How to rest if you are a new team leader?
Finding the right way to rest is one of the most important topics if you have changed your role to becoming a team leader. You might have a motivation that will keep you going for a year or even more but without proper ways to rest, you might end up with problems. Now is your chance to reflect on your situation and plan how to rest properly. As you probably guessed, no one solution fits all, but I will help you reflect on different perspectives on resting.
Dalton-Smith (2017) divides resting into seven categories: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative. This model gives you an excellent starting point for your reflection. Let me help you to understand the various categories of resting.
You can use this model to reflect your specific situation, but here I will use the imaginary case of John as an example. John started as a team leader one year ago. He is 32 years old and has two kids. He has a bachelor’s degree. He is Nordic-minded in his leadership style, which means he wants to serve his team well as a team leader. He also likes to think that the overall wellness of everyone in the team is one of his core values. Before starting as team leader, he was in technical expert positions within the IT industry. He has been interested in scrum and agile methods. He was one of the first employees in their fast-growing European company, which now has 50 employees. The CEO wanted to nominate him as a team leader because John wants to do his best whenever needed.
Rest from the physical aspect
At work, John is mostly standing and sitting next to his computer. At home, he has two small kids, so most of the time outside of work is just spending time with his family. The time for different kinds of physical activity like sports is nowadays minimal. This means John does not need so much physical rest on top of good sleep when starting his vacation or weekend.
Rest from the mental aspect
Typically, mental load comes from being too busy, multitasking, information overload, interruptions, and new social situations with team members. John has a bachelor’s degree in his education, but hearing this previous list makes him think that he must have a doctoral degree from all of those because nowadays, his whole life feels like that list. His brains have been giving him clues about the load with problems in concentration, lack of details with his memory, rising irritation in social situations, and starting minor issues with sleeping. Problems arise from work and spare time, so he needs something that gives him a break from both and is the opposite of those both.
Rest from the emotional aspect
John is a new team leader so handling those social teamwork aspects is new for him, and now he tries to keep calm in those situations and does not want to show his true feelings in every situation. Sometimes he thinks that problems between his team members are at the same level as his children’s arguments. This results in an emotional load. For this problem, John started to visit a coach who helps other team leaders. This was a recommendation from his supervisor, who has gone through the same career path as John. With his coach, John is developing his skills to understand his feelings better, and the visit to the coach is also a safe space for John to talk about his feelings. This helps him to find ways to rest appropriately and vent his emotional load with someone.
Rest from the social aspect
Before starting as a team leader, John worked independently with his tasks and expertise. Now, as he started one year ago being a team leader, he has many meetings, and most of his work is to be in social contact with others. This change sometimes takes energy from him because the change is so significant even though he likes other people. He feels that nowadays, being alone or just spending time with his wife is especially important for him to recover.
Rest from the creative aspect
Most of the situations in being a new team leader have made John feel that he needs to be highly creative when facing new problem-solving situations related to management and leadership. To recover from this constant demand, he has started to take individual dance lessons because during those lessons, it is just enough to follow instructions, and someone is showing him what to do unlike in managing a team.
Rest from the sensory aspect
Different noises and visual stimuli affect our nervous system in many ways. For John, this is a modest problem at work because their open office is a quiet place where everyone works with their computers. Still, minor interruptions are seen when someone is walking in the office or sometimes chatting with their co-workers.
But at home, John has two children, aged two and three, who are constantly shouting and having arguments. Those shouting noises are causing John sympathetic nervous system to activate raising stress-hormone levels. So, every now and then John needs a break from this shouting to have a sensory rest after the day by taking a long quiet walk before going to bed.
Lack of spiritual or meaningfulness aspects
People tend to get stressed if they need to constantly receive negative feedback or face only problems at the workplace. Still, John thinks he is very privileged when he can help his coworkers, and the company is doing meaningful things for its customers.
If your story is like John’s, you might also get added value from our team development tool called Leapto, which helps you to develop your team’s working habits. Start using Leapto for free here.
Thank you for taking the time to read about how to reflect on your resting methods. And if your summer holiday is starting, have a great summer holiday!
Dalton-Smith S. (2017) Sacret Rest – Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity.
Pohjonen H. (2022) Millaista lepoa tarvitset? Nuorten lääkärien yhdistyksen lehti.