“Although the stress response was involuntary, the relaxation response requires practice.” Linda Lantieri
How are you feeling right now? Start with your jaw. Are you perhaps clenching it just a bit? It may even be aching or throbbing from grinding your teeth last night. And your neck? Your shoulders? Are you hunching them up? And that 'gut' feel – are you feeling at peace, or are those butterfly flutterings keeping your heart racing, perhaps even palpitating? If you answered no to these questions, then you’re part of the fortunate minority. The sad reality is most of us are carrying stress with us, even while we sleep and are meant to be deeply resting.
The good news is that we can retrain ourselves to be more mindful and AWARE of how stress manifests physically in our bodies and minds. That is how we can learn to counteract, or at the very least, minimise the negative impacts. I’m going to go over two mindfulness exercises with you. They are just 60...
Burnout doesn’t social distance.
Take a moment now to not just open your eyes but to truly observe. Look around you. It's everywhere. Concealed behind forced smiles or revealed via downward cast eyes. There may be signs of tears. These tears may be yours even. They may belong to a family member or even a stranger you pass in slow-moving traffic. If you are an empath, you may even feel a noticeable shift in energy. It’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. It’s horrid.
I’m talking about burnout, and it's out, and about having a whale of a time – no social distancing here, it’ll get right up in your personal space and try to infect you. I saw a snippet on TV the other day that was rather silly but hit home nonetheless. It was an ad where a present-day character was having a conversation with his future self. I can’t recall it word for word, but the just of it went something like this:
"In your future, there will be no hugging, and there will be...
What pops into your mind when you hear this word?
My guess would be 'social bubble.' How extraordinary that just a short year ago, those two words weren't joined at the hip. Now they're best mates and internationally understood. Well, if there's anything we've learned from this unprecedented time is that the only constant is indeed change.
We, humans, are resilient, and for the most part, we are adaptable to change. However, the recent changes are a LOT. We're still mystified and digesting a hug-less world of masks, sanitiser, and online everything. Oh, and a new-found love of sweatpants.
We have lockdown fatigue. ZOOM fatigue. TEAMS fatigue. Physical, emotional, and mental fatigue. And let’s just say we’re seeing a lot more of our family than we used to!
Alone is hard. So, let’s do this together.
It’s time to look at bubbles differently. Think back to a childhood where you skipped after soapy bubbles from a plastic...
If you’ve read Part 1 then you will know that I am about to share some practical ways you can reclaim control and fell more calm in the chaos.
When you stop living on stress and adrenaline, you may feel emotional, spiritual and physical discomfort - it's not unlike putting out a fire—the smoke makes it hard to breathe for a while.
Find one small activity that centers you and then make time for it—no matter what. If it feels uncomfortable at first, that's okay. Cooling down takes practice.
If you need or desire in person support to ‘cooling down’ …. please reach out to me.
Becoming aware that something may not be right is the first step, and the fact that you are reading this right now shows that you are bringing awareness to this topic, so I celebrate you for doing that.
Learn more. We need to be able to identify the tell-tale signs of burnout and exhaustion within ourselves so that we can then potentially notice it in...
You may know the saying - what you suppress, your body will express? And never has that been more relevant than it is right now.
Burnout and exhaustion are becoming more and more common as we continue to spend longer periods of time enduring various types of lockdown restrictions, working from home and trying to juggle personal and professional life all contained inside our homes.
In this Part 1, I will share some insights into how to better understand why you could be feeling exhausted and in Part 2 I will share three practical things that you can do to help shift the stress and exhaustion.
In the past, we could go to the office and at the end of the day as we drove back home, we left the office behind us. Maybe you went to the gym before going home, or got some groceries, and by the time you walked through your front door, you had decompressed and were ready for time with the family or your partner.
Now we no longer have that option...
How’s your productivity? How's your sleep?
I was recently interviewed by Michael Tipper on his Peak Performance Productivity Podcast.
The episode went live today and you can watch or listen to it here now:
Michael's mission is to eradicate personal inefficiency and ineffectiveness because he believes wasted human potential is an avoidable tragedy.
We had a great conversation a few weeks back and here are just some of the highlights:
01:53 - How well being is different from health
03:22 - Celynn’s Four Seasons framework for sleep - an overview.
04:30 - Why preparation for sleep and knowing how to sleep better begins the moment you wake up.
06:06 - Why you might wake up feeling different each day.
06:35 - The important decision you need to make about your sleep.
08:05 - Principles for a good morning routine.
09:17 - how much water you need to drink every day and why it is important to start your day with a drink of water.
10:14 - Why...
What comes to mind when you think about the word ‘ritual’? Birthdays, Sunday roasts, weddings, full moon manifestations or perhaps your morning routine?
During this time of a global pandemic and confinement, many of our social rituals are limited. What about your personal rituals? While communal rituals give us the comfort of familiarity, solidarity and shared experience, personal rituals can also create a feeling of connection in the grand scheme of things. What if you could transform how you feel, bringing more resilience and happiness to every day through everyday rituals?
Ritual can help as a remedy to anxiety. Chronic uncertainty increases stress. That is where ritual comes in. Rituals are highly structured and involve repetition which means they are predictable. So even if they have no direct influence over the physical world, rituals provide a sense of control and certainty.
Through the practice of...
Want to live a longer, healthier life? Don’t restrict entire food groups. Be balanced.
The Mediterranean approach to eating puts emphasis on small portions and freshness, as well as the pleasure of eating. This is one of my key food guidelines: have fun — eat with enjoyment and gratitude in order to feel nourished.
Adopt a Mediterranean eating style without moving to the French or Spanish Riviera;
A typical Mediterranean-diet day would look like this:
This month I really felt the urge to share more about energy and what it means to us, in all its forms.
Many of us, myself included, have had up and down relationships with our energy levels, and right now, given the current pandemic that we are living through, as a society everyone just seems to feel drained and the words ‘exhausted’ or ‘dead tired’ appear in many more of my conversations these days.
Energy levels are the foundation of our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, and that concept seems so simple - yet it is incredibly powerful.
When our energy is high, we can move mountains. When it is low, we become demotivated, sick, and tired. Without energy our body is so much less productive or resilient, and it can even influence the way we think, our health, our mood, and our overall happiness. Low energy is bad news for us as human beings and it affects every part of our life.
Our ability to lead and succeed is directly proportional to the energy...
When did you last eat with enjoyment, for pure pleasure? When last did you eat something without obsessing about every calorie and micro-nutrient going into your body? There’s so much nutritional information in circulation, and often such a judgmental culture around what everyone’s eating, that most people struggle to eat without some element of guilt or anxiety.
Most people struggle to eat without some element of guilt or anxiety. But eating for pleasure is entirely possible.
And then there’s the phenomenon of comfort eating – which, as Nigella Lawson has pointed out in one of her cookbooks, is really discomfort eating. We use food as a form of self-medication, to swallow our feelings, often binging on foods that we mindlessly gulp down without pausing to check whether we’re really enjoying them.
Food is fuel, of course, but it’s also one of life’s greatest pleasures!
Can you even...