Top Ten Stress Busting Tips

Stress is “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.” (HSE UK)

The pressures you’re dealing with may come from a number of different sources, and when their combined effect is overwhelming, stress occurs. Stress is an unhealthy state of body or mind or both.

Managing the stress of work and life are essential to your wellbeing.

So how can we manage stress?

Here are ten positive approaches to managing stress (ISMAUK – International Stress Management Association)

1. Learn to manage your time more effectively
We waste a lot of time doing unimportant tasks, especially when stressed, so prioritise your day and do the important jobs first. The unimportant ones can wait, and often they will disappear completely leaving you time to do other things. Also, do not put off the unpleasant tasks – avoidance causes a great deal of stress. Give unpleasant tasks a high priority and do them first.

2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
If we eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and ensure we get adequate sleep and rest, our body is then better able to cope with stress, should it occur. If this is not the case, then this may be a warning sign so don’t ignore it. Engaging in some form of physical activity may help you by working off the biochemical and physical changes that occur within your body due to stress. Relaxation also helps your body return to its normal healthy state. Good relaxation techniques, include breathing exercises, massage and a variety of complimentary therapies can all help.

3. Know your limitations and do not take on too much
We can cause ourselves a great deal of stress because we do not want to let people down. We then end up doing more than we should. Learn to delegate effectively and be assertive so that you can say ‘No’ without feeling guilty yourself, or upsetting or offending others.

4. Find out what causes you stress
Take time to discover what is worrying you and try to change your thoughts and behaviour(s) to reduce it. A stress assessment can help you to fully understand the causes, the implications to your health and how to manage, cope and make any necessary changes.

5. Avoid unnecessary conflict
Do not be too argumentative. Is it really worth the stress? Look for win – win situations. Look for a resolution to a dispute where both parties can achieve a positive outcome. Find out what the real cause of the problem is and deal with it.

6. Accept the things you cannot change
Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on all that you do have control over. Managing change effectively is essential or else performance will be reduced.

7. Take time out to relax and recharge your batteries
You will perform more effectively during work if you regularly take a short 10 / 15 minute break, easily making up the time you used relaxing. Alongside this, at least one annual break of at least 10-14 continuous days is recommended.

8. Find time to meet friends
Friends can ease work troubles and help us see things in a different way. The activities we engage in with friends help us relax and we will often have a good laugh. It boosts the immune system that is often depleted during stress.

9. Try to see things differently, develop a positive thinking style
If something is concerning you, try to see it differently. Talk over your problem with somebody before it gets out of proportion. Often, talking to a friend/colleague/family member will help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective. You may also need to consider professional help in order to achieve the desired outcome and prevent ill health and / or burnout.

10. Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine as coping mechanisms
Long term, these faulty coping mechanisms will just add to the problem. For example, caffeine and nicotine are stimulants – too much and the body reacts to this with the stress response, increasing or even causing anxiety symptoms. Alcohol is a depressant!

**Download free PDF**
Top-Ten-Stress-Busting-Tips-F2-ISMAUK

10 Days Of Wellbeing

10 Days Of Wellbeing

A WELLBEING BOOST

Is it just me or does anyone else find January a bit grim? 

Christmas is over. New Year is over. And even both of those were quite lonely times this year, with most of us separated from family and friends. The days are short and it’s dark and cold (at least up here in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere).

And in the run up to the New Year, everywhere we look we’ve been bombarded with messages to set resolutions, set goals, lose weight, be successful, earn more money, be a better person. 

New Year, New You… oh the pressure. When all I want to do is curl up in slouchy clothes/jammies with the heat blasting, candles lit and devour the remainder of the Christmas chocolate (okay, okay, chocolate that I keep buying throughout January!)

I started to do Dry January. But then I remembered that January is dry enough! So I did a drier January. A Dry-ish January if you will.

I still found that my mood dipped. I felt low at times and had moments/days of anxiety.

But some cold, wet days in isolation gave me even more time for reading, reflection and planning. 

 

FEBRUARY BOOST

So now that we’re into February, even though I know that there’s a whole lot of winter yet to come, I’m already starting to perk up and think ahead.

And I thought we could all do with a great big helping of Wellbeing goodness so I’m running a FREE Wellbeing Boost / Challenge / Commitment. Call it what you will, but I hope you choose to gift yourself 10 days of tips, advice, practice and exercises to boost your wellbeing.

I’ll share things that will help you focus on your mental and emotional health, physical health, mindset, decisions, productivity, confidence and mindfulness. A menu of options, a smorgasbord of Wellbeing options to put yourself at the heart of what you do for a few moments each day.

 

A WELLBEING COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF

All you’ll need is a journal, notebook or paper. I know we all have online and mobile notes these days but there is something personal, effective, releasing and powerful about taking the time to write these and then having your own handwritten notes to reflect on. 

 

JUST 15 MINUTES EACH DAY TO IMPROVE YOUR WELLBEING

I don’t know about you but when I sign up to some challenges and they have a 50 minute video each day which is then followed by exercises or homework, I quickly fall behind then can’t find the time to catch up. 

So if I do share a video it will be a few minutes to explain something, 5 minutes maximum. And when there is reading, it will be just what you need to know to complete the task.

The daily exercises or tasks won’t take long.  Most of the exercises will take 15 minutes. Some aren’t even exercises as such, just taking some time out entirely for yourself.

So let’s get started…


DAY ONE: REFLECTION & INTENTION

Grab yourself a cuppa, your journal and a quiet spot. Consider these few questions below and write the answers in your journal along with any other thoughts these might prompt.

How are you feeling right now?
You can use the Mind:Body:Life:Soul holistic framework to guide you through a deeper contemplation of this. Or just consider the areas that are important to you.
* How are your mood, your emotions, your energy?
* How are your relationships?
* How are you feeling in general about your life?

 

SET YOUR INTENTION 

If you’ve chosen to make this commitment to yourself to spend some time over the next few weeks on boosting your Wellbeing, you can set your intention now.

What would you like to focus on improving over the next 10 days?
* If you dedicate 15-20 minutes each day on yourself, what would you like to find, decide, discover or do?
* How would you like to feel at the end of this Wellbeing Boost?

That’s it for today. Well done on recognising that you deserve this and deciding to prioritise yourself. You deserve it.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the next Wellbeing Boost

Make Working From Home Work For You

Make Working From Home Work For You

WORKING FROM HOME WELLBEING TIPS

It looks like working from home is likely to continue into the New Year for many of us.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, your company allows you to work remotely, or you’ve had no choice but to work from home during lockdown, more and more of us are working from home.


The GOOD

There are lots of positives. No stressful commutes, fewer interruptions, and often, more flexibility with less structured work hours.


The potential downsides

But if there is one potential pitfall of working from home, it is overworking and never truly switching off from thinking about work. There’s just not the same closure of walking out of the office every evening and segueing into your home life.

So how do you keep a balance between work and “you” time?


1. Work regular hours

Set a start time, a finish time and break times and try to stick to those.

  • Allow yourself a little flexibility, things can come up and let’s face it, this is one of the perks of home-working.


2. Schedule in breaks
too, and make sure you take them.


3. Establish a morning routine

This is probably one of the most important, for me anyway. If my morning routine slips, the whole day slips. I walk the dog, come back and shower, do some yoga, make a coffee, sit on the balcony and write my journal, then make another coffee and it’s time to sit down to work.


4. Get dressed for work

I’m not talking dresses, power suits and heels (unless you really want to) but get out of your PJs, get out of your slouchies and get into work appropriate gear. You’ll be glad of this when you get an unexpected Zoom call, you’ll always be camera ready.


5. Productivity – Work out when you’re most productive
so you know when you’ll get most done and plan your more difficult tasks for the time of day when you know you’re in the right headspace for them.


6. Set boundaries
or rules with other people in your home so that they respect your space and time during your working hours.


7. Remove distractions
and try to structure your day with blocks of time where you will be uninterrupted.


8. Write a realistic To-Do list and try to complete it every day.

Try to avoid procrastinating and don’t carry it forward to the next day as that just leads to a daunting start with even more to do.


9. Eat The Frog

If you haven’t heard of this Brian Tracy book, it’s simple yet genius. If you have a row of frogs that you have to eat, then you’re best just eating the biggest, ugliest one first. Then your day can only get better. So do what you’re dreading most. Then enjoy the rest of your day.


10. Pomodoro Technique

If you’re anything like me, sometimes it’s difficult to get in the flow or concentration and there are so many things at home you could be doing, should be doing. My house is never cleaner than when I’m procrastinating on work I don’t like doing. I use the
Pomodoro Technique to keep me focussed for short periods.

– Set a 25 minute timer.
– Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break away from your screen or work.
– Repeat this 4 times then take a longer break.


11. Have a dedicated work area

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a spare room we can use as an office. But work in a space that you can assign solely to work and walk away from at the end of the day. If you have to work at your kitchen table or dining table, then clear all the work away at the end of the day so that you’re not looking at it when you should be switching off. 


12. Choose music to match your task and your mood

No fighting over what music to listen to. You get to choose your own music. I enjoy slower vibes for writing, funkier vibes for inspiration and sometimes I really enjoy pure silence.


13. Get fresh air

Whether it’s a walk in the morning, a bit of exercise in your lunch break or a run when you finish for the day, try to get outside, get some natural light, fresh air and breathe.


14. Go work in a local coffee shop

Going somewhere else to work means you get exercise, air and a change of scenery. The background noise can simulate your normal work environment. It also removes the chance of you being distracted by any household chores. My apartment is never cleaner than when I’m procrastinating on a work task! Two hours in a coffee shop can really help get stuff done!


15. Get a proper chair

During lockdown, many people started working from home with little or no notice so didn’t have the chance to get the right furniture and equipment. You need a chair that provides lumbar support, preferably adjustable to fit it to support you. Many employers will provide these. And a proper monitor will save you back ache too so that you’re not crouching down over a little laptop screen.

16. Socialise (whatever way it’s possible)
You’re going to miss the social interaction from the workplace and it can feel isolated and lonely at times. You could use Zoom or Skype to stay connected for meetings. Working from a café occasionally can provide some human interaction, but maybe you could to arrange to meet friends more outside of work hours, exercise together or end your work day with a coffee and a chat. 

17. Find a way to end your day so that you can switch off from work mode to home mode. 

18. Plan your meals
I quite often find myself deciding to make a nice lunch then spend a lot of time prepping, cooking and cleaning up. Prepare your meals the night before, just like you would do if you were going to the office. 

19. Keep your weekends free
You need time off to recharge. You may need to work Saturdays and Sundays but try where possible to have 2 consecutive work free days to rest, reset and recharge.

 

Why Workplace Wellbeing Matters

Why Workplace Wellbeing Matters

Why is Workplace Wellbeing so important?

Well, firstly, because it’s the right thing to do. If you employee or manage people, why would you not want them to be healthy, happy, present, engaged, feeling valued, feeling proud to work for and represent your business and doing the best job they can?

But if you’ve found yourself in a position in your business where you are trying to convince other executives or leaders why they should invest time and/or budget in Workplace Wellbeing, then here are some other benefits that could help you convince them:

Reduced Turnover
People won’t want to leave their employment with you so you will have less turnover of good people. We all know the cost of turnover and it’s not just financial in terms of recruitment and onboarding. You’ll also lose knowledge every time someone leaves. Creating a Healthy Workplace and prioritising Workplace Wellbeing will mean increased retention.

Attraction
You’ll soon build a positive reputation as an employer who prioritise workplace wellbeing and become known as a company who invest in and support their people. And who wouldn’t want to work for a business like that? That will help you attract, recruit and retain excellent people to join your teams.

Better Employee Engagement
Not only do engaged employees create a working environment that’s better for everyone, but enhanced employee engagement has been proven to deliver better business performance as people are more motivated and committed to success.

Reduced Absence
Absence means lost working days and lower productivity. In turn these can result in other employees becoming unhappy as they have to pick up the slack for those absent, leading to the negative working relationships. A healthy workplace with a commitment to employee and workplace wellbeing will reduce absence and its repercussions.

Increased Productivity
Less absence and engaged employees motivated to deliver their best means your healthy workplace will show a boost in productivity.

Improved customer experience
Customers will be dealing with happy, engaged, motivated people. Workplace wellbeing means happy customers too.

Open culture with positive communication
A healthy workplace with an open culture, encouraging positive, open communication creates a better working environment for everyone.

Mental health and wellbeing
Open conversations around mental health will ensure your people feel understood and supported. This creates an inclusive, healthy workplace for them, particularly during times where they may struggle with their mental illness.

Less conflict at work
And if there’s less conflict, there’s much less time required to spend resolving issues. Freeing even more time to build a healthy workplace, focussed on wellbeing helping deliver all these benefits.

If you’d like any more information, please email me at jules@mindbodylifesoul.com

Or you can schedule a complimentary 30 minute discovery call: https://mindbodylifesoul.com/schedule/

How To Overcome Overwhelm & Take Back Control

How To Overcome Overwhelm & Take Back Control

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Stressed? Worried? Anxious?

 

There are times in your life when you can feel such intense overwhelm that it seems impossible to quieten your thoughts for long enough to be able to see a way through.

It’s hard to allow yourself to aside time to sit still when you’re spinning in overwhelm. But please, give yourself 20 minutes to complete this exercise to help you take back control.

It’s short and simple but very effective. It will help you identify what is within your control so that you can let go of what is not.

(Grab a FREE workbook to guide you through these tips.)

 

STEP 1: WHAT’S ON MY MIND?

Make a list of all the things that are contributing to your worries and feelings of overwhelm. Everything.

It could be that you’re worrying about work issues, lack of work or financial worries. You might be worrying about someone you care about, what’s going to happen during Covid, appointments you need to make, feeling tired, feeling unwell, things you think you should be doing, feelings of guilt etc.

ACTION: Take the time to write EVERYTHING down no matter how small, irrational or ridiculous it might seem right now. Emptying this list onto paper is a very effective way of clearing that incessant chatter in your head.

Done? Great. These are your WORRY ITEMS.

 

STEP 2: EXERCISE — CONTROL, INFLUENCE OR CONCERN

In your workbook, on the Circle of Influence image (page 6) you’ll see a larger version of the 3 circles or sections pictured below.

 

We’re going to categorise each WORRY ITEM into one of these three headings.

1. This is within my control (CONTROL)
2. I can influence this (INFLUENCE)
3. Everything else (CONCERN)

ACTION: Now work through the list of WORRY ITEMS you prepared in STEP 1. Which Section do they fit?

1. Circle of Control:

  • Do you have complete CONTROL over the worry item?
  • Can you resolve it on their own without needing anyone else’s help or input?

If so, write the Worry Item down within the first circle labelled “WITHIN MY CONTROL” and move onto the next item.

2. Circle of Influence:

  • Do you have PARTIAL control or can you INFLUENCE the outcome of the worry item?
  • Can you partly resolve the worry item or can you influence the outcome through their actions or behaviour?

If so, write this item within the second circle labelled “I CAN INFLUENCE” and move onto the next worry on your list.

3. Circle of Concern: Everything else…

  • Is the worry item COMPLETELY OUTSIDE of your CONTROL INFLUENCE?
  • Is there nothing you can do or say that could directly impact this worry?

Write this item in the outside circle labelled EVERYTHING ELSE

Work through your list and write each of your WORRY ITEMS in the circle that represents if you can CONTROL it, INFLUENCE it or it’s everything else (CONCERN).

 

STEP 3: TAKING CONTROL

Once you’ve placed all of your ‘Worry Items’ in the circles, take a few moments to review your Circles of Influence.

ACTION:

  • List the worry items you DO have CONTROL over
  • IDENTIFY one ACTION,however small, for each item.

TIP: It’s helpful to action ONE of these today…or even RIGHT NOW. You’ll feel instantly feel better.

STEP 4: PLANNING TO INFLUENCE

Now, let’s review the items you have INFLUENCE / PARTIAL control over:

ACTION:

Write down what steps you will take and exactly when you will do them — today or in the next few days.

 

STEP 5: LETTING GO

Finally…and most importantly…

LET GO of EVERYTHING ELSE!

This is the most difficult part for many of us. But remember, you’ve already assessed that you have no control over these items. So why hold on? Why let them take up time on you list and on your mind?

Let Go.

QUESTION: How does it FEEL to LET GO of things you have no CONTROL over?

TIP: If you’re using the Workbook, after striking out the Everything Else items, you could cut out around the edge of the grey INFLUENCE circle. Then keeping the CONTROL and INFLUENCE circles, scrunch or tear up the rest of the page and put Everything Else in the bin. This is a powerful way to LET GO.

Grab the gorgeous free workbook here.

 

Allow yourself to face into burnout and see what happens…

Allow yourself to face into burnout and see what happens…

When I first decided to face into my burnout, things got much worse before they got better.

It’s such a lonely and difficult time when you realise that you’re feeling stuck and that your life isn’t working for you anymore.

You’re still as busy as ever but somehow feeling like you’re busy on all the wrong things.

You’re also becoming more and more drained physically and emotionally. It can be hard to believe that you can 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 worked so hard to build your career. You can’t leave!
* Everyone else thinks you’re crazy. Your life looks so good from the outside.

That was me a few years ago. My own journey of discovering a way to balance a career I love with a much healthier lifestyle took a LONG time.

I went on a mission to recover and become calmer, happier and healthier. I’ve spent quite a few hours in therapy, I’ve read hundreds of books, I’ve studied, trained and travelled. I’ve done my fair share of challenging and changing my old habits, beliefs and behaviours. I even got the help of some yogis and gurus in India along my way.

Way before I got to that point, my burn out became a breakdown. TWICE! But I found my way…and my WHY. So I KNOW you can do this, because I’ve been there too.

How did I manage to overcome burnout and and find peace, balance and much more happiness and pleasure in life?

1. Identify and address your biggest stressor

I removed my biggest stressor. I left my job.

That’s when my breakdown happened. And unlike my idol Brené Brown, this wasn’t my Breakdown / Spiritual Awakening. It was a breakdown.

I’d been running on adrenaline for years. Once I dropped the frenetic pace of life I’d been racing through, the adrenaline switched off completely and I found myself in an exhausted, emotional mess. I felt like my world had imploded. I felt like my mind was imploding.

If you’re happy and inspired with your job, it may still be taking up too much of your time and energy. That leaves you with nothing else for life and for the people closest to you. In that case, you can take stock, have necessary conversations, establish boundaries and redress that balance.

The source of your burnout could be something completely different. You need to identify exactly what is causing the burnout in your life. Hone in on that to make the proper changes to remedy the exact source of the problem. 

2. Take a step back

I took some time out.

Taking time off work isn’t a luxury that everyone can afford. 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 but I figured if I didn’t have my health, I didn’t have anything. I chose to prioritise that over money.

Take a step back and take time away from the source of burnout. It helps you clear your head, calm your emotions and be in a place where you can deal with burnout rationally.

3. Slow down

I slowed down. Properly. For the first time ever.

This is the hardest part for most people and it sounds so counter-intuitive. “How can I possibly slow down when I’m trying to balance all these things?!” But you need to, to declutter that crazy To-Do List in your mind and to start to put it into some sort of manageable order.

In my case, I took solo weekend breaks away in a friend’s caravan on a remote beach in Wales. I walked, wrote, read and rested. With nothing of interest to do or see, it forced me to sit still.

And leading nicely into the next point, I journaled. A lot.

4. Journal

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. It helps you prioritise. And it helps you recognise repeating patterns of thought and behaviour.

5. Set boundaries

I learned to say no. I choose how I spend my time. I no longer do things I don’t want to do (where possible) or things that I know will affect my mental health.

When I waiver, I remember the huge changes I made to my life to protect my mental and physical health. It’s vital that I don’t take backward steps to where I was before. I have the difficult conversations. I explain to people how I’m feeling, why I make choices and they’ve all been supportive and accepting. Mostly.

6. Don’t isolate. But choose your people.

Isolation is a key symptom of burnout, so it’s important to be as social as possible. Just choose the right people.

I distanced myself from negative people.

Life is hard. That’s a given. But it’s how we deal with it that matters.

I try to deal with life with optimism and positivity. After I’ve allowed myself to deal with situations and process the emotions. I find negative, pessimistic, competitive and angry people draining. So once I realise that someone has that impact on me, I try to limit my time with them, to protect my own energy.

7. Change your environment.

I spent 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.

8. Don’t self-medicate.

It’s tempting to use legal (or illegal) substances to mask the feeling of overwhelm.

I had to deal with an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Even my counsellor commented that I didn’t drink very 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.

I’m an emotional eater too. Recognising when I was doing that helped me quickly spot when something triggered me.

9. Find your Passion

For me, that’s personal growth. I read and read and read and read and read.

Spirituality. Personal growth. The law of attraction. Psychology. Neuroscience. Other people’s journeys of healing.

I also studied. Nutrition. Mindfulness. Yoga. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. NLP. Life Purpose. Reiki.

I can’t consume enough information. I’m still learning…and growing.

10. Exercise

Exercise might seem like a weird suggestion as it takes up some of that precious energy you need to manage. Exercise is super effective in helping you blow off some steam and act as a mental release valve.

I found yoga.

Initially I even raced my way through yoga practices. I did 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. In all areas of life. Epiphany.

11. Find your Community

I discovered Spirituality. Or rather, I finally opened up to spirituality. I’ve always been spiritually curious, searching for something I could grasp onto. But nothing connected. Maybe I just wasn’t ready.

An Ayurvedic consultation led me to start a daily practice of spiritual reading, yoga, pranayama and journaling. I went to India for yoga teacher training and spent a month in Rishikesh, the spiritual home of yoga. Later, I spent another month in Goa and Karnataka, immersing myself in yoga and spirituality.

Yoga for me is a way of life. And in that, I found my community, my tribe.

12. Ask for help

Asking for help might mean reaching out to a trained professional who can offer you solutions, treatments, support and coping tactics. There is nothing more powerful than owning the fact you are overwhelmed.

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. Underlying it all, I knew I wasn’t depressed or suffering from anxiety. But after a few weeks of low mood, I was concerned that I couldn’t continue to fend away those thoughts while feeling low. I faced 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.

13. Acknowledge your role

Burnout doesn’t just happen to us. There are things we do and choices we make that contribute to it. Please don’t beat yourself up about them. Acknowledge any potential unhealthy habits that could have led to your burnout out, so you can work on those while you recover.

I let go of my perfectionism. 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.

14. Are you ready to move on?

I relocated to a Mediterranean island. Alone.

I’ve always had a very clear vision of how my life would be someday. Living by the sea, living simply, buying fresh food from the local market and spending lots of time outdoors.

I always imagined I’d live that vision 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 such a major move?

So in February 2020 I did just that. I moved to Mallorca, to a gorgeous, light, bright, airy, top floor apartment in Palma. I walk to the sea in 15 minutes. I shop at the local markets. I regularly get out into the mountains, countryside and beaches. I work from home and I work from co-working spaces or cafes when I know I need company. I’ve adopted a little dog so we walk to the sea every morning.

Setting up in a new country hasn’t always been easy, but it was the right lifestyle choice for me.

15. Don’t complicate things.

I live more simply.

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). 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, reading on the balcony and pottering about with a few plants.

What would I do differently?

Everything has worked out great for me but I had a lot of ‘detours’ and it took a long time for everything to eventually fall into place.

If I had to do it all again, I would get more help. I would seek out that support much earlier.

More importantly, I would have taken time to fully consider my options and plan my exit strategy before I left my job. Then I would have a lot more of the pieces in place before taking that leap.

I’m determined that no-one needs to go through those toughest of times alone. All my twists and turns helped me find a process that works, that I now share with my coaching clients. Now I get to help others to recover from burnout, restore their health and live calm, happy, balanced lives. And you can too!

That’s why I guide people just like me and you through the process in my Burnout To Balance Coaching programme and Burnout To Balance Online Self-Study Course. Find out more here….

 

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 read so much that there’s far too much to be able to recommend everything right here. Here’s a link to my reading list.

But if I had to select just a few, 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

The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown

 

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live – Watch Here


Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Passion & Purpose


What is Love The Life You Live?

Love The Life You Life is a programme I developed after working with clients and recognising a strong repeating pattern in the processes that helped them.

The Roadmap is a step-by-step guide to assessing your life, finding purpose, making plans and how to take steps to achieve them.

Here’s a video talking you through the  exact process to help you to Love The Life You Live. 

You can also download a FREE copy of the Roadmap, and the Mind:Body:Life:Soul holistic framework (below). 

 I’d love if you could share your comments, particularly about anything you’d like to see more of. Happy to share anything that can help right now…🙏🌈💕

    FREE Downloads

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul – A Holistic Framework

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul Holistic Framework

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live
    How to lose weight & keep it off

    How to lose weight & keep it off

    Hands up who’s put on weight during the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home? 👋🏼

    Some people lose their appetite through stressful times. Not me. My daily exercise was regular trips to the fridge!

    I often found myself standing at the fridge door, looking around blankly, waiting for inspiration and usually settling for more chocolate. Or cheese. Or leftovers. Or whatever was closest to me. I inhaled everything I ate then found myself back at the fridge door just minutes later.

     

    So firstly, if you’ve been beating yourself up about the weight. Give yourself a break. There was a global crisis, our routines were upended, our lives full of fear and uncertainty and food was a brief, welcome, comforting respite.

    But enough is enough! Let’s get these stubborn pounds shifted…

    I lost over 40lbs around 15 years ago. And I’ve managed to keep it off, with a few little fluctuations here and there.

    Naturally slim until my 20s, my weight had been creeping up gradually since my student days. Most people have a preference for sweet or savoury. I like both. In quick rotation. In big quantities.

    I tried lots of diets. Slimming World, Atkins, calorie counting, bikini body plans, Blood Type diet, 5:2, 500 calorie days, Low GI, intermittent fasting… You name it, I’ve probably tried it.

    And then finally something clicked. Or rather, quite a few things clicked. And here they are. The food lessons I’ve learned and lived by for almost 15 years.

    1. FIND YOUR WHY

    First, and most importantly, you have to actually want to lose the weight.

    So do you really want to lose weight?

    Yes? Then find your WHY. Why do YOU want to lose weight? Got it?

    Okay. Any time you’re struggling, remind yourself of WHY you want to lose weight.

    It will help you keep focus and motivation.

    2. GET ORGANISED

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad, boring news but there are no short cuts to losing weight.

    Get organised. Plan your meals, buy healthy and prep plenty.

    3. LEARN HOW TO EAT

    Fad or lose weight quick diets might help you kick-start the weight loss, but they’re not sustainable, often not healthy and you don’t break your old habits.

    To maintain your weight long term, you need to learn how to eat.

    Find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle.

    Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

    4. MOVE IT

    Find an exercise you enjoy and get moving. It’s great for endorphins too which will help you feel so much better. But bear in mind, you can’t exercise away a bad diet.

    5. DRINK LOTS OF WATER

    Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. And it’s important to stay hydrated, helps with digestion too. But stick mainly to water, even fruit juices can be packed with sugar.

    6. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU EAT

    It’s sometimes surprising how you’ve eaten so much more than you thought.

    Writing it down helps you keep track. You might also spot patterns of when and what you eat.

    I’m a grazer and snack constantly and eat throughout the day. That all soon adds up.

    7. FOOD IS FUEL

    This one was my lightbulb moment when it came to weight loss. Think of food as fuel for your body.

    Would you put cheap, nasty fuel in your car? Nope.

    Let’s treat ourselves carefully by trying to eat more fresh, nutritious, unprocessed ‘fuel’.

    Read the labels, avoid high saturated fats, hidden sugars, high salts, E numbers and names of ingredients you can’t even pronounce.

    8. DON’T CALL IT A DIET

    It’s a way of eating that will enable you to lose weight and a new way of eating that will make sure you stay at a healthy weight you’re happy with.

    My diet is how I eat, I’m not on a diet.

    Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

    9. LEARN TO LOVE (AND TRUST) FOOD

    Your body needs carbs, your body needs fats. No food is bad, in small amounts (unless it aggravates a medical condition).

    Chocolate is good for the soul. Just not in the vast quantities that saw me through lockdown!

    10. TRY SMALLER PLATES & PORTIONS

    I don’t know about you but I was brought up to clear my plate. Whatever the size!

    So maybe fill a smaller plate at first. Eat slowly, eat mindfully and stop when you’re full.

    11. NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS SKINNY FEELS

    That’s bulls*t. And whoever said that had clearly never tasted Lindt dark chocolate with sea-salt, or meringue with fresh cream, or cheesecake, or freshly baked bread with butter, or cheese, or… you get my drift.

    HOWEVER, when tempted by your own tasty pleasure, just take a moment to reflect on your WHY.

    Do you want that chunk of cake more than you want to lose weight?

    The answer might be yes. In which case have a little.

    Or CHOOSE to have it, and eat it with unbridled pleasure and savour each mouthful.

    You’ve made a choice. Own it and enjoy it.

    12. ENJOY IT

    When you eat, ENJOY it!

    Stop whatever else you’re doing, sit still and enjoy every last morsel.

    Don’t ruin it by eating it with a huge side-serving of guilt.

    Savour it with intention and satisfaction. Otherwise it wasn’t worth it.

    So if you can’t resist the dessert menu, just have the cake / cheesecake / tart / cream filled pastry and enjoy it. Maybe you’ll share it with someone, maybe you’ll eat the lot.

    But you’ve made a choice to have it, so give yourself permission to accept that decision, lean into that and enjoy it!

    13. DON’T START AGAIN NEXT WEEK

    If you eat the cake, don’t let that de-rail you. Don’t decide you’ll start your ‘diet’ again tomorrow, or the next day or after the weekend or whenever…

    Eat the next meal as you had planned and prepped.

    You’re making mostly ‘healthy’ food choices and sometimes you have treats.

    That’s life.

     

    Failing fast, failing forward

    Failing fast, failing forward

    *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.

    When I was younger I was afraid of failure. I avoided things that I thought I wouldn’t be good at it.

    Maybe that was the perfectionist in me, not wanting to fail. Or the introvert, not wanting others to see me fail.

    I don’t know when I managed to leave that fear or failure behind but I was lucky to have spent some time working with a dynamic company where I was really encouraged to set very ambitious goals then try to figure out how on earth I was going to achieve them.

    I rarely achieved these goals first time, certainly not completely but there were no repercussions. I was ‘allowed’ to try then encouraged to try again. Through these experiences I learned how to fail.

    Recently I’ve faced fear again in fairly straightforward scenarios and tasks.

    Fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, fear of visibility and fear of failure.

    Realising this has made me reflect and make new commitments to myself:

    ✨ I will fail

    ✨ I will learn

    ✨ I will try again

    ✨ I will fail faster

    ✨ I will fail forward

    ✨ I will embrace failure as a stepping-stone to success

    🌈🙏🏼🌟💫✨

    #mindbodylifesoul #lovethelifeyoulive #onelifeliveit #onelife #sayyestolife #mind #howtofail #failforward #failfast #successmindset

     

    Creating a Personal Vision Statement

    Creating a Personal Vision Statement

    You might have heard this called a Life Purpose Statement. Both serve the same brilliant purpose…helping you discover your dreams and creating a personal statement that supercharges you towards living it.

    1. List two of your unique personal qualities, such as enthusiasm and creativity.

    2. List one or two ways you enjoy expressing those qualities when interacting with others, such as to support and inspire.

    3. What are your greatest strengths/abilities/traits/things you do best?

    4. What motivates you or brings you joy and satisfaction?

    5. Write down at least two things you can start doing more often that use your strengths and bring you joy.

    6. Combine your previous answers into a single paragraph or statement.

    Example:
    My purpose is using my creativity and enthusiasm to support and inspire others as I freely express my talent in happiness and love.

    My personal vision statement:

     

     

     

    Designing Your Perfect Life Plan

    Designing Your Perfect Life Plan

    Why do I need a life plan? I’ve managed without it all this time, why do I need one now?

    A life plan is like a map that helps guide us towards a more meaningful and fulfilled life. It’s one that we’ve considered and envisioned for our future. Without a clear life plan we can find ourselves drifting or meandering along with no real direction, vision or purpose.

      So how do I do it?

       

      Let’s look at some simple ways to begin developing your perfect life plan.

      Step 1:  Take stock of where you are now

      List the key areas of your life that you want to review and plan for. If you’ve watched the Masterclass you’ll already have started to consider these. 

      As a guiding example, when I’m doing my life plan review, I list my key areas under my holistic mind, body, life, soul framework. So for instance, in my case these key areas are:

      – Mental health (mind)
      – Personal growth (mind)
      – Emotional wellbeing (mind)
      – Physical health (body)
      – Physical fitness (body)
      – Nutrition (body)
      – Personal style & brand (body)
      – Career (life)
      – Finances (life)
      – Connection & belonging (life)
      – Where I live (life)
      – Spirituality (soul)
      – Life purpose (soul)
      – Personal life plan (soul)
      – Daily practice (soul)

      Everyone’s key areas are different, so it’s important that you choose what’s relevant and meaningful to you.

      • Rate each of these areas how they currently are on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best possible life.
      • Consider how you would like them to be. What would a 10 look like?
      • List the realities of your life such as your responsibilities, available finances, things that really make you happy or things that make you unhappy.

      Step 2:  Create a snapshot in your mind of your ideal life

      • Remember to dream big!  The sky’s the limit so don’t be afraid to be bold.
      • Use your list from Step 1 as a starting point then add anything and everything that gets you excited about your life like hobbies, early retirement, family time, charity work etc…
        Details are good here as it will help you visualise later.
      • Think about those things that you really love to do and notice any themes that might be recurring.

       

      Step 3: Take an inventory of your skills and talents, listing all of your professional and personal accomplishments, achievements and strengths.

      My blog post 15 ways to discover your natural skills and talents for tips on how to do this.


      Step 4: 
      Create a manifesto or personal vision statement, so you can boldly proclaim your wants, needs and desires

      This personal vision statement post shows you how to really get creative with this.

      Take into consideration your snapshot of your life (Step 2) and what you’ve discovered is important to you.

      This statement should be all encompassing and it should include everything you have already discovered about yourself and your dreams, bringing it all together in one clear statement.

      This enables you to make commitments to yourself and stand for something. It should capture the value you create and who you’re creating for, including yourself!

      As an example, here is my personal vision statement:
      “Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Be the best I can be. Use my enthusiasm and optimism to inspire growth and bring out the best in people. Have fun in my journey, keep learning. Open up, let people in, be brave enough to wear my scars on the outside. Maintain a sense of wellbeing and calm, be kind to myself and believe I deserve it.

      I review my statement every 6 months or so to make sure it still aligns but after tweaking my first few drafts, it hasn’t changed in almost two years, which shows that the initial time I spent in contemplation really got me thinking deeply and helped me create my personal guiding roadmap.


      Step 5:
        Hold this vision in your mind by contemplating it for a few moments, each and every day

      This is a vital step in the process because you are essentially reprogramming your mind towards this new way of life. The more you imprint this image in your mind, the more your mind will guide you towards it.


      Step 6:  Take small, actionable steps so you can begin moving towards this new goal

      If you take time to focus on your new way of life every day, your mind (and the Universe) will begin to create ways for you to get there.

      A bit more about me…

      A bit more about me…

      My previous life & career

      For most of my career I was an HR Director. I moved from Belfast to Manchester, UK in 2013 and even back then I had hoped to change careers but I kept getting offers of HR roles which were difficult to turn down.

      By early 2018 I was in total burnout, working 65-70 hours a week in a career I no longer wanted to do and the dissatisfaction with my job was affecting all parts of my life. I was investing all of my energy into work and, with my tank on empty, I didn’t have the energy to make a change. My “aha” moment was when I realised that it wasn’t organisations I was invested in, but the individual people at the core of the business. Although I was very successful, I wasn’t particularly suited to an HR Director role because I care so deeply about people and I was lacking the same level of commitment to the organisational strategy and success. I’d reached a point where it was financially rewarding but not in any way emotionally rewarding.

      Mental Health

      I have navigated anxiety and depression throughout my entire adult life however the heaviness and panic that swept over me at this period in my life started to take me under. I pushed through the panic attacks until I felt out of control and couldn’t take any more. Everything was failing in my wellbeing and, even when I left work to prioritise my health, I actually became even more unwell.

      The entire time I was navigating this burnout, an entrepreneurial itch had been sitting with me. I’d worked for my entire life, from the age of 16, and had been involved in the glorification of busy for over 20 years! While my life looked beautiful and full from the outside, I was lost and wasn’t enjoying or appreciating with presence, any moments of here and now. My mind was always onto the next thing.

      I was halfway through my life and I realised I couldn’t let the next half be the same. I needed to discover where I wanted to be which was difficult for me as I was passionate about so many topics.

      Breakdown to breakthrough

      My breakdown became my breakthrough. I quit my job and found the space and time that I needed to get better. I knew I needed to stop, to slow down and approach my entire life at a different pace. I stopped for six months and shed the items that didn’t serve me, my house, big car, so many clothes with labels still on that I didn’t even remember owning. My entire lifestyle shifted. I travelled to India for yoga teacher training and it was the next step in my spiritual journey. I started using my mindfulness practice to shift my awareness in how I approached everything in my life.

      Five years before I had completed a coaching qualification, introduced a coaching programme in work and had always really enjoyed coaching people. I’m intrigued by their stories and goals and I’m passionate about helping them achieve them.

      In trying to find my way out of my own burnout and mid-life crisis, I leaned on tools I’d trusted while coaching others and also sought additional resources online. None of them quite ‘fit’ so I developed my own toolkit and system to help others transform their lives too. My holistic approach to life coaching is combined with spiritual practices to help shift your mindset, shed your old practices and beliefs and create the life of your dreams.

      I shed my old mindset, rooted into my spirituality, healed my heart and started coaching other women how to do the same. I watched them recover from burnout, feeling stuck in careers, lost in life’s path and helped them to develop a spiritual practice, adopt a self-care itinerary and start to prioritise themselves in their day-to-day lives.

      In the past two years, I’ve ‘lost’ or released my job, career, home, relationship, income, lifestyle, limiting beliefs and a few bad habits. I’ve gained health, time, balance, happiness, fulfilment, appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, stronger friendships, a spiritual practice, a lust for life and an understanding of who I am and how I want my ‘new’ life to be. I’m not perfect but I’m learning how to be myself and the best part was discovering that my purpose is to dedicate my professional life to empower, motivate and inspire women to look at their lives from a different perspective.

      Since then, I’ve worked with many private clients, spoken in front of countless groups, while earning an income on my online business and I have created the Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Purpose & Passion system, a series of important life evaluation and design steps that every woman who wants to get unstuck and design a fulfilling new life needs to apply to rewrite their stories and embrace more joy, freedom and wellbeing in their everyday lives.

      In February 2020, I relocated to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and I’m living my dream life in a bright, light rooftop apartment with a little white foster dog for company. Everyone’s dreams are different. I can help you find and live yours.

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