Restore your Surge Capacity in the New Year

By: Rose Cartolari, Sr. Consultant, Executive Development Associates, Inc.


As we regroup after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we often experience feelings of tiredness, fatigue, and stress alongside the happiness and renewal that the new year brings. Referring to this feeling, last week I heard someone say that they felt as though their surge capacity had been depleted, and that resonated with me. Our “surge capacity” – our ability to put in that extra energy to move forward – allowed us to be able to rally and adapt to the uncertainty and stress the pandemic caused, and to push ourselves forward – mentally and physically.

But now, months later, the tiredness kicks in and may seem to overshadow everything else in our lives. So how can we deal with this? An electrician would tell you that when there’s a power surge, it can cause a power outage and shut everything down. To re-establish electricity, you would first need to unplug all devices and then you would need to reset and repower.

So how do you unplug? A long walk? Unscheduled naps? Baking? Not only is it OK to be tired, but it’s also completely normal and human. What’s important is figuring out what you need to do to unplug – and then going and doing it. As often happens, just “unplugging” makes things magically work again.

What are ways you reset and repower? Each of us has our own way; here are some of my favorites:

  • Share your feelings with those to whom you are close. We tend not to share the burden. Opening up not only diffuses the emotional charge and sense of loneliness, but showing vulnerability allows you to connect on a deeper level with those around you. Often, these conversations fill you up and have the power to help you re-savor and reconnect with the world.
  • Move! Go for a walk, do yoga, dance, whatever might help you change perspective and literally shake things up – and if you can do it outside, all the better; we all know the benefits of a change of scenery and fresh air.
  • Seek out people who inspire you, who give you energy. Studies show that the people you interact with daily impact your worldview and your sense of possibility and potential. Expand yours.
  • Reach out to those who may be lonely. Many might be grateful that someone made an effort to listen to them, and you might also benefit from the connection.

My friend Mauro, who is a marathon runner, uses a trick that he learned through his races to help him get through these times. Often in the middle of a race he becomes very tired but still has miles to go. So, he changes his focus from where he is at the moment (exhausted, tired) to where he wants to go (successfully finishing the race). I find this big-picture mentality very useful. How can we “zoom out” our attention to get a broader view? Maybe we should focus on the longer term: in the summer, when we will all (hopefully) be out and about in a much safer world.

Until then, all the very best for a restful, peaceful, and healthy new year. May it be fruitful and bountiful for us all!

In the hopes of repowering both myself and you, I send you a huge virtual hug – and now I’m going unplug by having a glass of wine and watching Netflix. As always, I am interested in hearing about your thoughts and personal experiences. You can contact me here or on LinkedIn.


About the Author:

Rose Cartolari is a Sr. Consultant, Facilitator, and C-Suite Coach with Executive Development Associates, bringing extensive experience in helping leaders create strategic growth for themselves and their organizations. Rose has a broad background developing and delivering tailored leadership development programs for clients ranging from multinational companies to corporate executives. Having lived and been educated in India, Indonesia, Somalia, the United States, and Italy, Rose is at home in many cultures.