Lifelessons101 – Are you stuck in a personal development burnout?

I love my life, I really do. I love my job, my home, my man. So it came as a shock when I realised I wasn’t feeling entirely satisfied with the way things are. Not only unsatisfied I felt drained of all energy and constantly tired, even though I am living close to my perfect life. I was perplexed! How could I not be feeling satisfied? Why am I so exhausted? My life is great. It simply didn’t make sense. I needed some objective perspective. So I contacted my amazing coach and mentor for help, and he came with a mind-blowing perspective. I am suffering from personal development burnout. And by burnout, I am not referring to the psychological condition caused by years of stress. I mean burned out by the effort of overworking yourself on the personal development path.

Apparently, personal development burnout is a thing and actually quite common. (Phew good to know I’m normal). Just as with any hobby its possible to go too far over the edge. Or worse make your development into a chore, which then initiates the shame cycle when you don’t do it. For me, my dissatisfaction was coming from a universal classic. I am not yet exactly where I want to be. The exhaustion is simply that in my quest to improve myself I have been pushing myself to my limits and beating myself up for not being where I want to be right now. That cycle of self-blame took my energy and because I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted all had become a chore.

Personal development burnout seems to be an integral part of the journey. As my coach said life can’t be perfect and blissful all the time. The burnout comes when you need to shift. To create a balance. To grow in a different way. It’s a level up on a computer game. The frustration before the prize. However, unlike in a computer game instead of pushing ourselves harder, personal development burnout creates the opportunity to let go.

If you relate to this, you’re not alone. I and many others get you.

While personal development can provide valuable resources to get you through some challenging times, if you find yourself falling into the impatient, frustration trap and cycle of guilt as I did then it’s time to recoup, reassess and change what you are doing so it works for you. After this is your personal growth no-one else’s. So it has to work for you.

Recovering from a burnout at it’s worst can take a long, long time. However, with the kind of personal development level up burnout, I am talking about it is possible to recover quickly if you consciously take actions. Here are the phases and actions I am working through to get me back on top in a healthy path of natural growth.

Phase 1: Stop reaching for whatever you have been reaching for

The first order of business is to interrupt the pattern. Once you stop the pattern of thoughts and feelings that got you to burn out, that’s when recovery begins.

Ask yourself:

  • What have I been obsessed with that feels unreachable?
  • What is my biggest fear if I stop reaching?
  • What would it look like to surrender?

The scariest thing about letting go is that you don’t know how the world will look afterwards. Allow this process to calm your nerves to letting go.

Phase 2: Acknowledge how far you have come

If you have got into this burnout you will have grown. Although you are feeling worn out there has been progression. Look at when you started your journey and write a list of your achievements since that time. Sometimes just seeing what you have done already will help to boost your energy levels.

Phase 3: Take a break

Now stop take a break. As soon as you can. Book a holiday or a few weeks off. Make your health priority number 1. You need to refuel and do some serious TLC work. Cancel social arrangements. I don’t give a damn about how people may feel let down you need a break. Getting into the guilt cycle is all about your ego. It’s your ego that wants to be recognised to get the prize. Right now you need to feed your soul not your ego Step away from social media. Read a book. Get a massage. Sit in your garden. Sleep. Train. Swim. Do what gives you energy and peace. At this stage you need to make your health your priority. Without you nothing works. Your body is your team and support system. So take care of you and your health.

And for at least 14 days do not think about your personal development or your goals. Just be you for a change. You are perfect as you are.

Phase 4: Clear out

One of the things that feeds the guilt factor is the constant bombardment of social media and in our inbox of all the things we could be doing to be better or have greater lives. I have found it incredibly refreshing to unsubscribe from 90% of the personal development newsletters I belonged to. My inbox is clearer and it is surprising how less pressured I feel. Have an electronic clear out and choose what influences you want in your life and what is suepurpulus. Do the same with the books. (All of us personal development junkies have a pile we haven’t read yet). Choose one. Just one and put the rest away.  Have a look at your daily and weekly habits. Which ones make you feel good. Which don’t. Guess what you are gonna do? That’s right get rid of all the ones that don’t make you feel good. Clearing out makes everything feel better and less pressured.

Phase 5: Appreciate your abundance

Gratitude is one of the simplest and most powerful tools we have. Being grateful makes us appreciate our here and now. And if you like me have been focusing on the end post, then you have forgotten to enjoy your journey here and now. Practise gratitude for your life at least once a week and appreciate the abundance of your now.

Phase 6: Listen to your inside voice

Make sure you are listening to you inside voice. It is there to guide you. One of the reasons burnout happens is because we don’t act on the signals our body is giving us. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Follow your gut feelings before you say yes. Your gut knows what you want better than your mind does. So for once let it lead you.

Phase 7: Refocus

As you begin to have more energy (as a constant presence, not just on intermittent days) you are ready to refocus your personal development ideas. Look at what you were doing. Remove anything that was either setting off your guilt complex, you I should be doing this voice and especially anything that drained you energetically. Be HONEST with yourself. Don’t keep practices because other people have told you they work or you need to do. Keep what works for you.

Now choose one, (Yes I said one), area of your personal development you would like to work on and honestly feel energetically able to commit to. (Again listen to your gut). Make this the priority for the next 6 months.  I would also recommend here trying something new. It can be an energy boost to use a new technique for personal growth after burnout.

Phase 8: Take baby steps forwards

You cannot jump from burnout back to full power. It doesn’t work like that. If you try and throw yourself into a massive lifestyle change all at once you will end right back at burnout. So take baby steps. Do one little thing each week, Then each day. Build up slowly and you will find it becomes manageable. Baby steps make us stronger.

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Give yourself time to recover from personal development burnout. At least 6- 8 months to work through the phases Burnout is a sign of not listening to yourself. It is the most important lesson we gain from this experience is to centralise and make ourselves important. There’s a fine line between self-improvement and personal development burnout. Allow your burnout to show you where that line is and learn how to keep your balance for healthier and stronger growth.

Have a happy weekend <3

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Appreciating the moment during your busyness – 2 simple tricks to help

Summer holidays are just around the corner. And if you are like me this month is packed solids with both work and social events. I can feel myself longing for the relative peace of my summer holidays already. Which although is perfectly natural, is also really sad. Just think about how many people are sitting around you at this moment who are wishing they were a month ahead in time and were not where they are right here and now. Thousands of us daydreaming a month of our lives away, every year.  A month of the year where the majority of the collective consciousness of humanity (at least in the western world) does not want to be where they are. Dreaming of the future not living in the present. What kind of unconscious impact does that create in our lives?

Frustration.

Dissatisfaction.

Restlessness.

Disempowerment.

By living in the future not the now we create a negative experience for ourselves in the here and now. Tolstoy said “ There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.”  And he was right. The only moment we can affect and be in control of is the here and now. When we wish for the future to be now we give all of our power away.  ANd our happiness.

Psychologist Matt Killingsworth—a happiness researcher has shown through his work that people who allow themselves to not be present actually report being 10% less happy than they were when they focused on the present—regardless of what they happened to be doing. And happiness begets all sorts of benefits—like improved health, productivity, creativity, and innovation. Who knew that wishing for that summer holiday to be right now was actually so damaging to you!

Not that I am saying don’t look forward to your holiday. Of course, you should. You deserve it. It is simply by keeping your thoughts on longings there you are missing out on the benefits of enjoying the here and now. Such as stronger emotional connections, powerful memories and personal satisfaction.  When we are present we can influence our experience. Life amplifies and strangely enough instead of having less we actually have a sense of having more time as time slows down.

A happier life with more time, peace and satisfaction – sign me up! I mean who doesn’t want that. And who of you reading just thought sounds great. Only I will have to start working on it next week/month/year because I have X, Y and Z to get through first. And that my friends, is the trap. That’s the thought path that will lead you an hour from now to wishing yourself away to July. Again. Being present takes a lot less energy than you would think. Small actions make big differences to your satisfaction.

And I have found two simple tricks to bring you into the present immediately.

Use your senses

The first is learning to work with your natural ally. Your Senses. When you pay attention to your five senses, you can’t listen to your internal reel. Our senses are so powerful that if we ally with them we become instantly focused on the moment we are in. They close down mental chatter by allowing your neurons to connect with what is in front of you rather than what is in your head.  I found that by taking time to connect with my senses t gave me a moment of calm. A feeling of being rooted and strong in myself and gave me the chance to check in with myself and my needs.

Try  it yourself with these simple steps:

  • Designate a specific time in your day to focus on what’s in front of you.
  • Bring your mind back each time it tries to sneak off. Just say, “No, I’m doing that right now. I’ll get back to worrying later.”
  • Ask yourself throughout the phase, “What do I hear, see, taste, feel, and smell?”

Anytime you feel disconnected from yourself and/or your family,  or find yourself wishing a month of your life away simply unplug and tune into what’s surrounds you. You’ll notice a huge difference in your mental energy and happiness.

Do one thing at a time

I was a multitasking junkie. I used to pride myself on my ability to do at least 6 things at once until I realised that multitasking is the real-life soul splitting experience of creating a Horcrux (See Harry Potter). As we divide our attention into so many small pieces we make a shadow copy of ourselves. A weaker and more vulnerable version. We get stretched too thinly. By doing one task well. By focusing on that task alone we gain time. You see time really is just a concept. If we are rushing around like a headless chicken trying to do everything we run ragged always playing catch up. The fact is if you fill your time too much, trying to do it all at once you feel rushed. Your sense of time distorts and becomes limited. Doing just one thing at a time allows you to use the time that is there without panic thus creating the illusion of having more time and at the same time life flows more easily.

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The ground-breaking research by Harvard Psychologist Matt Killingsworth (2010)found that 47% of the time we are not present in our lives. That’s almost half of our lives! Look forward to your holidays yes. But don’t waste your time wishing away your here and now. We all slip out of the moment occasionally. But by connecting with our senses we bring ourselves back to our root and by doing one thing at a time we give ourselves the gift of freeing our minds to enjoy the time that we have, influencing our experiences and empowering our lives.

HAve a beautiful week <3

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#lifelessons101- Are you having enough fun in your life?

Recently life has been getting to me and I have had no idea why. My business is great. My home (although probably needs a clean) is lovely, Mr T is wonderful, my friends are great. I am doing what I want to do, aligned with my life purpose and yet I felt unsatisfied. (And cross with myself for feeling that). Then I spent a wonderful day in Copenhagen alone doing some of the things I love. I got brunch, shopped and then had a wonderful trip to a Royal palace where I got to dance in an empty ballroom (well, the guard wasn’t there and I had it all to myself!) and spent the rest of the day in a tiara. It was lovely, spontaneous and fun.

And then it dawned on me. I am seriously missing fun in my life. In my hyper-focused goal-oriented life I had forgotten the key component. Fun. I had fallen into the Entrepreneur trap of existing. Existing isn’t about material needs. You may have a Ferrari in the driveway of your beautiful home overlooking a majestic view. It isn’t about family either. You may have a wonderful and loving family. It isn’t about health; you may be very fit. So what is Existing? It is an inner void – a lack of inner joy. For the most part, you are successful. Yet, you still feel like there should be more to life than this. And there should. Life should also be fun.

So me being me, and loving google-fu, I began to do a bit of research online. And I feel across Daniel Kahneman Ted Talk The riddle of Experience vs Memory, which reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. Teh “experiencing self” defines our happiness in the moment. Whereas the “remembering self” defines happiness in our memory. I realised that my remembering self could look over my life in the last year and remember that I have been happy in my abundant life. Yet at the same time due to the focus, I put into my work, by overly focusing on the goal posts of this year’s plans I was on a day to day basis experiencing more work than fun. No wonder I wasn’t feeling great, even when things are going to well.  And of course, if you don’t feed your “experiencing self” enough fun then your “remembering self” has nothing new to remember, resulting in frustration.

 

The irony is that society rather frowns on having fun when it is actually one of the most fundamentally important building bricks of a happy life. (Something society knows is incredibly important. Having fun balances the mundane activities such as paying the bills or cleaning the house. Fun produces happy hormones which in the face of adversity allow us to strengthen our resilience. And not in the least it makes us more productive. Think about school, the lessons you remember and learnt the most were the ones you enjoyed. Fun is essential to happiness and a balanced life.

Are you having enough fun in your life? And I am talking about real fun not the fake “fun” activities such as spending the holidays with your in-laws or the team building days. I am talking about real fun. The kind that makes you smile from ear to ear, your eyes light up and your belly hurt from laughing. Or even just the kind of fun that gives you a wonderful feeling of contentment with the world.  Research professor Brene Brown, Ph.D., writes in her best-selling book The Gifts of Imperfection, “A critically important component of wholehearted living is play… Play is as essential to our health and functioning as rest (but) spending time doing purposeless activities is rare. In fact for many of us it sounds like an anxiety attack waiting to happen.”

Is it really so difficult to have fun?

Well for some of us it is. I decided that enough is enough and I want to reclaim the fun in my life. To allow my experiencing self to have fun. Great plan! But how? I have currently little time and limited resources. A challenge to be met! A few hours later I had created a process to stop the anxiety attack of having fun. Consequently, I am feeling happier and healthier already. Not that every day is perfect. It’s just now that every day has some fun in it that I can experience in the now and remember happily after.

If you need to have some more fun in your life try my process, put it into action and within hours you will begin to feel the fun factor exploding into your life. A fabulous way to feel happier, enjoy your journey and love your life!

Find your smiles

Sit down with a notebook and list things you enjoy—anything from scratching your head to dancing in a palace. As you write down each item, consider doing that very thing later today or this week or this year. You’ll have different emotional reactions to each idea. One emotional reaction, in particular, will signal that your sense of fun has been awakened and is pointing the way to a joyful, meaningful life. Do that thing whatever it is as soon as you possibly can!

Remember fun through the eyes of a child

In your notebook, begin listing things you remember enjoying as a child. Pay particular attention to things that made you “lose time,” so that hours seemed to disappear in seconds. What absorbed you that completely? Look for patterns in this childhood fun. Choosing activities that fit this code will make you happier and more purposeful across the board.

Fun journal

Keeping a fun journal is a great way you remind you of the fun you are having in your life.

Every day jot down a brief list of your major activities. Give each experience a fun “score,” with zero meaning no fun and ten is the MOST FUN EVER! As the days go by, you’ll begin to see which activities and people yield the most fun—and you’ll be surprised

Make time for fun

Block out time for fun each week. It can be a day, an evening, or even a lunch hour, but you should set aside some time to do some of whatever you came up with as a pure fun activity. You don’t have to do it by yourself, but if you bring along family members or friends

Randomise your fun

Write down all your ideas for fun activities and put them in a hat. Pick out one and do it. Just go for it. Trust the randomness of the universe to give you an amazing time.

Have a spontaneous day

Set aside a day to be spontaneous. Wake up and ask yourself what you want to do (and hiding under the duvet or on the couch is a non option). Now go do that activity. When it’s done start again from the beginning. The rules of the day? Simply follow your heart and your instinct.

Create a new holiday

Why not create a National Girlfriends’ Getaway Day or mango eating day, or finger painting day? First, define what  the day means to you and then invite others to join in the fun!

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If I have inspired you then I would love you to return the favour by telling me how you are bringing more fun into your life! Together we can make our lives happier and each others

Have a weekend filled with fun <3

 

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Why is self-love so important in your life? (Take this quiz to find out)

When I was a kid self-love was not something you heard about. Growing up in the 80’s in a middle-ish class British family, it was expected that you would be academically astute, career focused and productive in every aspect of your life. The pressure was on and that was considered a good thing. No-one talked about taking breaks or taking care of yourself. It was all about what you did in work and play. A strong contrast to today where even a 2nd grader can give you an informed explanation of self-love! There is so much of hype about self-love. Today it is not only the social norm, healthy self-love is known to be one of the keys to confidence and contentment in life. We automatically know that self-love is important.

However how often do you stop and think why is self-love important to you? I mean it’s all well and good the specialists, the coaches and psychologists and the non-specialists on the internet telling you self-love is important. If you never decide that self-love is something important for you, you will never take the conscious step to loving you. And in my world that is a sad state of affairs.

For me working with self-love affects 3 areas in my life. It strengthens my self-esteem, my self-power and my sense of security. The more empowered and loved I feel in these three areas the more content I feel in life. Now maybe that will be the same for you maybe not. However today I have one goal. And that is to help you find out why working with self-love is important to you here and now in your life.

So here for you is a little exercise to inspire you to get clear on why self-love is important in your life and which of the three areas you need to work on right now. It takes only a few minutes and it will be the catalyst for making your journey in life more wonderful, powerful and content. (Not bad for a few minutes thinking right?!)

Ask yourself the following questions (and write down your answers)

Self-esteem

  1. Do I feel loved in my life? YES/NO
  2. Do I feel confident? YES/NO
  3. Do I feel devastated if I fail? YES/NO
  4. Do others opinions of me matter more than my own? YES/NO
  5. Do I feel I deserve love? YES/NO
  6. Am I able to laugh at my own mistakes? YES/NO
  7. Do I like myself? YES/NO
  8. Do I think positively about myself most of the time? YES/NO
  9. Do I believe there is nothing about me that is loveable? YES/NO
  10. Do I change myself to make others like me? YES/NO

Answers:

  1. Yes= 1 No= 2
  2. Yes= 1 No= 2
  3. Yes=2 No=1
  4. Yes=2 No=1
  5. Yes=2 No=1
  6. Yes= 1 No= 2
  7. Yes= 1 No= 2
  8. Yes= 1 No= 2
  9. Yes=2 No=1
  10. Yes=2 No=1

If you have a low score you have high self-esteem. If you have a high score you have a low self-esteem

Self-love strengthens self-esteem by increasing your self-worth and your self-confidence. By working with self-love in this area you will learn to love yourself exactly as you are, seeing the value in you. You begin to dampen the internal negative judges and ultimately come to a place of acceptance and valuing yourself. In a life with high self-esteem, you are free to enjoy the experiences in life without wasting your energy on talking yourself down.

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Self-power

  1. Do I need praise and positive feedback to feel great about myself? YES/NO
  2. Do I feel I am worth good things in life? YES/NO
  3. Do I feel successful? YES/NO
  4. Can I do things as well as other people? YES/NO
  5. Do I feel I can overcome a crisis? YES/NO
  6. Am I very critical of myself and my abilities? YES/NO
  7. Do I make decisions based on other people’s opinions? YES/NO
  8. Am I easily discouraged? YES/NO
  9. Do I believe I can reach my goals? YES/NO
  10. Do I feel like a strong person? YES/NO

 

Answers:

  1. Yes=2 No=1
  2. Yes= 1 No= 2
  3. Yes= 1 No= 2
  4. Yes= 1 No= 2
  5. Yes= 1 No= 2
  6. Yes= 2 No=1
  7. Yes= 2 No=1
  8. Yes= 2 No=1
  9. Yes= 1 No= 2
  10. Yes= 1 No= 2

 

If you have a low score you have high self -power

If you have a high score you have a low self -power

Self -love strengthens self-power by empowering you. It creates resilience to handle challenges, belief in yourself to reach your goals and gives you strength and determination to continuously move forward in your life. Self-love work in relation to your self-power gives you an energy boost and a strength of spirit.

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Security

  1. Am I able to set clear personal boundaries? YES/NO
  2. Do I feel nervous when meeting strangers? YES/NO
  3. Do I find it easy to confront people? YES/NO
  4. Do I get nervous and unconfident when people criticise me? YES/NO
  5. Am I able to express my opinion easily? YES/NO
  6. Do my fears and inferiority stop me from doing what I want to do? YES/NO
  7. Do I feel I will succeed no matter what? YES/NO
  8. Do I need other people to make me feel safe? YES/NO
  9. Do I accept myself as I am? YES/NO
  10. Do I like to be alone? YES/NO

Answers:

  1. Yes= 1 No= 2
  2. Yes= 2 No=1
  3. Yes= 1 No= 2
  4. Yes= 2 No=1
  5. Yes= 1 No= 2
  6. Yes= 2 No=1
  7. Yes= 1 No= 2
  8. Yes= 2 No=1
  9. Yes= 1 No= 2
  10. Yes= 2 No=1

 

If you have a low score you have high sense of security in your life. 

If you have a high score you have a low sense of security in your life

Self love strengthens your security by simply making you less insecure within yourself and of your abilities. You become self sufficient. When you can make yourself feel safe you do not need to rely on anyone else because you know you are always there for you. Self-love focusing on creating security gives you a powerful foundation to take on the world and feel contentment with your life.

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So now you have an idea of why self-love is important in your life and hopefully which areas you want to focus upon. In the last month Re:Root has been focusing on the art of self love. Check out the links below to some of our most recent articles to find out how you can give yourself a much needed self-love boost today

HAve a beautiful week <3

#lifelesson101 – 9 steps to recreating your body image by honouring your body with self-love
#lifelessons101 – 5 incredibly powerful self love habits

An easy ABC guide to making self-love a daily practise

The 7 steps to Self love – the key to building a relationship with yourself.

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#life lessons 101 – 3 step process to take care of yourself and get things done when you are overwhelmed

Being an Entrepreneur can be overwhelming at time. Heck being human can be overwhelming at times too! No matter who you are some weeks are just harder than others and in the last week, I have been feeling overwhelmed by everything. And this feeling has some pretty nasty side effects if you allow them to run you ragged.

You know you are feeling overwhelmed when life is like a constant trip on the never-ending hamster wheel. The diary is full of things you have to do and you have no idea where the energy is going to come from. The smallest tasks become insanely difficult. The more you try the more you just want to curl up under the duvet and do nothing until it all goes away. And I am sure you know from experience At these times it’s easy to allow the negative feelings to take over. To feel nonproductive, useless, not as good as everyone else. The guilt cycle gets triggered and alongside the hamster wheel, the negative thought spiral creates a hurricane in your brain.  When you get there you are in the danger zone for a stress meltdown.

And the strange thing is that when we are in all of this mental and physical chaos the majority of us still carry on forging ahead in the storm. Why? Well, sometimes you have to. Students, for example, can’t get away from the exam deadlines. Brides can’t give up on the wedding plans when they have a month to go. And as an entrepaneur, you know the only way to succeed is to keep on going. So  when we are totally overwhelmed how can we stop hitting the meltdown danger zone whilst still carrying on?

Can it be done?

Yes!

I have found a way to do exactly that. It’s a 3 step process that will get you through these times and bring you out the other side with the minimum of damage. With a little conscious awareness and a few actions you can and will get through this and this weekend is the perfect time to start.

Minimise

There are things we have to do, need to do and want to do. And we only have 24 hours in the day. So in order to get stuff done, we have to minimise our expectations to get things to fit into the time we have. Minimising seems hard but it isn’t I promise you try this process

Hit the calendar – work out how long your busy period will be. Now in that period remove everything that is unessential. This does not mean just getting rid of the things you want to do. Delegate tasks that you have to do or postpone the non-immediate ones. Now look for some spaces where you can do self-care and block those in.

Use your spoons – if you are feeling overwhelmed you will have low energy. Spoons theory was created for patients with mental health challenges. However, I find that it is applicable to all of us. Especially when we are overwhelmed. The basic principle is that you have 10 spoons of energy in a day. You take 10 minutes to work out which are 1 spoon, 2 spoon, 3 spoon and 4 spoon tasks. So doing the washing might be a 3 spoon task, food shopping or work a 4 spoon task. Now the idea is that you have 10 spoons in one day. When you make your to-do list make do a quick analysis and allocate the spoons accordingly to your tasks.

So my day today looks like this:

  • Pædagogisk meeting – 2 spoons
  • Work – 4 spoons
  • Quick clean – 1 spoon
  • Washing 1 – spoon
  • Bbq with friends – 2 spoons

That’s all I can do. Anything else has to be either delegated or left for another day. It keeps my energy use in check. I also do the same process for work tasks and allow my self 10 work spoons for each work day. Using spoon theory minmises your day and will give you time to relax.

Routine routine routine- Follow a fixed routine for the weekly chores. Make a food plan for the week and shop once. Do your washing on the same day. Dedicate x amount of time to the children before bed. Force yourself into a routine and the chores will become habits. Then the habits take less of your energy and become easier to do.

Energise

When you are overwhelmed you need more than ever to recharge. So energising yourself where ever possible is really important. Eat well. Get your 7 – 8 hours sleep. Help your focus by using focus music. Do 10 minutes exercise or walkievery dayday. Give yourself blocks of time dedicated to self-care. That can be anything from a facemask, to a netflix binge. Anything that will give you a good amount of downtime. Make recharging a priority in these days and grab every opportunity for relaxation you can get. I know you might want to go out and party, or socialise every evening however if your body doesn’t work nothing will. Make taking care of you a priority when you are overwhelmed and you will have the energy to come out the otherside

Self-care and success

I love personal development and in a perfect world, I would have my hour a day dedicated to this. However, in the next 2 months, it’s just not an option. Yet without this, I don’t feel as though I am succeeding and growing in my life and my motivation and self-confidence goes downwards. The last thing I need in a period of overwhelmedness. A simple tool has really helped me to get over this problem. Everyday I ask myself:

  • How am I going to challenge myself today?
  • How am I going to take care of myself today?

I only dedicate one task as a challenge one task as self-care. Some days it can be as simple as go to work and read a book for 15 minutes, other days the actions are bigger. The success of achieving these two actions makes me feel as though I have climbed a gigantic mountain. Which is exactly the dopamine hit my tired and overwhelmed brain needs! Success is one of the best motivators. For me, this has been the best tool I have ever found to survive the feeling of being overwhelmed. Try this tool every day for a week and you will feel on top of the world!

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When using this 3 step process you take charge. By taking charge you are in control. And that in itself stops the feeling of being overwhelmed. I recommend if you like me have a busy 6-8 week period coming up then please please book yourself a few days r and r at the end of it. Recoup and recharge and you will avoid the meltdown danger zone. Above all take care of yourself and be conscious of how you are treating you at this time.

Have a great weekend <3

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#lifelesson101 – 9 steps to recreating your body image by honouring your body with self-love

As I sit here at the end of a week where my self-love is in focus I am surprised to find myself feeling sluggish and worn down. Surely I should be feeling energized and in my inner goddess? I was highly confused by this predicament until I began working on the coming new moon ceremony for our local women’s circle. The theme this month is honoring our body as a sacred temple. It was a Eureka moment! I realized that whilst I had been working on my mental self-love processes all week I had forgotten one very important element of self-love. Honoring my body.

Now we all know that body image crisis is a huge modern crisis today. Schools are filled with unsure teens with low self-confidence, numbers of people with eating disorders are on the rise and yet the fashion and image industry dominates all forms of media. It is insane. (Yes that is my professional opinion). However, it is not a new phenomenon. If you look at cultural propaganda, even in the stone age, we as a species promoted our idea of the perfect male and female form. (Only then for women bigger was better. Male body image fashions have always leaned towards the strong and muscley, which proves women are more consistent in their tastes!)

So if we have this inbuilt need as a species to define which body type is attractive at a particular point in time how then do we break with this cultural tradition and honor our bodies as beautiful. Just as they are. Not as how society tells us we should be. Wauw well that’s a can of worms to open and one that could keep us here all week. However, I believe there is a simple answer. Really I do. I believe that by taking small practical actions we can recreate our own body image, find a comfortable place where we can honor our beautiful form and be confident in our bodies despite the world telling us we should be different.

Now, this is not a process we can do overnight. We can’t wave a magic wand and hey presto you love your body. Honouring your body is a process that comes with practice and commitment. Small baby steps, that eventually become habits so familiar you do not notice them. If you are having body image issues and want to resolve them or like me you have simply forgotten to honour your body in the turbulence of a busy life here is a guide to those baby steps to recreating your body image through a practice of self-love.

Remove the outside negative voices

Time for a media detox. Body guilt often gets ignited due to media. If you subscribe to magazines that promote a body type you will never have, then get rid of them. You do not need to consciously or subconsciously compare yourself. Subscribe instead to magazines that nourish your soul. Minimise your social media input, cut back on feeds that you can feel set of your body image guilt.  And Talk back to your TV when you see commercials that use body image to sell products. Talk back to companies with your wallet by NOT buying said products. Buy products that nourish you and you feel good about. Turn off the ads. Remember media pushed body image guilt is just as unhealthy for you as a toxic relationship. When you stop feeding it, it cannot affect you.

Remove the internal voices

The internal negative body judge is in all of us. And it’s a battle to get it to shut up. However, it is possible. One of my favorite ways is when my mind says I don’t like …. I add but I do like…. Sometimes I need to write this down to reinforce the process, it works.

Compliment yourself in ways that have nothing to do with your looks. We tend to focus so much on what we see in the mirror and overlook our many other amazing qualities. Are you a good cook? A successful person? How about a warm, caring, friendly, or positive person? Make a list of 10 things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your looks.

A great way to change your thoughts is to change your passwords. Imagine typing in ilovemybody 20 times a day. The more you use it the more it sticks in your mind.

Ask your body for forgiveness

If we hurt a friend we apologise so why not do the same with your body? By apologizing to your body for ways you may have neglected or abused it, you communicate to your body genuine affection. Your body has a consciousness of its own and you can expand your body’s consciousness in positive ways by writing a letter of apology to it. Don’t get into your guilt, focus on responsibility for your actions.

Nourish where it’s needed

We often neglect parts of our body in our busyness. Think about how you shower. Your self care routine. Do you stand on your feet all day but don’t give your tired feet a foot bath or a massage? Do you work at a computer all day but forget to stretch out? Do you work outside and not mosturise your skin? A foot massage, mousterising or even stretching can take s 10 minutes out of your day max.  Nourish the parts of you that need it daily and you will feel reengerised and cared for.

Make self-care a regular thing

On the subject of care, how often do you do it? I have in the last few years got into the regular habit of self-care. A face mask, a hair mask, a trip to the sauna. (Gods I am grateful for the Scandinavian habit of having a sauna at every swimming pool!) I aim to do some physical self-care every 14 days and I feel great at the end. All rejuvenated and loved. Set some dates in your diary for your self-care days and treat your body as well as you would treat a loved one.

Bless your food

Honor your body by honoring your food. Take time before meals to be grateful for the food you are about to eat and the effect it will have on your body.  As you do this mindfully and positivity you will notice a calming inside of you as well as a feeling o. This honors your relationship with food, with your body, and with yourself. As well as gently making you conscious of what you are putting into you body and why you need it.

Dress to honour your body

Dress for the body you have today, not the body you will have or had before. You deserve to look and feel your best right now. Clean out your closet and donate all of the too-small , don’t wear anymore or used to wear clothes to others in need. Keep only the clothes that fit and flatter you and most importantly that make you feel good.

One of my favourite sayings is “What thoughts am I wearing today?” If you want people to be positive, treat you with the respect and value you for your true worth, then you need to show them how you love, respect and value yourself.

Look in the mirror as you dress in the morning. Ask yourself –

-What thoughts am I wearing today?

-What am I telling the world about me?

-What message do I want to send into the world today?

Show the world the beauty you see inside you, how much you value you, externally. You will find that people reflect it back to you. Dress  to honour the body and thoughts you have.

Treat your body with love

We all know that exercise and eating healthily is good for us. Personally, I suck at this. Mr. T is one of those uber healthy people that can avoid everything that is bad and do a lot of exercise. I am more of a Dawn French chocolate loving, duvet on the sofa kind of person. However, our bodies both deserve love and respect.  If you like me cringe at the thought of a gym and love the salty fattiness of Chips, then here is a trick that will help.

Listen to your body and make conscious choices. Eat when you are hungry. Eat until you know you are full and not more. Ask yourself if you are eating from physical need or emotional need, from habit or boredom? Importantly notice how you feel after you eat. If a certain food makes you feel bad then don’t eat it.

Similarly with exercise. Listen to you body. If you feel tired when lifting you need to build strength. If you are having back pain it is likely yoga and stretching will help. Stairs are hard work then you need some cardio. Find exercise forms that fit into your life and follow your needs. Change the focus of your exercise from I have to do this to be healthy to this is an act of gratitude to your body for it allowing you to be alive and experience life.

Thank your body every night

Before you go to sleep at night take a moment to check in with your body. If you like you can do a body scan. Thank your body for being there for you. It could be you say something like. ‘I am grateful to my heart for pumping my blood around my body’, ‘I am grateful to my lungs for breathing in oxygen’. Or you can be more general. Just take a moment to recognise what you body has done for you today and be grateful

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Honouring your body will recreate your self-image to one filled with love and beauty for your physical form. Remember without that form you would not be here. It is your responsibility to take care of it. Not in the way society tells you to but in the way you know to be right for you. Treat your body with respect and it will respect you, and so will other people.

So the question remains, how will you honour your body today?

Let me know in the comments

Have a lovely weekend <3

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#lifelessons101 – 5 incredibly powerful self love habits

This week has all been about self-love for me and my clients. We have been committing to the act of loving ourselves and making that our primary focus of our week. It’s been amazing and I do feel filled with confidence, empowered and in that pink hazy bubble of love you get in a relationship, the only difference is that this time it is with myself!

Over this week we have been trying different practices. Simple, easy and practical actions we could take to strengthen our self-love. And the results are in! Here are the most powerful 5 self-love habits that you can practice to connect with the powerful and magical force which is loving yourself.

Changing that negative dialogue

That voice inside of your head that keeps telling you that you are no good. That voice needs to go. But how? One of my clients this week had great success with a written exercise that drowned out the negative voices into nonexistence in only a week!

She carried a small notebook wherever she went and as soon as her brain said I am not good at…. She wrote in her book 2 sentences.

I am not good at …………………….. But I am good at ……………………………

The things she was good at, did not have to be gigantic things. So, for example, a sentence could be;

I am not good at sales but I am good at helping my colleagues

I am not good at dancing but I am good at baking.

Quick simple and very ,very effective.

Be proud

Ohhh. Not many of us find it easy to be proud of ourselves. Others, yes. Ourselves, no way. So I challenge you to try this. Every day write down in a notebook 2-3 things you are proud of yourself of. It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe you went to work even though you felt ill. You did the washing up when you wanted to sit and do nothing. Or it could be something big too. In your journal write out each sentence within full – e.g.

I am proud of myself today for……………………..

Being proud of ourselves gives us a little dopamine hit (similar to the feeling of leveling up in a game). A little positivity boost to brighten your day and your self-love at the same time.

Make time for yourself important

On the todo list what we really want to do (and often what we really need ends up at the bottom of the list). You make your partner, your kids, your work important, without you none of this could work. So why not make yourself important too. Setting time aside for your day and planning how you will use that time is really important. I find that making one evening or a couple of hours for self-care a weekly activity is a beautiful way to show yourself some love and give yourself so need r and r.

Daily self-love worksheet

My new favorite thing! Jessica Mullen made this wonderful concept. It is a great way to start or end the day by being kind and loving to yourself. I would highly recommend doing this every day it takes 5 mins and is an amazing self-love booster.

http://jessicamullen.com/2011/02/19/the-daily-self-love-worksheet/

Love letter to yourself

We all love reading letters (especially as letters that are not bills are so rare these days). On the 1st May every year I write myself a love letter. And then I read it out loud. It always starts “Dear Emma-Jane” and it always ends “I will always be here for you. I love you

Writing and reading yourself is incredibly powerful and moving. I would be lying if I said I had never cried during this process. When you write to yourself you know exactly what it is you want someone who loves you to say and then you say it.

If you could write yourself a letter, what would you tell yourself?

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When you hold yourself in high esteem, you tend to have more enjoyment and a more positive attitude toward the future. And so do the people around you. When you love yourself, you accept yourself. You take pride in yourself.  And other people will too. Self-love not only feeds your soul, but your spirit, and emotional well-being. And most importantly it frees you up from the negative extra weight low confidence brings, allowing you to do, be and have whatever you want from life. Try one of these today and I guarantee you will want to do one tomorrow because they feel great!

Have a beautiful weekend <3

 

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An easy ABC guide to making self-love a daily practise

One of my goals for this year is to work on my self-love and build self-love into my life routine. Luckily the internet has a mountain of advice and inspiration. However, a lot of it is very vague. I understand, and practice, the art of non-negative thinking. I remind myself to stop the guilt cycles and use gratitude regularly. And from this intermittent focus, I know that I love and appreciate myself more. I am more comfortable with who I am and where I am in my life. Yet something is still lacking.

Self-love needs to be something we can realize and feel on a daily basis. I realized recently that my self-love attempts we effective, but sporadic. I want to have a stronger foundation in loving myself- who doesn’t? And the only way to get better at anything is to focus and to practice. Like anything else in life if we make it important we focus on it and grow.  So I have decided to take the next step, level up at self-love, by making the art of self-love a daily practice.

Now as those of you who are regulars at Re:root know, I love practical actions. I think doing something practical enhances our focus and makes for a great reminder (albeit daily or weekly) to focus on personal growth. And like most of you, I have a busy schedule. So I needed to create a daily self-love practice which didn’t eat into my schedule but was manageable and easy to implement. Sounds impossible? Well with a little prep and commitment it’s as easy as ABC. If you would like to boost your self-love a little every day, here is a practical guide you can use to initiate your self-love journey.

A:  Analyse your options

First, do a little google-fu (or check out some of the self-love ideas on my blog by searching under self love) and find some inspiration of self-love practices you would like to try. Some of my favorites are:

However, there are millions of ideas out there so dig deep and find a bunker of inspiration. Now write all of your ideas down. And note what are things you could easily do on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis.

B: Build your practice

Now build a practice up for this month. Don’t try to do it all at once. I would recommend adding one simple self-practice into your morning routine and another into your after work/ end of the day routine. In your week try to add one bigger self-love practices and in your calendar plan one of the biggest self-love activities you would like to try. So you could end with a plan that looks like this

Daily:

Mirror work in the morning.

Give me a hand massage on the way home from work

Weekly:

Buy me flowers or give myself a facemask

Monthly:

Have an evening at home with a good book, music, nice food, candles and wine. Write me a love letter.

Try out different activities and find out what works for you.

C: Choose and continue

After a few weeks, you will have found what works in your life rhythm. So choose the activities that fit, that you like and that gives you the biggest boost of self-love and then simply continue your practice. Keep self-love activities an important feature of your to-do list and weekly planning. By making it important to love ourselves we show other people how much we respect ourselves and they will begin to mirror that behavior in the way they deal with you.

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Self-love takes time and dedication. You cannot get up one morning and say now I love myself completely and implicitly. However, with regular practice you will find that eventually loving yourself is as second nature as breathing. May 1st is the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, the festival of love. So I have decided to give myself a self-love boost with an intensive week of self-love practice just because I can! I can highly recommend it as a way of checking in and kick-starting a journey of making your relationship with yourself the most important one you have. Let me know in the comments your favorite self-love practices and lets’ inspire each other in love.

Have a beautiful week <3

To fall in lovewith yourselfis the first secret tohappiness (1)

#lifelessons101 -My Tips and tricks for healthy time management (3 min read)

Time is our most valuable asset. We all feel as though we don’t have enough of it and we all want more. However the fact is that you can’t get more, there are only 24 hours in the day. And everyone on the planet has exactly the same amount of it. Kind of mind-boggling when you of you think of it like that. So how is it some people seem to have bags of time to spare and some people are always playing catch up? The answer is simple. Time management. The theme of this week’s focus has been time management and one Monday I showed you a week by week process of how you can become a master at time managing and give yourself “more time” by planning your time. (Read on here…)

It’s great to find a system to help you with time management. However, managing your time is as much a  mindset as it is a practice. So this week #lifelesson101 is full of tips and tricks I have found that changed my mindset to improve both time usage and time management skills.

Use your surplus time

You might be thinking what surplus time?! We all do in fact have time that we can put to better use it just takes changing your attitude to it and being aware of the opportunities. So have a look at your day. Where are you surplus time blocks? Travelling to work? Eating breakfast? The 45 mins between ending work and picking up the kids. These small points during the day can become great assets if we use them wisely. Breakfast time is a great point to throw in day planning activities, listening to podcasts or checking your email (no answering just checking). Commuting time can be used for ringing people on personal errands or just time to relax in an otherwise busy life. I love how my 2 hours commute became me-time when I live outside of and worked in Copenhagen so much that I actually avoided people I knew on the train to get that time to myself! When your plans go awry and suddenly you have some surplus time ask yourself how can I best use this time?

Energy patterns

You might not be aware of it, however, our physical energy usage has a pattern to it. And being aware of your energy makes for productive time management. For me, Thursdays are the day of the week where I have least energy so I minimize what I need to do on a  Thursday. Over a few weeks make a record in a diary of how you use your time and your energy levels. I recommend using the 1 (lots of energy) to 10 (no energy system). Just pop keywords in your diary and then note your energy down three times a day with a number. After 14 days have a look at your recordings and see if you can see a pattern. Knowing what you can and can’t do on certain days means you won’t plan in a way that pushes you into overwork mode.

Write it down

Whether you do this manually or digitally write your time management plans down. I use a combination of the two. I have a monthly to-do list in a book, a handwritten week schedule and then my favorite to do list app (Todoist) for my daily list. The point is you need to put your plans somewhere so you can free up your brain to focus on doing what you need to do.

Prioritise

Prioritise your time (and please relate it to how much energy you have). I recommend using the ABCDF system which is my own interpretation of Brian Tracey’s  ABCDE Priority system. It works as follows

A= has to be done today

B= can be done tomorrow

C= can be done next week

D= delegate

F= Forget it (this is not necessary right now)

However, I insist that when you use this system that A tasks also include self-care/ family time. We often tend to set work as an A task however you are the most important thing in your life. Without you these things won’t get done.  I use the 2 to 1 ratio. 2 A tasks for others (work/family etc) means one more A task to take care of me.

Do the worst thing first

We all have that big task hanging over us we keep putting off. Just get it done. Seriously nothing will make you feel better, lighter and happier than getting it out of the way. And when it’s done reward yourself by doing something you find fun!

Remember downtime

Take breaks. As I said earlier the commuting time might just be that you get 15  mins a day to read a book or talk with a friend. If you don’t plan and give yourself breaks you won’t have the time to recharge. If you are working on something that takes a lot of concentration take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes to keep yourself at optimal energy level. You can use apps such as Tide to help you remember when and how long for you need to take breaks.

Plan your social life as well as your work life

In a busy lifestyle it is easy to remember to plan work stuff, but it is easy to forget about your social life. How many parents out there schedule their children’s social activities but not their own? Pop social events into your calendar. Remember to include a skype or phone conversation with a friend you haven’t seen for a long time once a month.  Make sure your social activities are planned with breaks in between so you don’t get overloaded, or worse become that person that is always canceling. Buy planning your social life you keep it important.

Get support (remember to delegate or ask for help)

Being able to ask for help and delegate are two of the most important things we all need to learn. You are not a superhero (even though sometimes you are). Let me correct that,  you are not a superhero every day. Superheroes also need help, that’s why they have sidekicks. Delegating some of your load and asking for help when you need it is going to make your life easier and make sure you get more done. Your friends and family want to help and you’d do it for them. So ask.  

Saying yes to something means saying no to something else

As an entrapreneur this is hard to stomach. However, it is important to realise that saying yes to something means saying no to something else. As we said before time is infinite. You have to pick and choose your activities. Being aware of this simple fact will make you very conscious of when to say yes and when to say no. Use your ‘Yes’ wisely.

Remember you can’t do everything

Be kind to yourself. Time management is not about stressing you out or making you feel guilty for not doing things. The best-laid plans can go wrong. Life throws a curveball quite often. And we don’t have the same level of energy every day. So if you don’t manage everything it’s ok. I use the 70% is equal to 100% guideline. If I have done 70% of my days’ tasks I am happy with myself. Less than 30% is not the time to start beating myself up about not doing stuff. Less than 30% is a sign that I need to check in with myself and see if I am ok or not. It’s ok not to be able to do everything and if you aren’t able to do much then take care of yourself and your needs first.

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If you have a time management tip or trick that works for you please share it in the comments below. That way we can help ourselves and each other to make the most of the time we have

Have a great weekend <3  

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