Congratulations to those of you who just wrapped up a very busy season!!

We understand that many of you spent the past few months feeling overworked and overwhelmed (even if you haven’t technically been in a “busy season”), so we’re here to support you with a few ideas to help you transition to a new season.

Step 1: Celebrate!

First and foremost, we hope you take some time to relax, recharge and celebrate your accomplishments! What will you do to celebrate the completion of another busy season and welcome in this new season? If you need some ideas, Brian has some thoughts on how to celebrate.

Step 2: Reflect on what you’ve learned

Even if the last few months haven’t been perfect – even if things got pretty rough at times – we bet you learned a lot. Remember, the toughest challenges offer you the biggest opportunities for growth. Resist the desire to rush forward and forget the tough times.

Instead, take a few moments to reflect on what you’ve learned through the struggle. How have you changed? What nuggets of wisdom have you gained? Remember, life is about progress and growth, not attaining some imagined state of perfection. (Psst, embracing a growth mindset will help you remember this!)

Step 3: Shift from survival to expansion

If you’ve been experiencing stress the past few months, you’ve probably been functioning in survival mode. If so, you narrowed your focus on yourself and whatever it took to finish the task, challenge or project right in front of you. It’s likely that you gradually disconnected from the people and things that matter most to you. That’s what stress does – it causes us to contract, to shrink, to live smaller lives.

If any of this rings true for you, then you’re having a very normal human experience. Instead of feeling bad about it, simply acknowledge any contraction or shrinking you may have experienced these past few months. Then, recognize that now is the time to consciously expand and reconnect with the leader you truly are.

Not sure how? Here are 5 ideas to help you consciously expand as a leader and human being:

5 ways to consciously expand as a leader:

1.  Reconnect with yourself.

  • What part of you feels most disconnected? Where have you sacrificed your physical, mental, emotional or spiritual needs the most? Choose one thing you will do today to take care of and reconnect with yourself. Then, consider making it a new habit.

2. Reconnect with the people and things that matter most.

  • Which relationships, causes and/or passions have you drifted away from? Who or what may be calling you back? Choose one person or passion you want to reconnect with, and create a plan for when and how you will do so. Then, execute your plan.

3. Expand your perspective.

  • To be a great leader, you must expand your individual perspective to encompass the perspectives of those you lead, especially those who may have different identities, backgrounds and experiences than you. What can you do to be a more inclusive leader? How can you create a deeper sense of belonging in your workplace? Consciously commit to one positive change you will make, starting today. (Related note: If you’re looking for some new ideas on how to move Diversity, Equity & Inclusion forward at your organization, check out the recent insights shared from our I2L Innovators community.)

4. Find your joy.

  • When you feel tired and overwhelmed, life can feel dark and dreary. It’s time to lighten up! What’s one small thing that brings joy to your day? Whatever it is, find a way to make it happen, today and every day.

5. Learn something new.

  • When you’re in survival mode, it’s hard to learn anything beyond what you need to get by. What’s one new thing you’re excited to learn this season (it could be anything!)? Create the space in your schedule to make it happen, and enjoy the energy it brings you!

Whatever idea you choose to embrace, we hope you enjoy the energy of expansion! May it carry you forward into this new season and create some exciting new possibilities!

See you in the DOP,