Breathe … Take a deep breath … Breathe …
That’s the message you hear when your muscles are in meltdown, and your trainer is driving you to push out another rep. I know there is all manner of physiological reasons why this works, however, I never fail to be surprised. When I focus on my breathing, I can get more done.
2020 has been a year of holding our breath. A year of pain that no one saw coming. Many of you experienced great loss—of your loved ones, of your health, of your dreams, of your work. Everyone has suffered the trauma of battling the common covid foe. Everyone has experienced anxiety at some point through this year, and many still struggle. Although the impact varies, the fight is shared.
And it’s time to take a breath.
Christmas is an opportunity to pause and centre yourself on what truly matters: life, family, friends.
Before you consign 2020 to history, however, consider what you have learnt: about yourself, about relationships, and about work. Did you discover a new well of resilience, a new capability, a different interest? Did you discover a different approach to leadership, to getting things done through and with other people? What have you learnt about the people in your key relationships—and what have you learnt about yourself, in relationships, as you were thrust into much closer living over an extended period of time? Have you found work is not only what you do, but where you do it, and that relationships with your work colleagues matter?
Mostly, however, what have you learnt about yourself and your humanity?
Could I suggest, therefore, that while you are taking a deep breath, this Christmas pause, that you spend some time considering what it means to be human? Consider what it means to be a social being, who needs other humans around you. Consider what it means to be a person, who is aware of yourself, and who knows that you are on a journey through life. Secondly, consider what it means for you to be human. Who are the people you want to surround yourself with? Who are the people who need you in their life? What is the journey you are on, and what opportunities does 2021 provide to reset your course?
There is always a blessing in a curse. What are the gifts and blessings you have received in 2020—even those received in suffering—that you will take with you into 2021 and beyond? Enjoy this time of year, be gentle with yourself, and take care of those people that matter.