Summer 2021 is in full swing. And compared to last summer when the world was turned upside down and inside out, this summer may feel like a breath of fresh air. Granted, we are still working together to battle the pandemic; however, that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter. I, for one, will get to spend our annual 2 weeks in Maine and I seriously cannot wait!

Last summer felt a bit like the Twilight Zone. Many of us were forced to cancel our usual summer fun – vacations, concerts, friends and family gatherings. It felt like the rug was pulled right out from under us. A time usually marked with carefree days and lifelong memories, summer was stolen away. We made the most of what we had – exploring new hobbies, spending more time at home, and gaining a new sense of what was important in our lives (a silver lining in the storm).

As the vaccination efforts prove to be turning the tides in our favor, Summer 2021 is upon us – and boy, does it feel pleasantly familiar! Things look normal again. Yet, there remains a sense of uncertainty in the air. Our brains and our hearts have been through the wringer over the last 18 months, so jumping back into our usual activities may not feel as natural as you thought it would. During this transitional period, taking time to renew and refresh this summer may be more important than ever.

Getting our minds and hearts in the right place will take time. One of the best things you can do is take time to reflect on what you have been through and embark on activities that give you joy. Instead of trying to rush back to it all, consciously take time for yourself. And as a leader, encourage your team to do the same. Here are a few reasons why taking time to refresh this summer more than ever is critical for our mental health:

A Refreshed Perspective

Taking time away from the stressors in our lives and focusing on activities that bring us joy leads to a refreshed perspective. And no one will disagree that we have had some stressors in our lives this past year! Look at taking time away as a mental reset. A time to divert our attention from the tunnel vision of fear and uncertainty we’ve all felt a more positive perspective. Whether it is the long-awaited vacation you had to cancel last summer or just a mental health day at the local park catching up with a good book, you will return to work with a renewed sense of optimism and energy.

Challenge Your Negativity Bias

Many of us have felt in a funk this last year, unable to move with all of the negativity thrown our way every day. Our internal negativity bias, the self-protective mechanism that keeps us safe from harm, has been on overdrive for the last 18 months. The psychosocial impact of the COVID pandemic is real. And there is no magic switch to turn it off. Instead, taking small steps to challenge this negativity bias and boost your resiliency will help you emerge from summer with a renewed sense of appreciation for the world around you. And the more appreciation we can build, the happier and less stressed we will feel.

As leaders, we need to encourage our teams to take time to renew and refresh this summer; and be an example to our teams by definitely taking time off ourselves. Taking this time to reset will result in a more creative, productive, and healthier workforce. Exactly what we all need to keep moving the needle forward together.

Looking for ideas on how to help your team stay refreshed and focused? Head on over to our website to learn more about Leadership Development for Team Building | East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.