The 7 essential ingredients to your well-being as a busy corporate professional
If you've been following my work, you know that I am obsessed with helping the busiest people out there to release chronic stress, let go of anxiety and SUPERCHARGE every single aspect of their well-being: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, ...
My biggest passion is showing people who think that because of their huge workload they are doomed to feeling anxious, overwhelmed and burnt out all the time, that they can actually feel amazing without having to change a thing about the amount of work and responsibilities that they have.
How do I do it? Glad you asked. Here are the 7 essential ingredients to the magic that I work with my clients:
#1 ELIMINATING SELF-SABOTAGING HABITS
The first thing to look at is: what are the habits that you have outside of work that could be contributing to your stress levels? For example: do you drink 7 cups of coffee a day? Do you look at your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Do you stay up late at night watching Netflix shows? Do you continue to hang out with people who bring you down? Do you procrastinate a lot? Do you regularly gossip about other people?
... These are all habits that you have complete control over and that have a huge impact on your stress and anxiety levels. So, it is up to you to set up boundaries with yourself: just like you would take screens away from a child before bedtime, apply that same discipline to yourself! Can you see how, just by working on these draining habits alone, you could drastically reduce your stress levels without having to change a single thing about work?
2 mindset shifts need to occur here:
(i) self-care can be suuuuuper simple. In fact: the simpler, the better. Having short but effective self-care practices in place ensures that you'll be able to be more consistent with them instead of constantly skipping out due to lack of time. Like I always tell my clients: 5mn of meditation every morning is much better than a 30mn session once a month. When it comes to self-care, every practice adds up like money in the bank!
(ii) Self-care is a discipline - not a hobby. A very common belief out there is that self-care should be enjoyable all the time - and that couldn't be further from the truth. It happens very often that I get up in the morning with no desire whatsoever to practice yoga or meditation! But do I do it? Yes, because I treat it as a discipline - not something that I only do when I "feel like it". This is about focusing on long-term results rather than on instant gratification.
#3 MINDSET & MINDFULNESS
When it comes to Mindset, here's one of my favorite quotes:
The way you perceive a situation drastically impacts the way you experience that situation.
I very often give the example of a former manager of mine who used to describe every difficult situation as "interesting" when I would perceive them as "stressful". As a result, he would go home at night and tell his family that he had had an interesting day. I would go home and tell my family that I had had a stressful day. Working with him really taught me that mindset is everything - and you have complete control over how you choose to perceive any given situation!
To take it a step further, not only are you in control of how you perceive a situation, you also are in charge of how you respond to that situation. I have a full week in my coaching program dedicated to the topic of: automatically reacting VS consciously responding. Allow me to illustrate: when a stressful situation arises (say, your boss dumps a last-minute file on your desk that they say needs to be treated by tomorrow), you have the power to consciously *respond* to the situation (for example, by taking a few deep breaths and calmly making a list of the things you need to work on and then tackling these tasks one by one with calm, grounded energy) rather than automatically *react* to it (for example, by immediately panicking and telling yourself "aaaaaaah I'll never be able to finish this on time!!!").
#4 DISCONNECTING FROM WORK
This is probably the most important ingredient of them all, because if you're not able to disconnect from work at the end of the day or on the weekends, then you are never able to actually recharge your batteries!
Ask yourself: what can I do to better leave work at work and be more present when I am at home?
#5 GOOD-QUALITY SLEEP
We hear a lot about the importance of getting enough sleep and that is definitely crucial to our well-being. But are you also getting good-quality sleep?
It is very common for people to engage in behaviours that disrupt the non-REM part of their sleep cycle (the deepest part of the cycle, where a lot of the repair happens). As a result, even though they didn't wake up throughout the night and got enough sleep, they still wake up feeling tired because they didn't get enough or that deep, rejuvenating sleep.
I encourage you to check out the work of Matt Walker and especially his TED Talk if you need an extra boost of motivation to start prioritising your sleep more.
#6 PROPER RELAXATION
When I say "relaxation", what do you think about? Perhaps the following comes to mind: Netflix, having a beer, scrolling social media, eating chocolate in front of a movie...
Now, while these things are not necessarily bad per se and definitely do feel good once in a while, it is important to realise that they are NOT relaxing whatsoever for your body and your brain.
Take Netflix, for example: when you numb out in front of an episode of Friends that you've already watched 17 times (calling myself out here), you might think that you are relaxing, but your brain is actually processing millions and millions of pieces of information as you watch that show! Or take eating junk food: while it might help to soothe some stress or emotions, your body then has to deal with the physical stress that these foods cause on your digestive system, immune system and so on. It is therefore crucial to make sure that you include activities in your schedule that are actually relaxing to your mind and body. Think: going for a walk in nature, sitting outside in the sun with no external input, having a chill conversation with your partner, hugging someone, meditating, dancing, the list goes on...
Learning to set healthy boundaries in both the professional and social setting is a huge part of what I work on with my clients as they are so essential to our well-being as busy professionals. Things like: knowing when it's time to say "no" to a dinner invitation when you know you really need to get some sleep, saying "no" to taking on your colleague's work when it's clearly not your responsibility, or asking your friend to stop gossiping because it brings you down... these are all examples of healthy boundaries.
Ask yourself: what are some boundaries that you would like to put in place in all contexts of your life: professional, friendships, romantic, family? The first step to boundary-setting is to be clear on the specific boundaries that we want to put in place ;)
With these 7 ingredients solidly in place, I guarantee you'll be able to take your well-being to a whole new level despite your crazy to-do list and heavy workload!
Now, tell me: which of these do you think you need to work on? Shoot me an email at email@example.com and I'll give you a few pointers to get started!