A day or two after New Year’s, my friend Jen posed a question: “Is everyone else having as much trouble getting back to work as I am?“
I was surprised by this question because for the first time in many years, I wasn’t having trouble getting back to work. In fact, I was happily anticipating all the things that I wanted to do in order to launch myself into 2023.
There are lots of good reasons to not want to go back to your normal routine. If you found the holiday season particularly busy perhaps you need more rest. You may have been having a wonderful time with friends and family and you don’t want that to end. Conversely, you may have been having a lot of alone time and have really been enjoying all the peace and quiet. These, and many others, are productive and positive reasons to want your time off to continue.
If your reasons feel less than positive, it’s worthwhile to ask yourself what’s going on inside? Are you tired from doing too much with too little? Are you frustrated because your work doesn’t tap into your expertise or creative and intellectual interests? Are you bored because you’re ready for new challenges?
Instead of feeling disempowered and disconnected from your work, try gaining clarity by shifting your perspective on your situation. Try this mental game that I use with my clients.
Stand up if you can. Imagine you are standing in a room with many windows and outside each window is a different perspective on your work. Outside window one is a tree. What does the tree have to say about your work? Now turn slightly for a new point-of-view. Now imagine that outside window two is an animal. What does the animal have to say about your work? Continue to shift your body and imagine different points-of-view such as colour, food, or sound. Try for at least five new perspectives.
Now take a few minutes to integrate what each new perspective had to say. Ask yourself questions like:
- What was surprising?
- Did you feel perspectives in your body? In your breath?
- What do you know now?
- What action will you take with your new perspective(s)?
You’ll be surprised how effective this can be to deepen your understanding of your own feelings and to refresh your thinking. New year, new perspectives!