All Posts by Yvette Ankrah

About the Author

I'm Dr Yvette Ankrah MBE, a recovering overachiever who is passionate about helping women who are busy pushing themselves to the brink, to find another way to achieve success without burning out. Helping high achieving woman is my focus. Putting you at the centre is key. I want to help you be sustainably successful but keep your sanity through self-care, know your story and uncover who you really are, breakthrough barriers that hold you back and create a healthy and wealthy business.

Feb 06

Why self-care matters

By Yvette Ankrah | self-care

When was the last time you took some time to look after yourself? As a busy executive, you might think that looking after yourself is a bit of luxury especially if self-care means a spa day or a weekend break

Self-care is much more than that. It is not just taking a hot bath and going to a spa once in a blue moon nor is it longing for that holiday. When you are in a senior position it can be hard to clock-off and take time out, especially if you in charge of a team or run your business solo and you are wondering how you will earn enough for you to take that time away!

However, learning self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business. Self-care is how you look after yourself on a day-to-day basis to maintain your health and well-being.

Stress is one of the top causes of ill-health and in a recent survey 74% of people reported feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Other studies have shown that one of the top issues for people who run their own businesses is stress and unfortunately ladies, stress affects women 50% more than it affects men.

A little bit of stress is useful - it can help you hit that deadline when time is running out, but it must be managed. Constant stress takes its toll on your body as well as your mental health. Symptoms such as headaches, backaches, low energy or just a general feeling of being unwell can be signs of stress. Overtime this can lead to Chronic Stress and if left unresolved chronic stress can lead to burnout.

Burnout is very different from chronic stress and the numbers of people experiencing burnout are growing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) burnout is now “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. With burnout, symptoms are not feeling like you want to do anything, the thing that you loved no longer appeals to you any more, you simply have no energy - it’s a feeling of ‘you’re done’.

Now I’ve experienced chronic stress and burnout and my patterns of behaviour were simply to have a weekend away and then I’ll go back to doing exactly what I’d done before and then wonder why a few months later I got that feeling again!

When I started working for myself, I was doing the same thing I did on my management roles, working very long days and thinking I had to keep pushing myself using the same behaviours. I was completely depleted and kept going on to the point my body said it had enough and I developed fibromyalgia.

I wasn’t changing my behaviours and I wasn’t looking after me. Once I had worked on my behaviours, I created a self-care plan to maintain my well-being.

Creating a self-care plan enables you to combat stress, develop physical and mental well-being and build resilience. There are clinical studies that show the effect of having a self-care plan on your well-being and they show that by consistently engaging in these practices you can change your health. If you are already experiencing stress it helps you manage it and stop it getting worse. If you are already burnout, it is a way to ease you out of that place and develop healthy habits and behaviours.

What is a self-care plan?

It is a plan that enables you to address certain areas of your life and create positive interactions in those areas. These are

  • Your workplace and your professional life or your business
  • The physical or your body
  • The psychological
  • The emotional and
  • The spiritual
  • Relationships

In each of these areas, you look at how you can create more positive experiences. For example, you could look at your work environment - if you work from home, do you have a dedicated place to work? Is it arranged how you would like it to be? Or thinking about the physical, are you getting enough exercise? What can you do to start to make changes to what you eat and drink?

Whilst the self-care plan is about you it is also about how you interact with others and how you give to others, that can also help you feel good.

The idea is not to massively overhaul your life in a way that is not sustainable, it is about making small changes that you do on a regular basis which enable you to be happy and healthy and thriving. It is just one of the pillars of success that I teach my clients.

If you would like to know how to create a self-care plan or work on changing behaviours habits and beliefs, please get in touch and arrange a call.

Dec 15

Six Self-care tips for the holiday season

By Yvette Ankrah | self-care

Six Self-care tips for the holidays

By now Christmas parties are in full swing and you are on a countdown to the Christmas holidays. Whether you’re shopping for presents or just trying to get everything done before the kids finish school there can be a lot happening. This is often a time that is busy, can be overwhelming and is full of activity.


Here are some tips to get you through the next few weeks and to start the New Year invigorated, motivated and ready for success.


1.
Get some quiet time

It may seem impossible with so much going on to find time for you, however brief moments of quiet will help you think better and manage what’s going on around you. Whether you have a cup of tea by yourself or spend time meditating or doing breathing exercises, carve out that time each day. Having five minutes without noise or interruption will help you recharge.

2.

Manage social activities

It sounded great to say yes to lots of activities and events months ago and now it seems that you are have back to back activities. If you are feeling overwhelmed give yourself permission to not attend and if they are people that you really want to spend time with, arrange to see them in the New Year.

3.

Get some time in nature

A walk in the woods or in the local park will lift your mood and help with your well-being. Even though it’s cold, taking time in nature for a short walk can make a huge difference to your day.

4.

Create good habits

Getting enough exercise, having good quality sleep, getting your five-a-day and remembering to drink plenty of water are great habits to cultivate and to keep up during the festivities. Often, we’re eating and drinking things we wouldn’t normally do day-to-day - look after your body!

5.

Put yourself first

It’s okay to look after you, it’s okay to make sure that you are filled before you give to others. If you’re not taking care of you it is hard to take care of everybody else! That may mean putting boundaries in place and saying ‘no’ to situations and people.

6.

Have fun!

Do things that you enjoy and be with people that you really want to spend time with or by yourself! Many people are off work around this time of year and it  is at a great excuse to get some friends together and do things that you love or make memories with your family.


By spending some time taking care of yourself now, you can start the New Year with energy and purpose.


What are your top tips for getting through this busy season?

Dec 15

2019, how was it for you?

By Yvette Ankrah | Review

How was 2019 for you?

If it was a movie would you give it a five-star rating and see it again, or not recommend it to anybody?

December is a great time for rest and reflection as we get ready to enter a brand new year.

  • What were your highlights of 2019?
  • What would you do differently?
  • What habits and behaviours are you taking into the new decade?

Personally, I’ve had a truly transformational year, there have been so many things that I’m grateful for and I want to thank those of you that have been part of that journey.

This year:

  • I changed my business and became Yvette Ankrah - Transformational Coach
  • Got my doctorate after 10 years of study
  • Was pain-free for the first time in six years
  • Spoke in venues up and down the UK and on TV
  • Got rid of the comfort zone!

Everything happened after I decided to change and truly took ownership of my own habits and behaviours.

It is not always skipping through fields and leaping with unicorns, however whenever things are not working, I have found ways to change how I think, feel and then act, and I’m grateful I can share those skills with others. I am always learning and committed to continual growth and sharing what I learn with others.

I love supporting others avoid stress and burnout and do so in 1-2-1 coaching, group coaching or giving talks.

I’d like to share a testimonial with you for a 1-2-1 coaching client, which for me feels like a great way to end this incredible year.

Yvette is a life-saver! I let stress and my colleagues completely take over my life and create a suffocating amount of negativity in all aspects of my life. I felt alone and hopeless in my position, with no light at the end of the tunnel. After my first session with Yvette, I felt calm and supported for the first time in months! She genuinely cares to listen to you, identify your true goals, and helps you see what you actually want to do with your life. She helped me re-centre myself completely, back to the person I was before. She is remarkable and I would highly recommend her if you're feeling stuck and need some guidance! Thank you, Yvette!

If you would like me to help transform your 2020, arrange a call with me. I have limited space for clients starting in January and if now is the time to make that change, contact me today.

May 09

The power of words & why you need positive affirmations

By Yvette Ankrah | Confidence

​​Positive affirmations are statements that you use to combat negative thoughts. They can be helpful to remove patterns that may be held in your subconscious that are not helpful to you.  You can use positive affirmation in a number of ways they can help to provide you with motivation or to improve your self-esteem.

Positive affirmations are not some new-age idea plucked out of the air but have been used in clinical practice in particular cognitive behaviour therapy as part of treatment to help anxiety and depression and help boost self-esteem. There have been a range of empirical studies which have shown the benefits of daily affirmations which range from:

  • helping to decrease stress,
  • improve resistance to negative situations to
  • actively changing physical behaviour e.g. stopping smoking

With regular practice you can create positive thoughts and make concrete change to how you think and behave. They do need to be practised regularly for you to see the impact and you can do this by saying them out loud several times a day or writing them in the journal.

Positive affirmations are designed to target a specific belief or fear you hold about yourself.

Creating your affirmations:

Decide what you would like to address and create some positive sentences e.g. I am loved, I am skilled, I have the knowledge to achieve my goal

  1. Write in the present tense.
  2. Repeat them regularly out loud.

How to succeed with affirmations

  1. Firstly, you have to want to make this change happen and you are affirming something that you know is true but sometimes you forget and think negatively about the situation.
  2. Pick three things you wish to affirm.
  3. Write them down.
  4. Put them somewhere you will see often
  5. Repeat regularly

You could choose to do them every morning and every evening or whenever you remember to throughout the day.

Try practising positive affirmations daily for 21 days and see what shifts occur in your life.

Yvette Ankrah MBE

>