to Recharge, Refresh, and Be More Effective
People tell me that I’m a high-energy leader, and that’s probably true. For most of my life, I’ve been able to work hard and if there’s an energy gene, I may have it!
Yet all of us have seasons when we’re less enthusiastic, more frustrated, and possibly a bit run down spiritually or physically. Whatever the cause, there are times in every leader’s life when he or she needs to rest and be encouraged.
If you’re like most leaders, there are few people around you who feel the responsibility to make sure you’re okay. After all, you’re the leader!
That means you must find practical ways to renew yourself as a leader. Here are five that will help you get started.
- Take a Full Weekend Off
Most of us work a bit more than we should, and being constantly connected only increases the pace and ups the pressure. Unplug for an entire weekend, Friday evening through Sunday evening. Don’t check messages; leave your laptop in the bag, and do something that refuels you.
Tip: You may need to get away, literally, to accomplish this. Consider taking an overnight trip.
- Get Some Exercise
This one is counter intuitive because when you’re tired, physical exertion is the last thing on your mind. But exercise releases endorphins, natural hormones that reduce pain, increase energy, and can even produce a mild euphoria. That’s why you feel better after a walk on the treadmill, a good run, a bike ride, or a swim.
Tip: Aim to up your heart rate for at least 20 minutes. If you haven’t exercised recently, take it a bit easier.
Prayer was Jesus’ secret weapon for recharging his spiritual batteries, and it will work for you too. Prayer may not change your circumstances (though it might!), but it’s guaranteed to change your frame of mind.
Tip: If you have difficulty thinking of what to pray, recite the Lord’s Prayer slowly and meaningfully.
- Check Your Diet
Most of us resort to comfort food when we’re stressed, but that always backfires. A high-carb, high-sugar diet will give you a momentary feeling of satisfaction but leave your body drained of energy. Think about what you’ve been eating for the last few weeks. Is it time for a change?
Tip: Eat fresh foods and avoid heavily processed foods to improve your health.
- Spend Time with Friends
There’s something therapeutic about being with family and close friends, even if you’re just sharing a meal or relaxing. Being around the positive people who love you most is almost guaranteed to lift your spirits.
Tip: Don’t over-program your time with friends. Part of the joy is just being together.
If you’re feeling discouraged, frustrated, or just plain tired, don’t wait for a change to come. Make your own change by doing the things that will elevate your mood, refresh your spirit, and recharge you physically.
What about you? What practical things have you found to recharge your batteries? I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter.
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