My Burnout Reading list

My Burnout Reading list

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

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

Self-help & Personal Development

Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

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

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

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

Rising Strong, Brené Brown

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

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, Shel Silverstein

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

Spirituality

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

The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck

The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

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

Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

Daily Meditations For Practicing The Course, Karen Casey

You Can Heal Your Life, Louise L. Hay

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

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

Psychology

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

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

Sane New World: Taming the Mind, Ruby Wax

The Female Brain, Louann Brizendine, M.D.

Personal Effectiveness

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

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

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

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

Philosophy

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

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

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

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

Yoga

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Saraswati Satyananda Swami

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

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

Bhagavad Gita – Text and Commentary, Sivananda Swami

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

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

 

MY WHY: Why I Do What I Do

MY WHY: Why I Do What I Do

From the heart today: WHY I DO WHAT I DO
 

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

 

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

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

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

The books I mentioned:

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

Symptoms of Burnout

Symptoms of Burnout

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

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

Symptoms of Burnout

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

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

 

My Burnout Symptoms

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

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

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

8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right, I’m off for a walk…

 

Overcoming Overwhelm: Circle of Influence

Overcoming Overwhelm: Circle of Influence

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Worried? Anxious?

 

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

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.

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.

LSW Mind Cards: Positive Actions for Happiness & Fulfilment

LSW Mind Cards: Positive Actions for Happiness & Fulfilment

*This post may contain 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 trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

LSW Mind Cards might just be my new favourite thing.

They’re beautifully designed cards created to help you to become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings, take back control of your happiness, focus on the present and spread positivity throughout your life.

You get 45 gorgeous individually designed cards presented in a beautiful box.

The cards cover 5 inspiring, thought provoking categories:

* Kindness
* Ritual
* Gratitude
* Journal
* Reflection

I’ve written about all of these categories before, raving about the benefits of developing a daily practice incorporating all these elements. These beautiful, inspiring LSW Mind Cards give you the tools to guide you through that practice.

Each day, you select one of the LSW Mind Cards at random and take the action stated on the card. Building the habit of making positive choices each day will help you lead a more fulfilling and happier life.

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