Tomorrow is the start of December, the last month of the year and a final chance to cross items off the to-do list before you say goodbye to 2020.
I don’t know about you, but I find this time of year tends to get really busy. Clients I haven’t heard from in a while get in contact, new clients make contact to quickly ‘fix’ a few things that have been bothering them, and I have my own personal organizing to do to be ready for my family Christmas. It all tends to speed up at this time of the year and I find myself looking forward to being able to relax on the couch watching the Christmas Special on TV.
Wouldn’t you love to reach the Christmas break feeling like you have some energy left to spend with loved ones? Maybe even be looking forward to connecting with others rather than wishing you could be alone for a few days to regroup before celebrating Christmas? For many of my clients December presents them with the ultimate...
You may think that developing self-discipline is about making up for limitations so that you can manage their impact more effectively. Perhaps just the thought of ‘self-discipline’ fills you with the thought of being ‘boxed in’ and ‘rigid’. These thoughts have probably been reinforced by previous attempts at changing unhelpful habits and confusing self-discipline with willpower. Willpower is about controlling thoughts and behaviour. Self-discipline is about progress and can be very empowering. Subtle, yet very different approaches.
Think back to when you managed to make a change in behaviour that was successful, how did you feel? When you overcame obstacles in your path, accomplished something, that sense of achievement leads you to believe you can do more. It can be motivating and make you feel like you can do anything.
Being able to exercise self-discipline teaches you to trust yourself and helps you to develop self-efficacy...
Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive activity. We now know it is essential for our survival and wellbeing. It provides the opportunity for our body and mind to repair themselves and it is critical for maintaining good physical and mental health.
Sleep allows us to conserve energy, consolidate and reconsolidate memories, process information, regulate body temperature and stimulate various nerve circuits within the brain to ensure its proper functioning. The sleeping brain also helps the body’s stress response to switch off.
Sleep is not a luxury.
We’ve all suffered through days of headache, fatigue and irritability after a bad night’s sleep for whatever reason. Sure, you can make up for it with a power nap or by sleeping it off the following two nights. But when insufficient sleep becomes the norm and you’re not getting anywhere from 7 - 9 hours of quality sleep each night, then problems start developing.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, a 2019 LinkedIn survey showed that 82% of new hires wanted to work at least one day a week from home and 57% said they’d ideally like to work from home three days a week.
These numbers are now also supported by an Australian study conducted by Boston Consulting Group in June 2020, where between 41 and 60 per cent surveyed (for those who can work from home), revealed a preference that sees them doing two or three days a week from home. The difference in preferences reflected 'age and stage' of respondents, with participants over the age of 60 years preferring to work from home most days.
Over recent years online connectivity has dramatically improved, and now working from home is a realistic and practical alternative. Everyone can benefit, but it’s not all plain sailing…here are some tips on how to be more efficient.
Set and maintain reasonable...
In March 2020, Australia closed its borders and so our love-hate relationship with ‘Lockdown’ began. I remember in the early stages people were happy to be working from home. There seemed to be extra energy in the air. It meant being able to put on a load of washing before the 10am video-conference call, spending more time with family, getting more sleep due to decreased commute times and feeling a little bit ‘naughty’ wearing comfortable clothes rather than the 'corporate outfit' while negotiating a million-dollar deal. Now nine months on, many are keen to get back to their office, sit at their desk and chat to colleagues in the corridor. Sadly many are being told this won't be possible until mid-2021. Others are quite content to be working from home indefinitely.
Whatever your situation, it is more important than ever that we recognise nobody is immune from burnout and that we are vigilant around the signs of burnout for ourselves,...
If you are someone that always seems to be stressed out, and constantly looking for more to add to your to-do list instead of managing well what you already have on it, then you might be an addict.
Admittedly there are two sides to the impact of stress; there’s a good side which can help you to achieve your best work, support you to learn new skills and pay attention to the details when it matters. However the other side of stress, the less helpful side, is that in large doses it can make you feel overwhelmed, miserable and erode your self-confidence. However, this less helpful side of stress is often linked to having perfectionist tendencies, not wanting to miss out and the belief that it will get better with the more you accomplish.
It might seem silly to be addicted to something that can affect you so negatively however our relationship to stress is adaptive...
Traditionally people do seek out counsellors when they're experiencing emotional pain, or feeling stuck and don't know what to do next. However proactive people also choose to see a counsellor when they're looking to for an unbiased perspective or want to cultivate and grow the positive aspects already present in their lives.
Here are the top nine excuses I hear when a client first finds me and starts to explain why they hadn't come to see me sooner.
It’s a common belief that people can only see counsellors when something is amiss or wrong. Far from it. Many people enlist the support of a counsellor to continue building positive habits, just like hiring a personal trainer at the gym. With their specialist skills in human behaviour and non-judgemental approach clients can accelerate their transformation and embed the desired habits quicker. There is only so much you can achieve without external support.
Not everyone who experiences high levels of stress appreciates the toll it can take on your physical and mental health. Often it takes a period of sustained stress for people to start to understand the implications for them. People who support those experiencing high levels of stress understand the implications of it. They know what it can do to your mental and emotional health, how it affects your physical health, and what the repercussions are.
Felling overwhelmed is a stress response that often stops us in our tracks. Leaving us feeling like you can’t handle your daily life, that it can lead to burnout and work issues, and cause problems with your relationships and personal life. Harmful stress, over time, will start to present itself somewhere in the body, for example as a skin rash or possibly illness.
If this sounds like you, don’t just make it a habit where you go through cycles of extreme stress, holding out for the less stressful time....
With all of the wellbeing information available online at the tap of a finger, there’s a risk of becoming overwhelmed by it all. We are constantly exposed to new information on a daily or even hourly basis at times. Wellbeing intersects with so many parts of our lives and the research on how to maintain or improve it is exploding at the moment.
What if you could distil what’s out there into 3 wellbeing principles?
Regular amounts of sleep
It is often said that preparing for the day starts the night before. 95% of the population needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, how much are you getting? Sleep is not the lack of awake-ness. Sleep is an important biological process that the brain needs to lay down memories, consolidate learning, and remove toxins that have built-up from the day. Consider going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, weekends included.
Sleep deprivation can impact your cognitive functioning, compromise your immunity to...
The drinking of alcohol is widespread within Australia and it is linked to many work, social and cultural activities. Perhaps surprisingly, 1 in 4 people have consumed alcohol at levels placing them at risk of harm on a single occasion, at least monthly, within the last year.
Alcohol in small quantities can make people feel more relaxed and sociable. However, it is a depressant so drinking too much of it can make people want to withdraw from others. Alternatively, drinking too much alcohol can make people feel aggressive and want to act out on their aggression which can lead to serious consequences.
In small quantities alcohol can make you feel like you are having lots of fun however too much alcohol makes people feel depressed or sad. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to people feeling sick or vomiting. Some may even experience an ‘alcoholic blackout’ where they have no memory...