How Do Leaders Cope with “Off Days?”

As a business leader there are some times things just aren’t progressing in the way you want them to and you begin to feel down, dejected and overwhelmed.

It can be very debilitating and you may begin to wonder if you can muster the energy and enthusiasm to keep on keeping on.

What do you do when this happens to you?

Lately I find that I am increasingly being asked this question by business leaders that I work with. Most of them describe it as an “off day.”

I presume that even the most successful business leaders have been there at some point or other (I know I have), but clearly they have found ways to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and keep on keeping on.

Because everybody will have different ways of dealing with these “off days” I have compiled some suggestions that you may find helpful:

  1. Stop and reflect: Try to stop, reflect, and get to the heart of why you are having an off day.
  2. Talk it out: Sometimes just talking about how you are feeling is cathartic. Talk to someone you trust or to your coach (you do have one right?)
  3. Write it out: If you cannot find anyone to talk things over with, you can always write down thoughts and feelings.  Also, try giving yourself advice as if you writing to someone else.
  4. Listen to music: Music can completely change your mood, make you feel less stressed, or take you on a wonderful emotional journey.
  5. Go for a walk: Walking always helps to clear your head and shed negative energy.
  6. Have fun: Do something you enjoy, laugh and have fun.
  7. Get your ducks in a row: Sometimes bad days are about juggling too many priorities. Determine what your priorities are and focus on the most important ones – relationships, health or maybe personal goals.
  8. Hug it out: There are times when we just need a hug and no words are necessary.
  9. Cry: This is not gender specific, everyone can benefit from a good cry. It can be a great stress buster.
  10. Just breath: There are all kinds of deep breathing exercises that you can do. Don’t underestimate the powerful impact of this simple, do any time or anywhere, activity.
  11. Be grateful: Think about, and name out loud, all of the things that you are grateful for. It will make you feel appreciate how abundant your life is.
  12. Take a day off: Things often look better after you have slept it. Take a day off and start again tomorrow.
  13. Let it go: Put the negative thoughts, feelings and conversations into a box (metaphorically) and throw it out, especially if it something that you cannot change or resolve.

Hopefully that song from Frozen isn’t going round and round your head now. Oops sorry!  Made you smile though didn’t I?

If you have any other advice or suggestions to add to this list I would love to hear from you and I am sure that other leaders who are having an “off day” would very much appreciate it too.


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