Dear <<First Name>>,

If you’ve been with me for a while, you may have noticed that it’s been a long time since I’ve shared an update. To be honest, the past couple of months have kind of done me in. Although I have moments of high energy and inspiration, I more often feel depleted, as if I’m running on fumes. 

I’m hearing the same from a lot of you. Many of us haven’t had a real break—or even a full day off—in over a year. We know this is no way to operate, yet we feel helpless to change it. The demands feel important and urgent... and endless. 

Here are some things I’ve been focusing on recently that are helping me reduce the mental and emotional load:

  • Getting quiet — The noise of the world can feel deafening, and for some of us, the voice inside our head is even worse. I’m doing my best to carve out at least a few minutes every day to get still and just imagine my body bathed in bright, warm, rejuvenating light. Sometimes I repeat the phrase “You are loved... You are so loved” slowly in a whisper in my head. This may feel strange at first, but if you’re a Harry Potter fan, channeling Lily Potter makes it seem much more natural. :)
  • Taking clean breaks from email — Whether this happens in the evenings or on weekends or (ideally) both, time completely away from email gives our minds critical opportunities to rest, renewing our ability to concentrate when we really need it. The same goes for checking email a limited number of times during the work day, a serious challenge with a significant payoff. Given that I'm sending this on a Saturday, you can see that I'm still learning. Which brings me to my final tactic...  
  • Being gentle with myself — No matter how often we receive subtle or even overt messages to the contrary, this is not “business as usual” and it hasn’t been for over a year. We must adjust (read: lower) our expectations.

I’d love to hear what’s helping you. And I’d also appreciate knowing what kinds of resources you’d find valuable. Although I’ve been sporadic in my posting of Release videos, I’ve supplemented some of them with blog posts written specifically for a higher-ed audience. Let me know if you’d like more of this. 

Thanks for taking some of your precious time to read this message. I hope it was time well spent. 

With warmth and gratitude,

Elizabeth Odders-White

p.s. If you like to dance, consider checking out the Fitness Marshall’s free videos on YouTube. They're a definite mood-booster for me!

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