One thing that recharges me instantly is spending quality time with my family and friends. Even the short break of picking up my son from school after an entire day away from him gives me immense happiness. I am not able to talk to all my family regularly, but when I do, I can talk for hours and replenish my relational energy. Cooking for my family also restores me, and I enjoy making Indian, traditional, and nutritious food.
I also find that a vacation from time to time — with absolutely no work on my mind — goes a long way in recharging me. A recent mindset shift that I have started to focus on is an abundance mindset. To cultivate this mindset, I write down things that I want from life without the inhibitions of scarcity created by my own thoughts.
Before I started these habits, one of my most common complaints was feeling spent at the end of the workday with no time for myself or my family. This was due to the continuous meeting requests from partners, customers, and teams that left no room to take breaks or focus on my priorities. Now, I take the first 15 minutes of my workday to plan and note my priorities. Then I work according to those priorities and accommodate everything else after my main tasks are addressed. This new way of working leaves me with ample energy at the end of the day.
I used to be outgoing, but over time it felt like I reduced the quality time I spent with my friends and family. To prevent this, we have started putting away screens during dinner having dinner, we talk before going to sleep, and I have made it a point to stay in touch with my close friends by calling them once a week. While I am increasing my quality connections, it is also important for me to disconnect from non-quality time spent on social media. I have uninstalled a few apps from my phone and now I literally reserve time in my week to stop and smell the flowers. This has tremendously improved my relationships and I feel much more energized. As a result, I tend to sleep much better, I do not lie in the bed in the morning going through social media, and I love myself for being able to read before I go to sleep.
I used to hold myself back with a scarcity mindset, but now I write down affirmations, things I am grateful for, and things that I want from life. I have already experienced miraculous outcomes, and it has increased my resolve to continue with this abundance mindset.
At work, one of the first habits that I inculcated is having one-on-one connects with my team. These connects are not just to discuss work – we have created a safe space where we can talk about anything and everything. When I started, I was the only female on the India team; as our team grows and champions diversity across locations and roles, I have started a small “Girls One-On-One” group, which helps new women on the team get to know each other and acts as a support system if any one of us needs help.
Some advice I would give to others to help prevent burnout is to remember that you do not have to respond immediately to every email or chat that pops into your inbox. Do one thing at a time and schedule a time for messages instead of multi-tasking. Prioritize your work so that you are not driven by others’ agendas. Make sure that you block in time for recharging and learning in your calendar. Do not hesitate to say NO to something if you feel it is not aligning with your priorities.
Working from home helps me be constantly connected to my son and husband. Every conversation with them triggers happiness. Kids are full of curiosity and wonder, and just a five-minute talk with my son takes me to his wonderland full of crazy imaginations. Traveling and sketching along with my son makes for the best memories I will cherish my whole life.
One thing that I have learned from my leadership sessions with Thrive is that it’s all about Microsteps. Not even small steps, literally Microsteps. I have started using the Thrive app to set up some very basic and simple Microsteps, which I otherwise would never have implemented. For example, I now have reminders for stretch breaks, 60 seconds of breathing, a fixed lunch time, and a start and end time for my workday. I have started feeling good about myself, and it is a long way from the frustration that I was feeling about three months back. The positive expectancy has returned, and I feel refreshed in the morning and satisfied in the evening.