Books That Helped Me Recover From Burnout

Books That Helped Me Recover From Burnout

I’ve been on quite a journey of recovery, growth and transformation. These books that helped me learn, grow, let things go and turn my life around to recover from burnout.

Some were new reads and others are books I’ve read over time and time again or dip into when I need a reminder or a burst of inspiration.

I’ve recently moved home for the fourth time in two years. And this move is temporary, I’m moving again very soon. So I had to make the (for me) painful decision to downsize my personal ‘library’ of books. These survived the cull and are with me to stay books

* This page has affiliate links which could earn me a small commission but doesn’t cost you any extra. And of course, I will never recommend anything to you that I haven’t tried and liked. Promise. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

 

Self-help & Personal Development 

Spirituality

Psychology

Philosophy

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Yoga

How Working With A Coach Can Help You

How Working With A Coach Can Help You

Have you ever thought about working with a coach?

 

If you’re serious about achieving your biggest goals, you should consider it. In fact, if you need to start by defining what those goals actually are, then you should seriously consider it.

Working with a coach is a great way to boost your results in almost any area of life.

Having someone support and guide you through challenging times, help you develop new skills, or build more accountability into your life, is a wonderful way to ensure you achieve more. If you are wondering if working with a coach could help you, please consider these nine benefits.

 

9 benefits of working with a coach

 

  1. Helps You Define Your Goals

Many of us have goals, but often they are loosely (or not at all) defined. A coach can help take the hopes and dreams out of your head to create concrete goals. Instead of just wanting something, you start taking real steps towards it.

 

  1. Adds More Accountability to Your Life

It’s funny, but we have a much easier time letting ourselves down than we do letting others down. Having a coach means one more person in your life you don’t want to let down. You will feel more accountable and be more likely to achieve your goals when you know someone will ask you about your progress.

 

  1. Encourages You to Define Your Values

Do you know what you stand for? Maybe a better question is, do you know your core values? Regardless of the question, if you struggle with the answer, then a coach can help you. A coach can’t tell you your values, but they can ask you questions that will help you define them yourself.

 

  1. Helps You See Yourself More Clearly

A good coach will help you become more self-aware. This self-awareness will allow you to be more honest with yourself. You will know what you are good at and what you aren’t so good at doing. Self-awareness allows you to double down on your strengths while figuring out how to deal with your weaknesses.

 

  1. Assists Skill Building and Development

The most obvious benefit of a coach is their ability to help us build specific skills. For example, if you are interested in becoming a better business person, it makes sense to work with a business coach who has been there and done that. You get to learn from both their experiences and their mistakes.

 

  1. Offers a Safe Space to Talk About Sensitive Issues

Whether you find the current world too sensitive or not, it’s a fact that we need to watch the things we say. Having a coach gives you a safe space where you can talk about more sensitive issues. This doesn’t mean you have a place to spout hate, but you can at least vent a bit more freely.

 

  1. Encourages You To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

The comfort zone got its name from being comfortable. Once you are in it, you don’t want to get out. A good coach will coax and challenge you to step out of it. Stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while will make it easier to create positive change in your life.

 

  1. Offers a Different Viewpoint

When you have a coach, you have someone else to bounce ideas off of. It is so easy to get caught up in your tunnel vision that you might not even consider differing opinions. A coach forces you to consider different viewpoints and opinions. This helps you become a more well-rounded individual.

 

  1. Helps You Make Tough Decisions

Sometimes it feels like life is nothing but a series of difficult decisions. While this isn’t always true, it has a basis in reality. How much would you like to have someone else to talk to about these decisions? A good coach provides that kind of assistance.

 

Fast Action Steps You Can Take Right Now

 

  1. Take some time to think about different areas of your life that could use a boost. Write these down in a list.

 

  1. Carefully consider the list from the last step to figure out if a coach, mentor, or teacher could help you in any of these areas.

 

  1. Choose the area of your life that could most use a coach, and start researching coaching options. If you find a fit right for you, take a chance and reach out.

 

 

More Reading

* Any affiliate links could earn me a small commission but won’t cost you any extra. And of course, I will never recommend anything to you that I haven’t tried and liked. Promise. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

The Art of Coaching Workbook

59 Lessons: Working with the World’s Greatest Coaches

7 Keys To Being A Great Coach

The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching

Let’s chat!

Book a free coaching call to deal with burnout
I’m not a writer. So why am I doing a 30 day writing challenge?

I’m not a writer. So why am I doing a 30 day writing challenge?

“Everyone has a book in them…” 

Great. Let’s do this!

“…but in most cases that’s where it should stay.”

Oh.

I’m not even entirely sure that I want to write a book. Definitely not fiction. I use up enough time and energy managing my own life without creating and guiding multiple characters through theirs.

But I read so much and learn so much. I enjoy sharing that with my coaching clients so I’d love to be able to capture and share it further with anyone it might help. Life lessons with meaningful anecdotes from my own life. Maybe that’s it. But not just yet. 

In the meantime, I have a course to write, an eBook to finish and a blog that I should be posting on more regularly


Why do it?

We’ve already established that I’m not a writer and I’m not even sure that I want to be. So why put myself through this?

Find my writing style

I worked in Human Resources for 20 years. Everything I wrote was ‘professional’, often legal, in strategy and report formats to global boards and directors. Dry.

Writing that way is all I know. So when I try to write now, I immediately disappear back up my own corporate backside. I bore myself! 

Although I did once rebrand an employee handbook with a new tone of voice by recording content exactly as I would speak. So do I have to ‘be more me’?

The advice on finding your tone of voice is to write like you’re talking to your best friend. I can tell you now, she would NOT enjoy being bombarded with my musings and doubts for 30 days. But maybe I can secretly write to her and never share. 


I love reading 

Imagine if someone, anyone, might enjoy reading something I’ve written. I know that’s going to take more than a month, but I have to start somewhere. And why not try. Have no regrets.


Learning and improving

Now that I’ve decided to do this, I’ve been reading tips from other writers. I’m enjoying that. I’d like to put tips immediately into practice and that means writing every day.

And on my quest to learn and improve, maybe this will help. But what’s an expository style? Be original. Efficient syntax? Oh heck. Maybe I should study all these tips today and start again tomorrow…. *see procrastination

 

Earn money

I’ve got to be honest here. My work depends on it. I’m self employed, always on the lookout for new clients and I need to be active and visible online. No matter what platform or format that takes, I’ll need written content.  

 

Why not?

Oh, this part is easy! I have lots of reasons not to write. That’s why I’ve shared so little on my website so far. And why I procrastinate like feck.


Writing should be fun

It’s not. 


I am the Queen of Procrastination

I only enjoy writing when I should be doing something else. When I should be writing, I can find about a million other things to do instead.


Write about something you love

Lots of experts recommend that you write about something you love. I worry that if I force myself to write about something I love, I’ll very quickly lose the love. 


It’s not starting, it’s finishing

Au contraire. I’m great with a blank page! Give me a blank page and I’ll fill it with ideas and ask for another page. But once I’ve done that brain-dump, I find it almost impossible to put those scattered thoughts into order. In fact, I struggle to go back and look at it again, nevermind start reworking it. So writing takes me FOREVER.  


Too many ideas

Can’t think of anything to write about? Not me! I’ve so many ideas I can’t choose. And when I do make a choice, I’ll change my mind halfway through writing then decide to start another topic and finish the first another day. I’ve lost count of how many blog posts I’ve started and abandoned. Maybe the challenge could be to finish 30 of those started-but-abandoned-posts?


Confidence

Of course, what I mean here is lack of confidence. Enough said.


Visibility

This is my biggest challenge. I’m very private. I don’t like social media. I worry what other people will think. And I’m sensitive to criticism. But all of that has held me back for over 3 years now. That’s how long I haven’t actively promoted and shared my business. Time to put on my big girl pants and do it!

 

 

How?

Now that I’ve publicly committed to this, how do I make it happen?

 

Be organised

I’ll have a set time to write each day. First thing in the morning. With a nice coffee. Just don’t want it to ruin a good cup of coffee. And it’s already 11:43am today. Need to get more organised.


Habit is better than discipline

Habit is something you do daily without thinking. You just do it. Or build it into each day until you eventually get to the point where it’s a habit. That’s going to need a whole lot of discipline for me.


Write for yourself

Nope. That one isn’t working for me. I have a laptop full to bursting with half-written posts. I need the commitment and accountability of writing for other people. Even if that’s just the public accountability of committing to do this.


Take baby steps

Hhhmmmm… I’m not sure a 30 day public challenge ticks this box. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. That might be a better approach.


Just
do it

This is my year of growth. Maybe I will learn to love the page rather than fear it. 

I’ll be brave enough to start badly and publicly improve my writing. I can share my learnings. Share my failures. Share how life has knocked me down and I picked myself back up again.

So this is my month of doing something badly. Bravely.

Tune in tomorrow for more. Or maybe the next day…

 

I won’t share every daily post here but check out my Medium Stories if you’d like to see how I do in the challenge.

In the post I mentioned that I’m creating courses. Check out Burnout to Balance, it’s launching very soon!

*Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Books That Helped Me Recover From Burnout

My Burnout Reading list

I’ve been on quite a journey of transformation myself over the last three years. These are the books that helped me learn, grow, let things go and turn my life around. Some were new reads and others are books I’ve read over time and time again or dip into when I need a reminder or a burst of inspiration.

Here is my burnout reading list:

* Please note: this page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission but doesn’t cost you any extra. And of course, I will never recommend anything to you that I haven’t tried and liked. Promise. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

Self-help & Personal Development

Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson, Mitch Albom

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brené Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

Rising Strong, Brené Brown

The Rules Of Life: A personal code for living a better, happier, more successful kind of life, Richard Templar

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, Shel Silverstein

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, Sarah Knight

Spirituality

The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck

The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

The Universe Has Your Back: How to Feel Safe and Trust Your Life No Matter What, Gabrielle Bernstein

Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

Daily Meditations For Practicing The Course, Karen Casey

You Can Heal Your Life, Louise L. Hay

Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche, Bill Plotkin

Embracing Our Selves: The Voice Dialogue Manual, Hal Stone, Ph.D. and Sidra L. Stone, Ph.D.

Psychology

Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Joe Dispenza, D.C.

Man’s Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust, Viktor E. Frankl

Sane New World: Taming the Mind, Ruby Wax

The Female Brain, Louann Brizendine, M.D.

Personal Effectiveness

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Simon Sinek

Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done Today, Brian Tracy

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

Manage Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide, Gillian Butler and Tony Hope

Philosophy

Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting The Power Of The Wild Woman, Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor Maté

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood, Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.

Yoga

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Saraswati Satyananda Swami

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, William J. Broad

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: An Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners, H. David Coulter

Bhagavad Gita – Text and Commentary, Sivananda Swami

Dump Your To-Do List

Dump Your To-Do List

DAY 2: 10 DAYS OF WELLBEING

Today’s message won’t take you very long to read, but it will take you just a little longer to action…

But it’s worth it. It’s a really beneficial exercise to help stop your mind spinning with all those things you feel you ‘should’ be doing and letting go of some of the stress that creates.

 

DUMP YOUR TO-DO LIST

Don’t panic. I’m not suggesting that you bin it completely.

But let’s get your mental task list out of your head where it’s all spinning around with what feels like a million other things.

 

HOW DO I DO THAT?

By emptying your mind of all your things To-Do by putting them onto One List. That One List becomes your ‘Second Brain’.

Your Second Brain will hold your To-Do List safely, securely and all in one place. That way you can save your actual brain for having ideas and inspiration, not for desperately trying to store them all.

This time, before you start to collect your thoughts do have a think about what method works best for you to keep your list. There are many productivity, project management and To-Do Apps out there… Asana, Trello, ToDoist, Wrike… to name but a few. You might be a fan of a spreadsheet to keep track of lists or still prefer good old pen and paper. Just consider what will be the best way for you to get a list of everything into one place.

 

CAPTURE EVERYTHING

Then sit down, start your list and keep going. List EVERYTHING.

Grab that mail that you haven’t yet gotten around to sorting. Find those little scraps of paper with notes and reminders. If like me you use more than one notebook, get them all and put all the lists together. Everything. Appointments you need to remember, calls you need to make, things you need to buy, jobs you want to get done around the house, projects you’d like to get started, trips you’re planning on making. Capture it ALL.

I know this feels overwhelming, but once they’re in one place, you have already created some sort of order.

 

BUT I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!

How the BLEEP is this meant to help my Wellbeing?! It’s just reminded me of the 4,073 things I haven’t done yet!

Yes but now they’re not ‘nagging’ you constantly, pecking at your head causing a flurry of panic.

They’re all in one place. That way, you’ll know they’re safe, you haven’t lost anything. You do need to start putting them in some sort of order. But you don’t need to overtax your brain trying to remember everything.

 

GET YOUR LIST IN ORDER

There are a plethora of Productivity and Time Management Methods to choose from to help you prioritise and manage your To-Do List. But to get you started just ask yourself a few questions:
* Do I really need to / have to do this? If not, DELETE.
* Do I want to do this? If possible, DELETE. Or…
* Can I give it to someone else to do?
* It’s been on my list for months, am I really going to do this? If not, DELETE. Trust me, it will still be there in another 3 months, might as well delete it now.
* Is there anything URGENT (that’s urgent to you, not something that is on somebody else’s urgent list but not so important to you)? If so, take a couple of those and put them on your Daily To-Do List for tomorrow.


NOW WHAT?

Grab yourself a cuppa, a glass of wine, or take a break outside to get some time out. There’s nothing more to do today. Unless of course you want to…

 

OVERCOMING OVERWHELM

Read this if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. It will guide you through how to overcome that and take back control.

And let me know if you’d like any more tips. Not because I’m naturally organised. Quite the opposite. I’m the queen of procrastination, a constant ideas generator who’s not very good at actually getting things done and I have a serious dose of Shiny Object Syndrome. So I needed to find ways to help me control my out-of-controlness to actually get things done. And I’ve checked out a lot of books, courses and methods on my quest so I’m happy to recommend what’s helped me.

Tomorrow…. How to Still Your Mind…

10 Days of Wellbeing: Day 1: A Wellbeing Boost

MY WHY: Why I Do What I Do

MY WHY: Why I Do What I Do

From the heart today: WHY I DO WHAT I DO
 

I’ve been through my own tough times personally, while battling with my mental health.

 

❤️ I do what I do so that someone else doesn’t have to go through that alone ❤️

If I can help one person overcome their personal struggles then this is all worth it.

3:43 Videobomb by a little white dog jumping out the window to join the ‘show’!
🐶
😄

The books I mentioned:

* Please note: these are affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you buy, but they won’t cost you any extra. And of course, I will never recommend anything to you that I haven’t tried and liked. Promise.

Symptoms of Burnout

Symptoms of Burnout

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It’s not always easy to spot. Symptoms tend to build up over a period of time after you’ve had ongoing exposure to stressful situations.  

Burnout can have mental, emotional and physical symptoms. If you think you may be suffering from or on the edge of burnout, here are a list of some symptoms you might be experiencing.

Symptoms of Burnout

• Feeling tired and drained most of the time
• Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses
• Frequent headaches or muscle pain
• Change in appetite or sleep habits
• Sense of failure and self-doubt
• Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
• Detachment, feeling alone in the world
• Loss of motivation
• Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
• Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
• Withdrawing from responsibilities
• Isolating yourself from others
• Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
• Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
• Taking out your frustrations on others
• Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early
* from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm

Please make sure that you get the right support for you if you’re struggling.

 

My Burnout Symptoms

In my case my GP told me that I had severe physical symptoms of anxiety.

I experienced:
• Tightness in chest
• A persistent tingling feeling in my right arm. This one really concerned me. I’m not one to worry excessively normally but I knew that with my stress levels, lack of sleep and pace of life, I was a prime example of someone at risk of a stroke. This is what made me seek medical advice and check-ups.
• Mood swinging between periods of low mood and periods of anxiety
• Panic attacks
• No sleeping. I wasn’t overly worried about that as I hadn’t slept properly in years but I knew lack of sleep was exacerbating other symptoms.
• Mouth ulcers. All the time.
• Sense of failure and I just couldn’t see a way out
• Tension headaches
• Detachment. I felt very alone.
• No enjoyment in anything
• Isolating myself
• Procrastinating. I’m the queen of procrastination anyway but I can see now that during this time I procrastinated on taking action that could have helped me sooner
• Using food and alcohol to cope

From Breakdown to Breakthrough tells of the moment when I realised I was completely BURNT OUT and realised that I needed to make serious changes. I share my experiences of overcoming Burnout and finding peace, balance and a lifestyle that brings me health and happiness. 

Burnout to Breakdown to Breakthrough…

Burnout to Breakdown to Breakthrough…

I remember the moment when I realised that I was really stuck and living a life that just wasn’t working for me anymore.

I was crazy busy on all the wrong things and it was draining me physically and emotionally.

I was 45 at the time and figured I was already at least halfway through my life. I couldn’t let the other half be the same.

It can be hard to see that there really is a way to find your way out when:

* You’re overwhelmed
* Burnt out
* Feeling like life is passing you by
* You want to change, but what and how? 
* You don’t have time to stop and figure it out. You’ve things to do and bills to pay. 
* You’re bursting with ideas for changing career or setting up your own business but that means leaving the career you worked so hard to build.
* Everyone else thinks you’re crazy. Your life looks so good from the outside. 

I eventually found my way…and my WHY. So I KNOW you can do this, because I’ve been there too.

My own journey of discovering a way to balance a career I love with a much healthier lifestyle helped me discover a formula that really works.

That’s when I knew. I have to share this!

That’s what inspired me to leave my career in HR to start coaching women who also feel they’re stuck. 

But way before I got to that point, my burn out became a breakdown. TWICE! But I overcame that and you can too.

Once I realised my life wasn’t working for me, I started to make changes, Even though these changes were positive, my burnout became a full-blown breakdown.
 

How did I recover?

 

1. I got off the hamster wheel. I LEFT MY JOB.
That’s when the breakdown happened. And unlike my idol Brené Brown, this wasn’t a Breakdown / Spiritual Awakening, it was a breakdown. I’d been running on adrenaline for years and once that wasn’t needed to maintain the pace of life I’d been hammering through, it switched off completely and I was left in an exhausted, emotional mess. I felt like my world had imploded. I felt like my mind was imploding.

2. I decided to take some TIME OUT to get a proper break.
I know taking time out of work isn’t a luxury that everyone can afford but in my case I sold my house, which gave me the financial freedom to take some time out. I knew I was giving up my financial security/pension but I figured if I didn’t have my health, I didn’t have anything and I chose to prioritise that over money.

3. I found YOGA
Eventually. Initially I raced my way even through that, doing high intensity yoga shred workouts. It wasn’t until I almost broke my toe doing burpees – yeah, don’t worry, I get it. Burpees in yoga! – that I realised that what I needed to do was slow the feck down. Epiphany.

4. I SLOWED DOWN.
Properly. For first time ever.
I took breaks away on my own in a friend’s caravan on a remote beach in Wales where I walked, wrote, read and rested. I booked a week away to Turkey in a location where there was absolutely nothing of interest to do or see so that it would force me to sit and lie still.

5. I set BOUNDARIES
I learned to say no. I choose how I spend my time. I don’t do things I don’t want to (where possible). And when I waiver, I remember that I made huge changes to my life to protect my mental and physical health and it’s vital that I don’t take backward steps to where I was before. I have difficult conversations. I explain to people how I feel, why I make choices and they’ve all been supportive and accepting. Mostly.

6. I discovered SPIRITUALITY
Or I finally opened up to spirituality. I’ve always been spiritually curious, possibly trying to find something I could grasp onto. But nothing connected. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. But an Ayurvedic consultation led me to a daily practice of spiritual reading, yoga, pranayama and journaling. I decided to go to India for yoga teacher training and spent a month in Rishikesh, the spiritual home of yoga. I spent another month in Goa and Karnataka and immersed myself in yoga and spirituality. Those of you who have been through a Spiritual Awakening will understand how I found myself stuck in the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, a dark, empty period of personal growth and transition that made me want to turn the clocks back and make it all stop! That led to breakdown number two. This one really was more of a Breakdown Spiritual Awakening but I didn’t know that at the time. I had five months where I experienced suicidal thoughts. But underlying it all, I knew I wasn’t depressed or suffering from anxiety. But when I had a few weeks of low mood, I was concerned that I couldn’t continue to fend away those thoughts and so I faced right into it and I reached out for medical support and counselling to try to finally uncover my thoughts, habits, behaviours, addictive personality and any other demons that were lurking. Medical support was poor but the counselling was transformative.

7. READING
I read and read and read and read and read. I read about spirituality, personal growth, the law of attraction, psychology, how the brain works. I also studied – Nutrition, Mindfulness, Yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Life Purpose – I just couldn’t get enough information.

8. JOURNALLING
I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.
It’s why I’m still such an advocate for journaling. It clears your head, helps prioritise, helps recognise patterns of thought and behaviour. 

9. I let go of my PERFECTIONISM
I tried, okay I’m still trying, to let go of perfectionism. I put enormous pressure on myself for things to be ‘just so’ or how I think other people expect them. I’m trying to recognise when the perfectionist takes over and let her go pronto. It’s a work in progress.

10. I distanced myself from NEGATIVE PEOPLE
Life is hard. That’s a given. But it’s how we deal with it that matters.
My way is with optimism and positivity, once I’ve allowed myself to deal with and process the emotions. Personally, I find negative, pessimistic, competitive and angry people exceptionally draining. So once I realise that someone has that impact on me, I limit my time with them, to protect my own energy.

11. I spent time in NATURE
I spent a lot of time in nature. I walked along a local river, drove to the mountains, stayed by the sea. Nature is grounding and I found stillness and balance when I inhaled fresh air.

12. I dealt with an unhealthy relationship with ALCOHOL
Even my counsellor commented that I didn’t drink that much. But it wasn’t the amount that I was drinking, I recognised that it was the ‘why’ I drank that was the problem. I was trying to numb things or take the edge off, escape from life or sometimes escape from me.

13. I RELOCATED to a Mediterranean island
I’ve always had a very clear vision of how I imagined my life someday. I imagined living by the sea, living simply, buying fresh food from the local market and spending lots of time outdoors. I always believed that vision would be achieved when I reached retirement, but suddenly I realised, why wait until retirement? Why not live that vision now when I’m young enough (ish), fit enough (ish) and strong enough to deal with a big move?

So this February I did just that. I moved to Mallorca, to a gorgeous, light, bright, airy, spacious top floor apartment in Palma.

It’s too big for me but I wanted space for friends and family to visit, to feel like they have a home here.

I can walk to the sea in 15 minutes, I shop at the local market, I get out into the mountains, countryside and beaches regularly. I don’t have a car. I don’t buy much stuff (I already have too much stuff and I don’t want to clutter my lovely space) and I’ve adopted a little dog. I work from home and I get out into co-working spaces or cafes when I know I need company.

My favourite social events are coffees and brunches. Okay, okay, I also love a glass of Verdejo in the sunshine but I’ve no interest in nights out, or even fancy dinners. I became vegetarian during my time in India so even my food choices are more simple now. Every morning I enjoy coffee, writing and reading on the balcony and pottering about with a few plants.

I’m living the lifestyle I dreamed of. And I get to help other people find the lifestyle they dream of too. So really I guess I’m a lifestyle coach. Because I believe in a holistic approach to Mind, Body, Life and Soul. If anything is out of balance, everything is out of balance. 

How long did it take? 

At the risk of sounding like an absolute cop out I really don’t know.

The perimenopause hit me at the same time as the burnout. And perimenopause is the gift that just keeps on giving. It can last for up to 10 years, symptoms fluctuate and come and go and I still have days where I feel low or anxious.

The major difference is that any changes in mood now usually last only a day or two. And surely that’s to be expected in life?

The books that got me through this difficult time

*This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

I know I said I read a lot but I read far too much to be able to recommend everything here so here’s a link to my reading list.

But if I had to select just a few, these are the books that had the most profound impact on me were:

The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor Maté

The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Joe Dispenza, D.C.

Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson, Mitch Albom

8 Ways Walking Improves Your Mental Health

8 Ways Walking Improves Your Mental Health

It might surprise you to hear that something as simple as walking can actually improve your brainpower.

It doesn’t even have to be full-on power walking! Even a twenty or thirty minute walk during your lunch break can have a positive impact on your brain.

Here are eight ways science has proven that walking is excellent for your brain: 

1. Walking helps lower your risk of depression
Walking is an excellent way to improve your mental health. A 2018 study showed that any kind of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking can boost your brain health and lower your risk of developing depression by a third.

2. Walking improves your cognitive function
A number of studies have shown that the magic amount of twenty to thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise, such as walking, improves cognitive function and memory.

3. Walking stimulates endorphins  
Just ten minutes of walking is enough to start your brain releasing endorphins, the brain chemicals that lower stress, boost your mental health, and make you feel good. You’ve heard of the runner’s high? Well, you can get a similar positive rush from a brisk walk!

4. Walking releases the brain’s Magic Protein    
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been dubbed the brain’s ‘magic protein’ as it helps to rewire and build new neural pathways. Scientists believe it can even help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And cardiovascular exercise is an easy way to stimulate the production of BDNF and keep your brain in peak condition.

5. Walking lowers physical and mental fatigue
A 2008 study by the University of Georgia found that just three sessions a week of a low-intensity exercise like walking can reduce fatigue levels by as much as 65 percent.

6. Walking builds hippocampus strength
Your hippocampus is the key part of the brain for forming and storing memories. Research has shown that even brief walks can actually increase the size and efficiency of your hippocampus.

7. Walking Improves Creativity
Artists, writers, and philosophers have long known the importance of walking for clearing blocked creativity and getting inspiration flowing again. Science can now back this up with a 2014 study by Stanford University showing that walking increases your creative output by up to sixty percent.

8. Walking increases blood flow to the brain
Blood is vital for every organ in your body, not least of all, your brain. That magic twenty minutes is all it takes to increase the blood flow to your brain to keep it active and healthy.

What do you think? Not bad for 20 minutes exercise!

I’ve long been a fan of walking and hiking and that’s before I realised it had just so many key benefits. Not to mention the added grounding and healing benefits of walking in nature. 

Right, I’m off for a walk…

 

How to read more books

How to read more books

This post includes some great tips to help you figure out how you can make sure that you read more. It also includes 3 actionable steps you can take right away and some suggested reading if you want even more information.

*This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

 

Top Tips 

Reading is not only a wonderful way to relax, it is a great way to learn. In fact, one of the best steps you can take for self-improvement is to read more.

Reading opens you up to a whole world of different skills, viewpoints and ideas that challenge you. Becoming an avid reader isn’t necessarily going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it once you get started.

If you want to read more but have been struggling to make it happen, then try out some to these tips:

Start with a topic you love
If you’re trying to build a reading habit, then starting with something you love is a great choice. Starting a new habit is hard enough, why also battle against your personal preference? Choose a topic you’re really interested in and enjoy starting to read!

Set goals to challenge yourself
Are you the type of person that rises to a challenge? If so, then consider setting up your own reading challenges. You can focus on short-term goals such as trying to hit a certain number of pages each day. You can also look at the long term by challenging yourself to read X number of books in a year.

Schedule reading time
A lot of people claim that “lack of time” is their biggest hurdle when it comes to reading. You know how to fix that? Make time. Look at your schedule and figure out when you can pencil some reading time in. You will be surprised how easy it is to find some reading time each day.

Try an audio book
This might be a controversial suggestion in some circles, but don’t rule out audio books. Yes, it might not technically be “reading” but it is still a positive way to ingest exactly the same information. You can listen to an audio book while you’re driving or walking. It makes great use of this time and can open you up to new insights that you can actually read about later.

Consider an eBook subscription
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your physical books! But an eBook subscription is another way to find interesting things to read. A massive benefit is the wide libraries you can get access to for a small subscription fee. Many libraries also lend eBooks for free. eBooks ensure you’ll always have something on hand to read when you find yourself with time to kill.

Keep a reading log
Tracking the books you read is a great way to stay motivated to keep reading. As your list builds, your confidence will build too. You’ll want to keep adding to your list. This reading log is also useful to help you keep track of what you have read, or what you want to read in the future. 

Are you sitting comfortably?  
When you’re ready to get in some serious reading time, make sure that you can get comfortable. Find a comfy position on a comfy seat and settle in. Make sure you have good lighting for reading, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a snack or drink within reach too.

You don’t have to finish it!
A lot of people have an overwhelming urge to finish anything they start. While this is an admirable trait, it isn’t always conducive to building a reading habit. If you are bored out of your mind, or simply disinterested by the time you get through 50 pages or more, consider starting something new. Otherwise you’ll just put off picking up that book again rather than eagerly reaching for something you can’t wait to pick up again.

Join a Book Club
Joining a book club is a great idea for people wanting to read more. There is added accountability knowing you have to discuss the book with others on a regular basis. Plus, you might enjoy the social aspect of it as well.

 

Actionable steps

1 2 3
What book topics or genres excite you the most? Brainstorm a list of topics you’d like to read more about. Choose a single topic or genre from the list you just created. Google search for books about that topic. You can also search for “best of” lists or the Amazon best sellers’ lists. Make a list of the books that interest you. Choose one book that interests you and read the first 50 pages. If you like the book, continue. If it hasn’t caught your attention by then, stop reading and choose another book.

Pin It on Pinterest