I remember reading an article some time back entitled “Balance is Bunk” by The Fast Company and wondering to myself, “is getting the work/life balance elusive?” I believe that it does not have to be an either/or situation, i.e. “Either I devote all my time and energy to my career and my personal life takes a knock or vice versa”. I strongly feel that it can be a both/and scenario, i.e. “I can devote time and energy to both my career and personal life.” It may not always be in perfect balance and harmony, however I can feel as though I am in control and I have the right balance, for me. And this is really what sustainable wellbeing is all about.
The daily amygdala hijack, i.e. our emotional response to any perceived threat, is pretty symptomatic of the unpredictable and tumultuous modern-day life. This doesn’t mean that it’s doing us any good - both physically and mentally. Flooding our bodies with cortisol on a daily basis is not likely to induce wellbeing. On the converse, it can have a negative ripple effect on our energy, sleep, concentration, coping mechanisms, food intake, gut, hormones and many, many more. Avoiding all stressors on a daily basis is impossible, however, managing our stress and our stress responses more effectively is possible.
I partner with my clients and focus on a number of practical strategies to enable sustainable wellbeing. Some of these strategies are strongly correlated with getting our mental and psychological wellbeing right and managing stress and anxiety. Other strategies are more geared towards taking control of our physical health such as exercise, nutrition, sleep and others. As we all realise though, the mind and body are not separate entities but rather inextricably connected.
There is a big focus on mindfulness, meditation and manifestation in my approach. In addition, I share other mental strategies to help shift perceptions and stimulate positive thoughts. I also explore the brain-gut connection and vagus nerve stimulation to reduce anxiety and stress.
Here is one valuable tip, shared by a very wise mentor of mine, John Lane-Smith, that clients say has had a big impact with regard to helping them prioritise their workload, which increases their control and influence and in so doing, reduces their stress and anxiety.
Before you leave the office for the day, take 5 minutes to write down your top 5 priorities for tomorrow. These should be the top 5 non-negotiables that are most important and time-dependent. Having these as your core focus for tomorrow will ensure less distraction and will enable more assertion when it comes to less urgent and/or less important interruptions. You also leave the office feeling more in control of the day ahead. This is not to say that the unplanned crises never emerge – they certainly do and they will sometimes disrupt your plan. However, the more we plan and the more prepared and focused we are, the better equipped we are to handle the unplanned.
In my sessions with clients we also go into in-depth detail on some of the most compelling wellbeing strategies that we can employ to build physical stamina, strength and resilience. We explore the winning trifecta of eating, moving and sleeping; the benefits these three elements can have on your overall wellbeing and the practical tips you can build into your everyday lifestyle to improve all areas . Truthfully, it’s all about being kinder to ourselves, being more forgiving of ourselves and placing ourselves back on the priority list.
Maybe ‘balance is bunk’ is further from the truth than we think and here’s to manifesting a both/and approach to life rather than the more limiting either/or approach.
Get in touch today to find out more!