I’m recommending lighter fare this Thanksgiving.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about the amount of food you eat. Pile your plate up high with all the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and rolls that you want. Enjoy it all. I sure plan to.
I’m talking about making sure you find time to have some “lighter” moments to enjoy the holiday.
After indulging in the pumpkin pie, do whatever else makes you happy. Watch football. Play board games with family. Take a long walk outside. Read a book. Nap.
In our increasingly “connected” world, where everything and everybody is accessible via an email, text messages, IMs, Facebook, and tweets, it’s hard to disengage. This year, retailers are expanding shopping hours on Thanksgiving, making it even harder for some employees to have a day off. While many of us may not be required to go to a physical work location over the long weekend, it doesn’t mean we’ll step away from the work. Even those who must be on the job–such as the caring people who watch over frail elderly patients, or those that provide services for travelers in hotels, restaurants, and convenience stores–need to find moments to savor this traditional holiday in a way that rejuvenate you.
Ironically, just last night, I was reading a passage from a book that was recommended to me called “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. It talks about how managing energy, and not time, is the key to high performance (and happiness!). “[Organizational] cultures that encourage people to seek intermittent renewal not only inspire greater commitment, but also more productivity.”
It’s an interesting book because it talks about factors that we don’t always take into consideration when we look to a person’s performance on the job, such as their physical, mental, and spiritual health. (These authors wouldn’t recommend gorging on the Thanksgiving meal I’m planning to eat. But I figure overindulging on special occasions is o.k.) I’m only about 1/3 of the way through the book, but I do agree with the premise; we need to take into account the total person when we look at their workplace performance.
We often feel pressure to do more, to do it faster, to do it better. Those are legitimate success factors in today’s business world. But in order to achieve those goals, we must take time to rest. Rejuvenate. Replenish. Renew. Restore.
Carve out time for yourself to do something that you find enjoyable, especially if it’s something you haven’t done in a long while.
If you have any four-legged family members, watch for their cues to help you remember to take care of yourself. Chances are good you’ll find your canine and feline friends living in the moment, enjoying all their life has to offer. They aren’t worried about the lumpy gravy or the burnt bottoms on the rolls, nor what time the dishes will be done.
Wishing you and all those close to you a Thanksgiving filled with laughs, love, dog walks, cat naps, and lots of giblets.