Recharge without a Sabbatical
This morning I read an article by Beth Sirull about nonprofit sabbaticals as a way to combat burnout, “Sabbaticals for Nonprofit Leaders Benefit the Executive, the Organization and the Communities It Serves“.
Unfortunately, only a small number of nonprofits have sabbaticals available as a benefit. It is easy to burn out in nonprofit work as staffing is often skeletal and the work load demanding. Passion wanes as fatigue sets in.
Here are seven ways nonprofit employees can recharge without a sabbatical:
1. Self-care: Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Repeat.
2. Learn. Participate in on-going learning and training. Keeping current or going in-depth can be exciting and invigorating.
3. Connect. Join associations or groups. Attend events or conferences of colleagues. Being part of a community of peers is both comforting and energizing.
4. Teach. Teaching others can help leaders see things from fresh perspectives and can be inspiring to both the teacher and the students.
5 Mentor. Being a mentor can be a meaningful way to help someone else in their career while reminding the leader why they chose their path.
6. Go back to the source. While leaders in nonprofits typically share many similar traits, they pick various areas and issues to champion and arenas in which to lead. For each, there is a reason why they ended up in one field or caring about one cause over another. Revisiting the source or impetus for your enthusiasm both figuratively or literally can have a restorative affect.
7. Vacation. Yes, there is too much work to do. No, you shouldn’t forgo your vacation to stay and do it. Take time off. Change surroundings. Relax. Your work will be there when you return and you will be fresh to tackle it.
Even if a sabbatical is not possible, you can avoid burn out and recharge for yourself and your organization. What are other ways you recharge?