Would it be ok if I laid down some truth with you?
It would help if you had a break.
I know that might be a little bold, but I also know if you're working and trying to live a great life while being amazing at both of them, you probably aren't taking enough breaks.
The result: stress, burnout, job dissatisfaction, unhappiness, health issues, and a whole lot of other problems. Daily self-care is critical to your overall well being and productivity.
In fact, according to studies, 58% of North Americans say they are overworked, and it's estimated that 1 in 4 quit their job due to stress. That's pretty high.
Check out our video on this.
Yet interestingly, two out of every three of those who reported feeling overworked also admit that their employers support work-life balance. It seems that a large portion of employers is offering stress relieving incentives that aren't being taken advantage of. In the hustle and bustle of life, we forget to take care of ourselves.
That's a shame.
Here's my question to you, what will you do today or even tomorrow to give yourself a break? It might be hard if you aren't used to it; in fact, it might also feel weird, but it's imperative that you do. So much depends on it.
If you're lucky enough to have an employer who offers stress-relieving incentives so you can enjoy your job and your life more, PLEASE take advantage of whatever it is they are offering. It means they care and value the hard work you do for them.
For those of you who aren't sure if your employer offers incentives, or know for sure they don't, it might be time you had a conversation and discussed what they would be willing to provide you with.
Finding a balance is never easy, but taking breaks should be. Imagine what changes would start to happen if you did.
You took a break to read this! Now wasn't that easy?
Below are my favorite self-care techniques to boost wellness. Leaders can encourage teams to support these initiatives in their own lives and for each other.
As one of the top motivational speakers, I travel over 200 days a year, and I have to admit, I get worn down. I have learned to monitor my emotions and energy level to stay on top of self-care. The most important thing I do every day toward this means is to meditate. Studies show meditation changes the brain. Meditation reduces activity in the stress portal of the mind and enhances activity in the other higher-level regions.
Meditation releases anxiety, improves attention, concentration, and overall well being. Personally, I feel that it helps me get in touch with my autonomous nervous system and balance the stimulation that seems to be the control center of my emotions.
If I am going to motivate others, I need to be able to stay motivated even though my job ( traveling) can be physically exhausting. Meditation is the key to wellness. I do it on planes, in hotel rooms, or standing in line at security. Over time, it's easier to stay focused even in distracting environments. You can be the calm in the storm if you train yourself to go within when everything around you is falling apart.
A good mind-body connection is critical to self-care. The busier you get, the more you lose touch of awareness of your stress levels in your body. For many people, the more stress we have, the more we rely on our fight or flight stress response to get us through. Yet, there is a wealth of natural wisdom available if you will tune in and listen to the mind-body connection.
Yoga uses stretching and poses to release stress in our muscles, strengthen the mind-body connection, and decrease stress hormones.
Yoga lower cortisol levels. This hormone puts you on high alert, which is helpful if you are in a crisis, but it will stay in your body long past the crisis subsides. Prolonged cortisol levels are where over 90% of our primary health problems lie ( heart disease, stroke, etc.). Prolonged exposure to cortisol is harmful to you. The best way to monitor it is to calm your central nervous system. I find yoga is an instant way to release stress and restore calm.
As a keynote speaker, I stretch before I speak, at airports and in hotel rooms. I carry with me a portable travel yoga matt, so I don't have to roll around on dirty airport floors! Trust me; if you are going to sit for 2-4 hour durations on different flights repeatedly, this takes a toll on your well being. The muscle starts to get sore, and you carry around a lot of tension. Experts agree you should get up, stand or walk around every 30 minutes. When you are on a plane, there is turbulence, and it bothers your neighbors, when you keep getting up, this isn't possible.
A good yoga stretch before a flight stretches those muscles out, so they don't take on as much tension.
I want you to love your job and keep doing what you're doing because the world needs good people like you in the workforce.
It's why I've dedicated my career to be a Keynote Speaker. I want to inspire change and show people who are feeling discouraged, and a little lost that work can be rewarding even fun, and provide alternate solutions to quitting.
But first, take a deep breath and start by taking a break.