We are all busy …give something to a busy person and it gets done, doesn’t it?
We all want to improve though don’t we? To do better today than we did yesterday? Better next year than we have done this year? We all strive, strive to improve and strive to do better.
Are we doing as well as we can already though?
When we evaluate ourselves – are we doing the best that we can with all that we have?
Are you eating WELL? Sometimes we are too busy and forget! I know I do. I know that I don’t always actually make time to stop what I am doing and “have my lunch”. I don’t “mindfully” eat, I eat on the go, in the car, whilst at my desk, between appointments. I often leave eating until I am so hungry that I then make very bad decisions on what I then eat – chocolate being the main downfall. Preparation is the key – eating what you have prepared to eat and stopping to have a meal which is nutritious and balanced.
We do need to ensure that it isn’t all coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and juices. Water is the obvious choice for drinking during the day, but again this is often “forgotten” and the nearest cuppa is guzzled in the hope that it will wake us up, keep us awake or give us the extra energy we need. We need to drink at least a liter of water each day, the best way is to fill up a water bottle each day and refill it time after time to keep on top of recycling as well as hydration. Drinking more is so much better for your skin too!
Many of us sit literally for hours at a desk or in one position throughout the day – tendons get tight around our neck and shoulders and oxygen gets limited to our muscles, leaving us stiff and tense. A simple five minute stand up, reach up, reach down and we have helped the situation.
It does sound a bit ridiculous, but many of us don’t breathe well, or enough, or correctly. Until you know that your breathing is correct, try bringing your attention to it every hour – often awareness will ensure that you do breathe properly. It is often encouraged to take time out of your day to concentrate on your breathing – it could be as you wake, on your lunch break, relaxing in front of the TV or before going to sleep. Being aware of your breathing, how it is affected when you are stressed, is a good way to monitor your breathing and ensure that you breathe from the tummy area, not the chest. You need to completely fill your lungs and completely empty your lungs of that old air on each out breath.
Chat to others, one in four of us have a mental health problem now and this should be openly discussed without fear of judgement. Make sure you ask people how they are too, if you notice a change in someone’s behavior, make sure you ask them how they are feeling, it isn’t all about you!
We do it from getting up in the morning to going off to sleep – we have conversations in our own head, we talk to ourselves and we often talk to ourselves as we would never speak to a stranger or indeed a best friend! We can be very hard on ourselves – we can change a good mood into a bad one with a few wrong words to ourselves, this can be stressful and lead to us being miserable and anxious. If you feel you are being negative and that you are changing your mood for the worst, stop, take a breath and change the conversation! Look at the positives, what could you do to change things? What are your doing well? What should you be pleased and grateful for at this point?
Are yours booked in for the year? Do you know when you are having a break and how you are going to spend the time to refill your batteries? Make sure that you have sufficient time away from your usual routine so that you are then in a position to recharge and come back to your norm at full strength.
Multi-tasking doesn’t work! Admit it, if you do just one thing at a time, you do it better. Don’t take pride in trying to do numerous things at the same time, mistakes will happen and this will stress you out. Plan to undertake one task at a time and do it and complete it to your best ability. You can then move onto your next task, knowing that you have completed something well. Operating in this way, leads to less overwhelm and fewer panic attacks as we do not have to be annoyed at not finishing things and we haven’t completely tired ourselves out. Working without distraction is the best way to get tasks done, just one task at a time.
Do you know in your gut that there is something wrong? Have you noticed that you are not as focused as usual or that you are feeling more tired than you’ve previously felt? Don’t ignore these signs – they may be subtle, but if ignored, can lead to burn-out or illness. Listen to your gut and you are very rarely wrong.
Surely not! This isn’t what kind and pleasant people do is it? Have you heard of the phrase “putting on your oxygen mask before helping someone else with their’s?” It is meant in this way – of course – being selfish isn’t a nice thing to be, but we do have to put our self-care ahead of all others to ensure that we are in an optimum position to be the best that we can be.
During the Summer of 2019, I made some decisions about my life, my business and my well-being and I have paid attention to all of the above points. It wasn’t always easy and I have strayed off plan occasionally, however, I am now 2.5 stone lighter through better eating and drinking habits, I am fitter due to the weight loss but I also swim at least twice a week now. I have made time to consider what I enjoy doing, what I am best at and where I can add most value. I now take time to rest when I really need to, but I have found that my energy levels are vastly improved and that I have far more capacity for learning new skills, even at my old age!
My main change is how I speak to myself in my own head – I make it a rule to stop the negative chatter completely as soon as I start to hear it, I change my environment or I change who I am with so that I protect my own feelings, energy levels and thought patterns. This has had the most effect on me in the last 6 months and I am finding that it is having a great effect on those around me too, even the cats seem happier!
Simple advise is usually the most powerful, just try it for a week and let me know how you get on!
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