I can’t wait for December so I can take a break! I hear so many people saying this these past few weeks starting as early as mid October.

Perhaps it’s because the retail stores have put up their Christmas decorations that we are reminded of this time of year. I remember when I first noticed the decorations up in Pick ‘n Pay and thought to myself “No, no yet. I’m not ready for December to come around, there’s still so much I have to get done!”.

People I speak to in my various circles and networking groups are all saying the same thing, that it’s been a tough year for many business wise. The daily hustle is real whether you own your own business or whether you’re in corporate – we’re living faster paced lifestyles, the pressures are overwhelming and we seem to get stuck on that proverbial hamster wheel more often than we care to admit.

So will your December break really change things or is it just a temporary relief from the chaos?

How will you as an individual or organisation ensure the chaos does not continue leaving you stressed, burnt-out, overwhelmed and anxious but rather feeling, engaged, inspired, motivated and actually achieving what you set out to achieve?

We often associate stress to change, negative events and surviving in today’s complex world. Stress occurs, we respond, often after the fact, ineffectively using various coping mechanisms, usually unhealthy ones. Then we rinse and repeat.

The most common type of stress and most tricky is known as allostatic stress (“the wear and tear on the body” that accumulates as an individual is exposed to repeated or chronic stress), not to be confused with event-based stress (experiences that disrupt an individual’s usual activities, causing a substantial change and readjustment like divorce, death, moving house/jobs, baby etc).

When we are tasked to comprehend and navigate new complexities, allostatic stress is experienced and can have the following implications:
• Accelerated aging (around 10 years)
• Wear and tear on brain and body
• Compromised immune system
• Increased rates of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes

To function anywhere remotely normal in today’s VUCA world, we need to develop our emotional agility. Viktor E. Frankl, a neurologist, psychologist, and Holocaust survivor spoke to this concept:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Emotional agility = an individual’s ability to experience their thoughts and emotions and events in a way that doesn’t drive them in negative ways, but instead encourages them to reveal the best of themselves.

What plans are you putting in place to develop the emotional agility for yourself and those around you?

What will be different next year?

If you’re looking for a tool that can help you measure 3 key areas: behavior, EQ and energy levels (i.e. engaged vs disengaged) that is internationally accredited and has a 90% accuracy indicator then the PDA is something you should consider.

It’s your very own human capital management system that allows you to manage individual and team development, succession planning and leadership matching. The PDA is supported with an online coaching portal, minimises disruption to workforce deliverables and people being away from their desks.

Try the PDA sample assessment here to get some insights into your own core behaviour traits and a feel for how it works.

If you would like to discuss your own emotional wellness or that of your teams, please do get in touch – we would love to support you and ensure you and your teams are set up for success in 2019.

Paula Quinsee: relationship expert, Tedx speaker and author of Embracing Conflict. She is a certified Imago Relationship Therapy Educator and Facilitator, NLP Life Coach and PDA Analyst and Coach. As a Relationship Expert, she teaches individuals and companies tools and skills to immediately and positively enhance the quality of their personal and organisational relationships.

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