Recent figures from Work Safe Australia highlighted that stress and burnout costs Australian business over $20 billion each year so it makes good sense to pay attention to our own needs sooner or later, before we end up stressed and exhausted and not much use to anyone else — or to ourselves.
The demands of life can really take its toll and if you are constantly running around in emergency mode, your mind and body may just end up paying a high price for putting everything and everybody else before your own wellbeing.
The good news is that we can easily implement some simple strategies to resolve this. The more difficult part comes with your own commitment prioritize yourself!
In my coaching practise, I still get shocked at the amount of people who come to me burned out and exhausted believing the needs of other people or even organisations are more important than their own needs. These people often find it difficult to implement boundaries between their work and family life and end up putting everyone else’s needs before their own. If you continually do this, you will only end up exhausted and resentful
Start by changing a few small things in your day like making sure you take regular breaks, eat regular meals and practise saying No to other people. Tune in to your own needs and learn to honour them as well – without feeling guilty. Also try to give up the need for perfectionism and stop setting yourself ridiculously high expectations of yourself. Aim to do your best and that is sufficient.
Another major factor of stress is worrying. Come on, let’s get honest here, does worrying change anything? Seriously? NO! Now having the odd worry is just human nature but if you are one of those people who is a worry wart with constant thoughts of what could go wrong then this is a bad habit which needs to be stopped. In fact, worrying is never useful. Our worries often snowball and our imagination run away with us with thoughts of imagined threats and terrible things happening. The more you worry, the bigger your worries become. Some people then even worry about all the time they have spent worrying!
Here are a few simple ideas to assist you in reducing worry:
- Take the time to write your worries down. It is amazing how much inner relief this can bring simply by getting worrying out of your head and onto paper. You may find this a useful thing to do before you go to bed each night.
- Set yourself only 15 minutes worry time a day. Book this time into your diary and save all worries until this time. The interesting thing is that you will probably have forgotten all about those important worries by then!
- Accept that a lot of things in life are completely out of your control. Just let go and see what happens.
- Remind yourself that if the worse does happen, you can handle it! Seriously, you will be ok!
As humans, we are also in the habit of being positive towards people around us but not so positive towards ourselves. So many of us give encouragement to those around us but spend the rest of your time being critical and negative towards yourself.
A great way to give yourself some praise and encouragement is by taking a few minutes to write down some of the positive things you have in your life.
You can also try repeating positive affirmations such as ‘ I am doing the best that I can’ or ‘ Even though it may not feel like it, I know everything will work out ok’ I am a huge believer in the first hour of your day will set the theme for the rest of the day so make sure you use the hour after you wake up to say nice things about yourself and tell yourself that you are going to have a successful day!
Another one of my favourite tips is to write a list of 50 things which make you happy and commit to doing at least one thing a day from this list. This list does not need to be full of expensive ideas but it could just be simple things as burning some nice smelling candles or having a nice warm bath or treating yourself to 10 minutes relaxation time.
Lisa Phillips is a Confidence Coach based in Sydney. Lisa features regularly in the media and is a popular speaker on the topics of empowerment and confidence. For more information, please see www.amazingcoaching.com.au
photo credit: http://www.dcscience.net/?p=4940