A few months ago, the New York Times published an article naming the emotion of languishing “the neglected middle child of mental health” and we all nodded our head in agreement that yes, that was the feeling we were all feeling and it perfectly summed up the collective “blah” we all felt as the rites of spring were upon us. As we connect (finally in person!) with our colleagues and customers, the sense of languishing started to dissipate, and hopefulness set in—followed immediately by an impending sense of chaos and uncertainty—how are we going to staff our clubs? How are we going to train new employees who have never worked in clubs before? And what guidance should we be providing staff when it comes to keeping them and their families safe? It all becomes information overload and how do we turn it off?
Medical expert, Dr Radha Mogdil suggests that when we feel the sense of information overload that our minds are tired and it’s important to put into action strategies that can help us find solutions to problems, rather than languish in the impending dread of things out of our control.
Be strategic with the amount of time you are spending consuming media. We all need to be informed of the news of the world, and over the past year social media has served as an outlet for many to interact with one another, but too much media consumption can leave us feeling overwhelmed and sad. Be aware of how much time, when in your day, on which platform and in what emotional state you’re in when consuming media. Taking space away is helpful to re-center yourself and get back in touch with the world outside your door.
With work patterns changing, the concept of “strict office hours” went out the window, and more than ever before people became available 24/7/365. It’s no surprise people became overwhelmed by messaging! Now is the time to take a step back and review how you are allowing people to get ahold of you—as a manager, it’s important that you be there for your employees but not at the cost of your mental health and productivity. Block out time in your day that you are available for drop-ins, a time of day that you are looking at your phone, a time of day that you are engaging with customers or members, and of course, a time of day to regroup and get focused.
When the Pandemic first hit our industry, everything came to a screeching halt. Then, last summer came and managers were busier than ever working with limited staff and resources, keeping on top of new regulations and guidelines, and bearing the brunt of being one of the few places members and customers could turn for a sense of “normalcy.” Many people haven’t had a break from work in the past year and it’s become hard to disconnect from the noise of life. Find balance by making space for connecting with others, physical exercise, and expanding your knowledge base through learning. Try to focus your energy on completing one task at a time rather than multitasking. Our brains are wired to use our attention and focus to tackle one thing at a time and we will be more efficient and feel better for it if we listen to our brains!
Give Yourself Space
Put down your phone, turn off the TV and take a walk. The biggest key to reducing information overload is get involved in activities which are not information-oriented but more space oriented. This may not seem possible when you’re stretched to the limit in your professional life, but even engaging in a walking meeting can help to reduce stress and serve as a version of micro-bonding. Even finding a few minutes to listen to music, read for pleasure provides space from your mind and the information it is processing—don’t forget sleep! Sleep is the ultimate reset button, and chances are, we all could use a little more shuteye!
The volume of our thoughts, and the rate at which we consume, and process information can be very loud and fast at times. But, don’t forget that the volume button is in your hands. You have the power to turn it down—don’t forget to give yourself permission to do so.