August 26, 2020

117: Take Care of Yourself and Others with Peter Gourri

It’s been months of living in a COVID-restricted world. Remote work, limited public life, rising tensions, and mounting uncertainty, has taken its toll. Many managers and their team members are experiencing non-stop excess stress, overwhelm or are nearing burnout. This isn’t healthy or sustainable.

In this episode, I speak with Peter Gourri. Peter is a qualified Executive & Business Mentor and Coach, non-practicing lawyer, and retired Royal Air Force officer with particular expertise in mentoring as well as leadership coaching and training. His clients range from individual executives and high-growth start-ups to multinational Fortune 500 corporations and others.

Peter and I talk about how to take care of yourself and your team members during this time of immense stress and uncertainty. We get into some healthy self care practices that are good even when there isn’t a pandemic, how to take advantage of this strange time, and more.

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Read the related blog article: Self Care Tips For Managers And Teams During COVID-19

Key Takeaways:

  • Because our mood heavily impacts how we see the world, when under excess stress, it’s easy to misinterpret actions or written communications (e.g. email or chat). Before assuming the worst, consider the facts vs your interpretation of them.
  • Pause before responding when you feel emotionally triggered. Take a break and return to the situation with fresh eyes and a calm mind.
  • Give yourself and others a break. We’re all navigating the same complex, confusing and stressful situation.
  • Mark time on your calendar for self care, including time to prepare and eat meals, go for walks or exercise, etc.
  • Offer to switch a video meeting to audio only or a phone call.
  • Take vacation time even if there is nowhere to go. Discover a new park within driving distance or simply take a personal day at home to relax.
  • Encourage your team members to take breaks and time off. Role model this healthy behavior, too.
  • Take up a new hobby or find an activity that energizes you. Or design a project for yourself and work toward it.
  • Create a future vision for yourself and write a letter to yourself as if you’ve achieved that future state.
  • Spend time investing in your skills that will help you advance your career. Take an online course, etc.
  • Know that you will get through this and be stronger because of this experience, no matter how challenging it is.


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