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

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

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

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

This FREE workbook will help you identify what is within your control so that you can let go of what is not.

 

It’s hard to set aside time to sit still when you’re spinning in overwhelm. Just 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.

 

STEP 1: WHAT’S ON MY MIND?

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

It could be worrying about running out of food, worry about someone you care about, what’s going to happen, the dentist appointment you cancelled but can’t reschedule yet, homeschooling, feeling tired, work issues, lack of work, financial worries, 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.

These are your WORRY ITEMS.


STEP 2: EXERCISE

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.

 

CONTROL, INFLUENCE OR CONCERN

One by one assess each WORRY ITEM and decide if:

– It is within my control (CONTROL)
– I can influence (INFLUENCE)
– Everything else (CONCERN)

ACTION: Next, work through the list of WORRY ITEMS you prepared in STEP 1.

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

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

 

S T E P 3 : T A K I N G  C O N T R O L

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 and IDENTIFY an ACTION,however small, for each item.

TIP: It’s helpful to action ONE of these today…or even RIGHT NOW, to help you 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!
 

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

TIP: 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.

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

Embracing imperfections helps you enjoy life more

While we’re all spending more time at home during lockdown and restrictions, most of us are probably spending even more hours scrolling on social media.

So you can’t have helped but notice how almost everyone online is striving to be perfect. Suddenly you can’t post a selfie without filters or enjoy your dinner before showing off your fabulously curated plate of food. I’ve even seen dogs who are better groomed and accessorized than I am!

Thankfully there seem to be a growing number of people online who refreshingly now show their before and after pics.

As in:

Photo #1:  This is what I look like on Instagram, in a pose that’s likely to put my back out any second now, with as many added filters and edits as my fancy app allows. BTW it took me 103 photos to get this perfect shot.

Photo #2:  And this is what I actually look like 5 seconds before or after the perfect photo with my very normal tummy roll, some cellulite and what looks like a double-chin because I wasn’t quite camera ready.

If only these people didn’t feel they still need to show off the ‘perfection’ images, but they’re taking a huge step in the right direction.

But what if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition, all that clamouring for likes, comments, shares and hearts?

Or even better, what if you chose to actually enjoy your life without sharing it with the world?

Here’s how you can start to reclaim your life and become happier.

 

Stop judging

You can decide right now to stop analysing other people, looking for what’s wrong with their face, their body, their outfit or their life choices. Refocus your attitude, so you stop seeing differences as flaws but merely as something that makes that person unique.

Just let go of the urge to criticise others, and you’ll notice a flow-on effect on how you see yourself and self-judge less.

 

Accept your imperfections

Wanting to be the best version of you isn’t the same as being a perfectionist.

A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they’re doing.

Being your best means you work hard, you try, and you don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean you blame yourself when things aren’t perfect, and you don’t take failure personally.

 

Relax and enjoy the process

Perfectionists tend to trip over every little detail and allow imperfections to spoil their lives. When you embrace imperfection as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride.

Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable. You can slow down and notice all the good things there are in your life.

 

Adopt imperfection as a way of life

Perfection implies stasis, something you achieve and have to tend. It’s fragile and vulnerable. It puts an end to growth. And then what? You don’t want to stop learning and growing and developing, do you?

Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about life. Your perspectives changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly doesn’t matter so much.

Imperfection stops being something to avoid at all costs. All experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly, that help build the person you are continually becoming.

Embracing imperfection means there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person.

The best version of you.

Recovering from Burnout

Recovering from Burnout

Burnout to Balance: Recovering From Burnout…Or How To Prevent Getting To The Point Of Burnout

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

You’re crazy busy but feeling like you’re busy on all the wrong things and becoming more and more drained physically and emotionally.

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.


That was me just a few years ago. But 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 process 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.

So how did I manage to overcome burnout and overwhelm and find peace, balance and much more happiness and pleasure in life?….


How did I recover from burnout?

1. 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 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.

Maybe you’re really happy and inspired with your job but you just feel that it’s taking up way too much of your time and energy leaving you with nothing else for life and the people closest to you. In which case, you can take stock, have necessary conversations, establish boundaries and redress that balance. 

 

2. I took some TIME OUT.

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 SLOWED DOWN.

Properly. For 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 really need to, in order 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 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.

 

4. JOURNALING

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 you prioritise and helps you recognise repeating patterns of thought and behaviour.

 

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 distanced myself from NEGATIVE PEOPLE

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

My way to deal with life is generally 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 try to limit my time with them, to protect my own energy.

 

7. 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.

8. 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.

 

9. PERSONAL GROWTH

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.

I’m still learning…and growing. 

 

10. I found YOGA

Eventually.

Initially I even raced my way through yoga practices, 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.

 

11. 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 later 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.

 

12. 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.

 

13. I RELOCATED to a Mediterranean island

I’ve always had a very clear vision of how my life would be 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 in February 2020 I did just that. I moved to Mallorca, to a gorgeous, light, bright, airy, spacious top floor apartment in Palma.

I can walk to the sea in 15 minutes, I shop at the local markets, I get out into the mountains, countryside and beaches regularly. 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.

 

14. I LIVE 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 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.


What would I do differently?

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

If I had to do it all again, I would take more time to fully consider my options and plan my exit strategy so that I would have a lot more of the pieces in place before I left my job.

That’s why I guide people just like me and you through that 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 know I said I read a lot but I read far too much to be able to recommend everything right here so 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

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.

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

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough… (part 2)

    Yesterday I told about the moment when I realised my life wasn’t working for me. When 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

    Symptoms of Burnout

    Symptoms of Burnout

    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.

    But I’m not an expert in this, I can only share my own experiences so please make sure that you get the right support for you if you’re struggling.

    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

    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… (part 1) tells of the moment when I realised I was completely BURNT OUT and realised that I needed to make serious changes.

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough… (part 2) shares my experiences of overcoming Burnout and finding peace, balance and a lifestyle that brings me health and happiness. 

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