We are designed for stress. Some stress motivates us and gets out of bed in the morning. The stressful times in our lives are what really make us value and appreciate the times that aren’t.
Our bodies are physically pre-programmed to respond to a threat by kicking in the stress response and giving our bodies the superpowers to FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE. To help us run away from a predator, for example, and survive. When repeated, these episodes of acute stress help to build high levels of resilience.
What is not good however, is CHRONIC STRESS. This is when the stress hormones kick in and don’t come down as there is: stress
This is what causes BURNOUT.
The multitude of things, situations, people and environments that are kicking off the stress response these days are no longer life-threatening. It could be something as small as an unread email, a look from another person, an impending deadline. These can all kick off the stress response, which, when it happens too frequently over extended time periods, is what ultimately leads to BURNOUT.
Did you know that 80% of doctors’ appointments are for stress-related conditions? The World Health Organisation recognises (CHRONIC) STRESS as a global epidemic. In fact, 85% of heart attacks are stress related – that’s a terrifying figure!
So what can you do?
If things feel like they’re getting on top of you, here are 5 tips you can employ in your own life to regain control:
1) BREATHE – box breathing helps you calm yourself down. Box breathing is just this. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, out for 4, pause for 4. Do at least 3 rounds and notice what’s different now.
2) Take a WALK – outside ideally – if that’s not possible just get out of your chair and take a walk around anywhere.
3) Take a FAB break – FAB = Fluid adjustment break – fluids in fluids out!
4) Have a MINDFUL moment – focus on your body and bring your attention to the sensations and what’s going on right now. Bring all your senses into the NOW.
5) SLEEP – I know you’re unlikely to be able to go to sleep right now unless you are tucked up in bed – in which case you shouldn’t be looking at your phone! But here’s the thing, if you want to stay on top of your stress the best thing you can do – by far – is to get some more sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours per night of quality sleep per night and you’ll be part of the successful few. Cut out screen time an hour before going to bed and allow yourself extra time to fall asleep to ensure you are getting close if not more than 8 hours.
Join my THRIVE TRIBE if you’d like more tips on living your best life.
It’s suspected that the world suicide figures are a shocking, 1 person dies every 40 seconds.
That’s close to 1 million people every year, and the numbers are only growing. In addition to these numbers, there are many more who attempt suicide, putting them at an extremely high risk to attempt again. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds, and the number one cause of death for men under the age of 35.
Today, Tuesday 10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day. Many organisations are doing incredible work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill-health in preparation for World Mental Health Day on October 10th. I suggest you check out the World Health Organisation’s 40 Seconds of Action campaign, which I am also partaking in just by writing this email!
I myself have gone through a period of suicidal thoughts. I have also had a good friend commit suicide, who I’d known was depressed, and I wish I’d done more.
It’s important to remind ourselves that most who are struggling will not reach out. No matter how many television ads they see, or posters on the inside of cubicle doors, they won’t call the helpline. They won’t talk to a friend. They won’t seek professional help. The black dog of mental illness often prevents them from being able to help themselves in ways not even they can understand.
You may have primarily heard me speak about ensuring that our minds are set up to thrive by taking time out for ourselves, not letting our physiological needs slip, and taking care of number one.
However, I also cannot stress enough the importance of checking in on not only our loved ones but also those we sense may need some support. R U OK day is coming up on Thursday 12th of September, which is a great reminder to us all to frequently check in with others.
I truly believe reading about mental health not only helps those who suffer, but also gives others a much greater understanding of its workings so as to support others more effectively. So, in light of this awareness week being centred around the worldwide epidemic of mental health problems, here are three great reads that I would recommend to all:
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful – Sarah Wilson
If you have anxiety, this book is for you. If you love someone who is anxious, this book is for you. I Quit Sugar founder and New York Times bestselling author Sarah Wilson has lived through high anxiety – including bipolar, OCD and several suicide attempts – her whole life. Perhaps like you, she grew tired of seeing anxiety as a disease that must be medicated into submission. Could anxiety be re-sewn, she asked, into a thing of beauty? Sarah travelled the world, in a quest to unravel the knotted ball of wool that is the anxious condition. She emerged with the very best philosophy, science and hacks for thriving with the beast.
Thrive – Rob Kelly
This book is an ACTION novel, teaching people to change their limiting thinking styles.
By joining together new research and unique clinical insights, Thrive demonstrates how most symptoms and problems in life are actually created or exacerbated by people’s limiting belief systems and thinking styles. It enables people to really understand the importance of their cognitive processes and to realise that the way they think, feel and react to situations has a profound effect on how they experience life.
The Marriage Plot: A Novel – Jeffery Eugenides
Eugenides’s book revolves around Madeline, an English major at Brown who struggles to reconcile her life with her love for Victorian literature. The book’s beating heart is the complicated relationship she has with Leonard, a possible representation of a friend of Eugenides’s who dealt with depression for much of his life and ultimately died by suicide.
I hope you enjoy these suggestions and that you too can take your #40seconds of action today.
If you’ve ever been tempted to do a Tony Robbin’s training, please don’t hesitate. Do it now! Why do I say that?
Doing ‘Unleash the Power Within’ 15 years ago has completely changed my life. It has been the catalyst for my personal growth, moving from anxiety and depression to confidence and success.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you look back at your younger self and you don’t recognise yourself?
Well, I cannot believe how much my life has changed since I attended that particular event at the Excel Center 15 years ago.
Back then I was in a marriage that didn’t work and wasn’t good for me, (I was married to a psychopath). I was doing a job I didn’t enjoy that was causing me stress and anxiety and many sleepless nights. I didn’t have time for my family and friends because I was so consumed by my work. And I carved out no time for myself. I looked old for my age, with all the stress and worry, and I was fed up and disgruntled with the world. I couldn’t see a way out!
Somehow, I had lost my sense of self and felt like the ball in a pinball machine – being hurled from one place to the next by other peoples’ demands.
I have to say the environment was alien to me, seeing thousands of people all in one room and most of them jumping up and down on their chairs, dancing and hollering. I wasn’t really sure whether I would last the morning, these people didn’t really seem to be my tribe. But with my friends’ help, I did stay and I am so pleased I did.
Spending 3 days with Tony Robbins challenged my thinking and caused me to look at different aspects of my life in new ways.
For the first time, I took responsibility for what was going on in my life and decided to change it. It took courage and wasn’t easy but it started that weekend.
Fire Walking was a highlight – walking on fire and not burning my feet was terrifying. But I followed Tony’s instructions about getting into an empowering state and it worked. That taught me that I can do anything now if I put my mind to it. Boy has that mind-shift changed my personal growth and success!
I began to realise just how powerful our minds are and that they can be either used for good or ill. Our thoughts can empower us or annihilate us – the choice is yours.
I split up with my husband after 18 years of marriage and have now reached a balanced way of co-existing and co-parenting my son. I am the Founder of the Thrive Tribe and help busy women to feel more empowered and share strategies so they can have more success in their careers, relationships, health and wellbeing.
Unbelievably my current partner happened to be at the same UPWevent! Can you believe that? We didn’t meet but somehow it is reassuring and rather wonderful to know he was in the same room all those years ago, experiencing his version of the UPW journey.
I an now an award-winning Speaker, Author and Trainer. To my joy, I have a thriving business that educates and trains people about mental wellbeing and how to set your self up to Thrive at work and in life. If you don’t have a sustainable strategy you are more likely to burnout and derail your career.
What I have discovered on my journey is that there are 5 key things you need to master if you want to Thrive at work and in life – but more of these personal growth strategies another time.
If you have ever felt tempted to do a Tony Robbins event – hesitate no longer and take charge of your life by attending UPW (Unleash the Power Within). Tickets are going fast and you may have to pay more than you had hoped but what price would you put on your success and freedom?
I’ll be heading for the US in December to do his ‘Date with Destiny’ event next. I wonder what will happen as a consequence – can’t wait to find out – I am on my way!
Are you a busy woman rushing around trying to balance family life with work but then never having any time for yourself? Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur feeling like you’re spread too thinly and there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done? Maybe you’re fed up with having to sacrifice yourself, your health, enjoyment and relationships to fulfil others demands.
Over the last 10 years, I have moved from being hospitalised from burning myself out to finding a balance in my life.
I want to share with you 3 simple ways to get more done in your day so you can achieve more, worry less and get yourself back on track.
Tip 1 – Sleep Rules
The mistake that many people make with their productivity is that they prioritise work over everything else. This includes sacrificing sleep to get things done.
Sleep is the most underrated productivity tool there is. Research has shown if you don’t get enough sleep, things take longer to do, you make more mistakes, your brain can’t focus or be as creative as it might and you can feel cranky too!
You know what its like when you see people wandering around sleep deprived and they have no idea how it’s affecting their productivity, but yet this is seen as normal.
So, instead of prioritising work and compromising your sleep you need to simply flip it on its head and prioritise sleep. You’ll feel refreshed, energised, think more clearly, be more productive and have time for the things that matter.
Tip 2 – Be in Charge
Another mistake that people make is allowing their day to be in charge of them rather than them being in charge of their day.
This means that they are influenced by what comes into their in-tray or email and they often then get caught up in what appears to be urgent rather than what is important.
When that happens day in day out the important things don’t ever happen in your life which causes your business, career or other priorities not to move forward as they should
So instead of allowing your day to be in charge of you, you need to spend some time strategising each day. To strategise, simply make sure you spend a few minutes before your day starts to decide:-
what’s important now
what must get done today
how can you be your best self
This will give you more focus and you will feel more in control. Get the important things done not just the urgent things.
Tip 3 – No Time for Distractions
Another mistake many people make with their productivity is they allow themselves to be continuously interrupted. This makes it more difficult to focus, think clearly and to get any quality work done.
Instead of allowing yourself to be interrupted you want to create blocks of uninterrupted time. Schedule time to do a particular task, create a space away from distraction, turn off your phone and computer ideally or if that’s not possible, at least turn off the notifications and tell people you don’t want to be interrupted for the next period of time.
With fewer distractions, you will have more time to focus on the things and people that really matter.
NOW if you have found value in these three tips you going to love the Thrive Tribe Live Quarterly meetups.
The Thrive Tribe Live events are for like-minded busy women who want to get more control back in their lives so they can have more success without the stress and more joy and confidence.
Join me at the next gathering in Central London here, where I will be sharing more tips on how to bring more balance in your life and not burn out.