In a fast-paced world of long working hours and constant stimulation from technology, it’s time to find out whether you’re doing enough for your well-being…
We have to feel worthy. Many people experience the feeling of not being good enough, and low self-esteem leads to working harder and not knowing when to stop. So many of us spend hours either glued to our phones and emails, or trying to balance childcare with running a home – many of us even do all three! Life can get on top of you, and your priorities can change from spending time on yourself, to just a focus on work and tasks you need to do each day. This mindset has to change before many women can take time for themselves without feeling guilty. You have to learn to not only give to others, but allow others to give to you. Learning to receive is the secret to successful well-being and making me-time. Here, we’ve picked the brains of our experts – ‘energy doctor’ and wellness coach Caroline Shola Arewa, and business coach and strategist Marie Lexa, to discover how we can all benefit from giving a little TLC to ourselves from time to time…
Caroline’s 10 Small Ways To Stomp Out Stress
1 Breath and relax
Stop whatever you are doing for a couple of minutes to slow down and focus on your breath for two minutes. This will re-oxygenate your system, creating calm and clarity.
2 Get out of your head
Take a moment to stretch, rotate your shoulders to release tightness and stimulate the reflexes in your body. Switch off your inner monologue – especially if it contains thoughts about work.
3 Ground yourself
Remove your shoes and connect with Mother Earth, if possible. Stretch your toes and breathe in through your nose – imagine your breath going all the way down to your feet, energising your whole body through your root chakra. This is a powerful tool that will leave you feeling more focused and clear-headed.
4 Unleash your inner smile
This is great for releasing negative energy. Close your eyes and visualise your lungs smiling, then see your heart smiling and your liver, your gut and all your body parts one after the other. Bring a smile to your face and let go.
5 Lavender power
This is one of the world’s most relaxing essential oils. Place a few drops onto your temples, wrists and nape of your neck to reduce tension and low energy.
6 Harness the woodchopper
Has your work stress built up into anger? When you’re alone in a quiet space where you cannot be heard, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Let your knees bend and clasp your hands as if holding an axe. Raise your arms up over your head and arch your back as if about to take a blow… bring the axe crashing down, making a loud ‘haa!’ sound as you do. Feel the tension melt into laughter.
7 Do something you enjoy
Turn off distractions and chill out on the sofa with your favourite drink… or do something you really enjoy and relax without feeling guilty.
Ask yourself what is important right now in the present moment. Do you really need to check or send a work email now in your own time? Why can’t it wait until next week?
Write a list of what went well in your day, plus anything you need to remember for the next. This clears your mind and creates space for you to relax.
10 Refer to your favourite quote
It could be something like ‘less is more’, ‘little by little’, or ‘all is well’. The bigger the problem, the more appropriate this is. Think on this quote in the larger scheme of things and put things into perspective.
Citrine is an amber coloured stone that can be used to help balance the solar plexus chakra. It protects from stress, tiredness and negative energy. It also helps manifest wealth and success. Hold a piece in your hand when you need a boost.
Your questions answered with Marie Alexa
Q) What should I do if work is getting on top of me?
A) Set boundaries. You don’t have to say “yes” to everything. If you do, people will quickly notice and take advantage of it. You can absolutely say “no” when it’s not the right fit or opportunity, or you currently just don’t have the capacity. It takes a bit of a mindset shift, but protect your time fiercely and make it your own. Equally, you always can absolutely say “yes” when it comes to accepting help.
Q) Long working hours are affecting my relationships, but my boss wants more from me – how do I deal with this?
A) Have a discussion with your boss and your partner, just to ensure everybody is on the same page. Explain to your boss that you need to manage your workload and how much you can take on, because you want to ensure that the quality of your work is always top notch. Go through the list of tasks with them to figure out priorities. Meanwhile, reassure that they are your top priority. Set up a fixed date night for you to enjoy together.
Q) I’m self-employed – how do I avoid getting stuck in work-mode, as my workplace is also my home?
A) Live by a fixed schedule of a balance between work and relaxation. You’ll then never have to worry about what you’re doing and when. Set boundaries – create a designated workspace in the house. Don’t work in other rooms like the bedroom, for example.
Q) What are the benefits of a lunch break during a stressful day at work?
A) You give your mind a rest and a chance to reboot your creativity. The task you had been dragging on for so long suddenly gets compressed as your productivity skyrockets.
Struggling to fit in that you-time? Try these quick fixes…
● Put on a three to four minute calming music track. Breathe and let go.
● Take a 20 minute soak in a hot bath with some calming crystals like Rose Quartz and Amethyst.
● Do a 15 minute walk or jog around your local area. Exercise is a great stress-buster.
● Agree on having a movie night once a week.
Meet the experts
Marie Lexa is a business coach and strategist who empowers driven women to build thriving businesses that support their vision for personal and financial freedom. She helps them tap into their existing skill-set and ambition to make real impact, and believes no woman should have to make a trade-off between a successful business and a flexible lifestyle that allows her to prioritise what matters most to her. To start your own journey and redefine success on your own terms, grab your free training at marielexa.com/niche
Known as the ‘Energy Doctor’, wellness coach, yoga teacher, humanistic psychologist and author, Caroline Shola Arewa is the founder of Energy 4 Life Wellness Coaching Academy helping you get your energy back and your life on track. For more information, visit energy4lifecoach.com