Note: This is Part 2 of a mini-series. To read Part 1, click here.
Living reactively is exhausting because you are constantly living in chaos and waiting for the next crisis to happen.
Here’s how this used to be for me:
The yammering voices in my head never stopped telling me what I must, ought or should be doing. They made me work longer hours. Sometimes they’d wake me in the middle of the night to remind me about something I’ve forgotten to do or to give me something else to worry about. Sometimes as I woke up the next morning I’d get a flat feeling as all my to-do’s rushed through the mental fog to great my consciousness. I’d begin my day by freaking out over my workloads before I got out of bed!
I’d get more tired and desperate to succeed as I ignored self care and continued to push my body to the limits by working all hours. My energy tanks were emptying quickly and I wasn’t replacing them. There got to a point where I was living on ‘empty.’
That’s when I realised that I’d reached overwhelm.
Energy is our life force!
Here’s a good place to begin…
1. Listen to your body!
I worked with a coach who once asked me two important questions:
- Are you tired?
- Are you hungry?
What did this have to do with anything?
“I haven’t got time to focus energy on this because I’ve already got too much to do. Don’t give me more to think about!”
It had EVERYTHING to do with how I had unconsciously allowed myself to become exhausted and overwhelmed!
Sleeping and eating are usually the first things to suffer when we get sucked into the ‘Do-Do.’ Busy-ness loves it when you’re hungry and tired. We get locked into doing and forget to eat and sleep properly under the false illusion of saving time to get more things done!
We ignore the signals from our body and wonder why we are so tired, emotional and overwhelmed.
Short-term this is okay because our bodies are very forgiving and have an amazing ability to heal.
If this continues, exhaustion gets a tighter grip because we are physically and mentally weaker. It’s harder for us to concentrate and to be effective.
Listen to the signals from your body. Your body is VERY wise.
Important Note: You can’t complete your To Do list if you don’t have a body!
2. Slow down and allow time away from the ‘Do-Do.’
Okay…the last thing you instinctively want to do is to slow down! You haven’t got time to slow down because you’ve got too much stuff to do right?
The first thing that you need to do is to restore your energy. You can only do this by slowing down and resting. It is not easy to do especially if you are so used to living at a constantly reactive pace.
I started by introducing a few Circuit Breakers into my daily life. These really helped restore my energy and focus.
Here are some examples of Circuit Breakers:
- Close your laptop, turn off your phone and physically walk away for 30 minutes!
- Finish work on time at least one or two nights a week
- Go to bed before 9.30 pm at least one night a week
- Take a proper lunch break
- Eat regularly (and not just when you remember to!)
- Eat healthy food – not junk that fills you up with sugar and fat
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day (most people don’t drink enough water)
Try one or more of these activities as evening or weekend Circuit Breakers:
- Take a nap when you feel tired (listen to your body!)
- Have a relaxing long bath
- Go for a walk
- Read something funny or light
- Sleep in
- Sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes (Really…it’s okay to do this!)
- Listen to some uplifting music
- Allow yourself a ‘Day off the Do-Do’ one day a week
I’ve just added a Free Gift on my website! You can download the recording of my awesome tele-seminar: ‘Are You in Business or Busy-ness? Four Ways to Get Your Life Back on Purpose.’ This is packed with extra tips. Check out the box at the top right hand corner of this page.