How has your week been? Has it been slow or fast? Hard or easy? Fun or downright NOT fun? Has it been a bit MANIC?!
I started writing this email to you yesterday afternoon on the train back home from London This week has indeed been manic: Jam-packed with great connections, opportunities, challenges and events. I have met some wonderful people, achieved positive things and worked really really hard!
Maybe, like mine, your life can often be a bit manic, packed with things like this..
▪ Client delivery
▪ Commuter chaos
▪ Organising extra childcare due to travel
▪ Ditto for dog care!
▪ Trying to figure out what you’re going to feed the kids at night
▪ Wishing your kids would get to bed so you can go to bed early
If any of these strike a chord, here are 8 of my own top tips that help me. And I share them with you in the hope that they will help to keep you sane, happy and healthy too, even when life is a bit manic!
One of the things you have to consciously make a priority as much as possible when life is manic is getting enough sleep as possible. I realise the irony of this, of course! However, lack of sleep causes cortisol levels to rise which increases stress. Apart from the more serious health risks of elevated cortisol over a long period of time, in the short term when you’re tired you eat more when you’re tired, you put weight and so on.
According to one tabloid I glanced at yesterday, here in the UK we’ve had the “HOTTEST JULY EVER”. Us Brits tend to start melting as soon as we get a heatwave, we don’t cope very well. Which means we haven’t slept too well here this week. My point is this: Don’t sweat it (pardon the pun) if you have a few bad nights sleep. Seek opportunities for a few minutes rest throughout your day. You WILL get through that important client meeting even if you feel as if you’re an extra on the set of The Walking Dead. You WILL make it til the end of the day even though you are so tired your brain is addled. Remember what I said about cortisol levels? Well, you’ll raise them even more if you get stressed about not sleeping!
If you’re a mum or a carer, it is hard. I’m a single mum and it’s really hard sometimes. I can’t just flop on the sofa as soon as you get in from a busy day and there’s nobody else to do one thing whilst you do another. Many of you will know about that anyway with partners working away from home. Your kids will want your attention, kids are selfish and quite frankly they don’t really give 2 hoots about your problems. Try to be the “adult”, shrug your shoulders and remember why you love the little blighters!
Easier said than done when you’re busy, I know! But we all know that what we put in our bodies has a big effect on how we feel. I’ve been carrying a bag of nuts around with me this week, a flask of iced mint tea and a bottle of water. I can tell you that these things were manna from heaven when I got caught in the worst “commuter chaos” of the year on Wednesday on “the hottest day of the year”.
Right now I’m pretty tired and I’ve noticed a tummy ache which greeted me on Wednesday morning and hasn’t completely left yet. I know what this is – too much adrenaline coursing through my body, not surprising with all the things that are going on. But the point is this – be mindful of what your body is telling you. It has taken me many years to “get” this!
I’ve seen too many of my clients and friends literally make themselves ill by not listening to the warning signs. If something starts niggling, then think about what you can do to gently deal with it. For me, it means more mini mindfulness moments (meditation) each day, putting my hands on my tummy and constantly reminding myself that “this too shall pass”. Yep.. it can be that simple!
I have decreed Sunday as a complete relaxation day. No rushing round, no extreme physical exertion, no work, just a complete wind down. If you’ve got a run of manic days, look in your diary for slots when you can just switch off and SCHEDULE THEM IN!
I save the best for last: I do this every day and I think it’s the most important tip! Life can be serious, which is exactly why you need to train yourself to see the funny side, look for the absurd, lighten up and go with the flow. Put a smile on your face and remember that, whatever your challenges right now, this is just another opportunity to build your resilience and look for the ridiculous, mad, daft or fun side.