Category Archives for "self-care"

Feb 06

How to relax in under 10 minutes

By Sydney Tierson | Guest post , self-care

Not all of us are blessed with the ability to handle stress with grace and decorum. In fact, the vast majority of us blissfully enjoy the ability to throw a couple of pillows at the wall, and maybe even lock ourselves in the car to have a quick scream.

So, instead of nearly setting the house alight and scarring your beloved pet for the rest of his life, follow my tips on how to relax in under 10 minutes, without causing a scene. Whether it be at the office after an intense meeting or the fact you accidentally sent a text moaning about your mum, to your mum, I’m here to help. So, continue reading!

Chomp And Chew On The Gum

No matter what task you are doing, if you’re doing it in a hurry, a brilliant way to alleviate stress levels is to chew on some minty gum while you are doing it.

A recent study has also shown that chewing gum can increase the user’s attention and make those become much more aware of the surrounding goings-on. This is perfect if you are drastically cleaning the house in a hurry and need to drive the kids to football within the next half hour. So, crack open the pot of Extra, and enjoy the minty fresh breath.

Guzzle Down The Green Tea

If you are a hot tea drinker, then this is something you should definitely take a stab at. The herbal remedy is said to induce relaxation by increasing the chemical L-Theanine, that works around the body to reduce levels of stress. 

By sipping on the soothing, warm Green Tea, your body will soon feel relaxed, comfortable and ready to take on the next 100 emails before clock out time.

Take It Out On A Stress Ball

If the day is just getting too much, yet you’re at the office, with no pillow to scream in to be seen, then why not change it with a stress ball instead?

The rubbery, squishy creations are somewhat like a children’s toy, yet work brilliantly for those who need to let a little anger out without drawing attention to themselves. The simplicity of squeezing and releasing the tension on the plastic invention promotes muscle relaxation and positive well-being.

Stress balls come in all different shapes, sizes, colours and textures to suit your liking most. So whether that be a bright red ball or a green character whose head expands when you squeeze it. Anything that you can be a little rough with, is perfect!

Splashing Cold Water

Water benefits the body in an astounding amount of ways. But not only can it leave us hydrated and feeling clean, but the coolness of its makeup can also leave us feeling rather relaxed too.

So, head to your nearest loo and start the tap running cool. Then, run your hands under and splash your face with a little H20 and let the water drip over your pressure points. In doing this the waters cooling effect will begin to cool your body down, leaving you feeling much more relaxed at the end of it.

Take A Walk

Simply taking a walk around the block of the office to the nearest coffee shop, or leaving the house to pick up some milk is the easiest yet a very effective way to induce relaxation.

Getting out and having a change of scenery combined with a small helping of exercise allows those to take some time to themselves and focus on just breathing and walking. Not to mention the small number of endorphins that are produced which will help kick back feelings of negativity, and help you feel relaxed in no time.  

Devour The Chocolate Bar You’ve Been Avoiding

Not the most appealing to many, but eating dark chocolate has an array of benefits to help the body feel relaxed and unwind.

A study recently found that 13 people who tested with ‘high anxiety or stress’ levels, had a dramatic reduction when eating 40 grams of 74% dark chocolate every day for 2 weeks. Therefore, the study concluded that chocolate does, in fact, induce a relaxed body state.

So, next time your partner questions you on how much chocolate you’ve eaten, you can blame it on your stress levels being far too high- whether that’s true or not!

Soak Up Some Sun

Even if it’s only for a couple of spare minutes, going outside into the warm weather has numerous benefits.

The way in which it works is by increasing our levels of serotonin in the body, which act fast to make us feel happier and more alert while calming us too. And, without enough exposure to sunlight, our bodies struggle to produce this hormone, so we can be left feeling sluggish and quickly irritated by the simplest of mishaps.

Turn Up To Your Favourite Playlist

We all have our go-to playlist. One that has an array of heartfelt power ballads, songs to shake our hips too, and those that are the best party anthems around. All of these favourites can do more than turn us into the next Whitney. In fact, they can all work together to help us feel relaxed and a lot happier.

Studies show that simply listening to instrumental sounds or songs helps our bodies feel instantly relaxed, with even the smallest differences being seen from listening to a few minutes of their favourite playlist.

So, whip out the headphones or turn up the radio on the way home. And, don’t be afraid to have a little sing-along. You know you want too…

Stretch As Far As You Can

Many would say that the best way to feel relaxed, is to hit your nearest yoga club and get to stretching. However, this is certainly not the case.

In fact, you can easily stretch whenever you are. Whether that is on the bus, sitting at your desk in the office or while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. Knowing the right positions to do and how to do them can quickly leave your body feeling much more relaxed, as muscles loosen and blood flows around the body free of charge.

We all know how amazing the first stretch of the morning feels as we roll out of bed. So why not continue this throughout the day?

Cuddle Your Beloved Pet

Pets can bring so much happiness to the home. Whether it’s cats, dogs or even your own bird, these furry friends work hard to make us feel alive and well.

So, if you’re feeling as though you need some relaxation, why not schedule in a quick mother and dog appointment of cuddles or playtime. Our beloved pets can ease any stress we owners are having and can help us feel healthier in the process.

So why not use your pet dog as a free therapist, and consult all your daily issues with the man's best friend. You will certainly feel amazing after it, and you’ll get a warm and fluffy hug in the process. Win-win!

Summary

There are many ways in which we can feel relaxed after a long and stressful day. From having a personal pamper evening to a long session in the gym, we can quickly get back to feeling ourselves from the simplest of tasks.

However, for those that need a quick fix and an action that will induce relaxation in a matter of minutes, be sure to choose from our selected list of tried and tested above. From a simple walk to the coffee shop, to squeezing a stress ball until you are no longer angry, these ideas will certainly leave you feeling refreshed, calm and ready to take on the next pile of work your boss throws at you.

So, pick your favourite and get to practising. Then, you will own the perfect regiment to feeling relaxed at all times. And any task that may be thrown your way, you will be able to complete with simplicity and grace, and no stop-offs to the loo for a time out or a scream in the car!

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?

Oct 14

6 Essential Wellbeing Hacks for Busy Entrepreneurs

By Rodney Laws | Guest post , self-care

Guest blog

6 Essential Wellbeing Hacks For Busy Entrepreneurs

Emergency procedure on an aeroplane is very simple: in the event of a serious incident, put on your own mask before trying to help anyone else. This really speaks to the fundamental difficulty we all face when trying to take care of ourselves. Fast predators spook us, but slow predators… we don’t have the instinct to guard against them.

This is one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs so easily fall victim to burnout. The demands of their professional lives slowly erode their energy and spirit without them ever noticing, eventually leaving them struggling to continue. So if you’re living that lifestyle, how can you change your ways and safeguard your future?

Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do, and we’re going to look at 6 simple changes you can make — small changes that will make big differences. Let’s get to it:


1.

Get more exercise

First up on the list of things-you-know-you-should-do-but-find-excuses-for-avoiding is exercise. Barring the occasional injury, it’s an equivocal good: the more you move around and get your muscles working, the better you’ll feel, the more soundly you’ll sleep (more on that next), and the stronger you’ll become. How much do you need? Try to find 30 minutes every day to exercise, and follow any routine you prefer to work up a sweat (here are some ideas).

2.

Get better sleep

The phrasing is important here: not get more sleep, but get better sleep. This is because duration isn’t the only thing that matters. Imagine two scenarios: in one, you fall in and out of sleep for ten hours, ultimately getting eight hours of uneasy sleep. In another, you sleep peacefully for six hours. Won’t the latter leave you feeling more rested? To improve the quality of your sleep, exercise in the evening, cut back on exposure to light, and get out of bed if you wake up early — with how sleep cycles are thought to operate, multiples of 1.5 hours are best, so you’ll be more alert getting up after 6 hours than if you hold out for 7.
3.

Start outsourcing tasks

The entrepreneurial workload (particularly if you’re working solo) is daunting at the best of times, and no matter how primed you are for facing it, you’ll find it a major challenge. That’s why outsourcing is such a benefit, whether you’re outsourcing to software or people. Leverage setup tools like Shopify (a store builder) and efficiency tools like Boomerang (an email scheduler), and delegate repetitive tasks such as fielding phone inquiries to virtual assistant (VA) services such as Virtual HQ.

4.

Talk about your problems

Mental health isn’t something to take lightly, but when you have a busy schedule, you can easily bottle things up — leading them to fester. It doesn’t help that there’s still a stigma around admitting weakness in the business world. It isn’t unknown for entrepreneurs to keep saying they’re fine right up until they break down. So before that happens, talk about your problems: you can see a therapist, or just talk to an understanding friend. You can also cultivate good habits for when you’re alone, such as using positive affirmations.

5.

Find time for friends

Speaking of friends, are you leaving room in your schedule to see yours? Putting all the energy you have into developing your professional life and furthering your goals doesn’t leave much time for socializing, and you might have written it off for the moment. This is dangerous. You need breaks to relax and feel part of the world again. No matter how busy your schedule is, find some time to see your friends, and don’t even think about work when you do.

6.

Set short-term goals

As an entrepreneur, you’ll naturally have some long-term goals in mind: making a certain amount of money, earning a specific number of clients, or perhaps getting your own office. And these goals are very important, but sometimes they can be too far away to be sufficiently motivational. By setting short-term goals as well (and making them SMART), you can give yourself things to achieve in your day-to-day work — picking up good client recommendations, for instance, or hitting percentage marks in your progress towards your biggest goals — and have regular reason to celebrate.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t require you to risk burnout — not if you approach it with the right commitment to preserving your mental and physical health. These 6 hacks don’t require too much effort, but can significantly reduce your workload, so try them out.

Yvette Ankrah – Transformational Coach

>