Jordan Stark | Next Step Partners
Let’s face it, the last several years have been difficult. Covid, and all of its knock-on effects, the climate crisis, culture wars, and concerns around AI have all made it difficult for many of us to be optimistic about the future. Anxiety and depression rates are 25% higher in the past year, and kids and teens continue to face a mental health crisis. Most leaders have also been working especially hard navigating all of the ups and downs, with increasing feelings of burnout.
It’s challenging to be an inspiring leader when you aren’t at your best emotionally and physically. Managing through these difficult times requires resilience and optimism, so you can bring positive energy to your teams.
Summer is winding down, but it’s never too early to start planning for long weekends, holiday breaks, or next summer. If you are feeling like you need a reset, or an uplift, consider planning an Optimism-boosting break.
How to take a break that boosts your optimism
My family and I recently had one of the most uplifting vacations we have ever taken. The positive impact of this trip was both immediate and lasting. I still feel fundamentally better on a daily basis, than I did before, because of this wonderful break.
Research shows that taking a vacation improves your well-being, as Rebecca Zucker, one of my colleagues, wrote about in her recent HBR article. But not all vacations are created equal, and this one was different. I couldn’t help but think about what made this trip feel so good that it shifted my mindset in a lasting way.
Upon reflection, I realized that this trip combined several core elements known to support emotional and physical well-being. Instead of touching on one or two, it was the combination that was especially powerful. What I learned is now my formula for taking rejuvenating breaks.
See below to learn about the three vital elements of an optimism-boosting break.