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Coach Carlene

People pleasing is the desire to make other people like you. That’s why you put yourself second, because you think people will like you better if you put them first.

People pleasing is a habit grounded in fear of rejection, of disappointing others and keeps you stuck in the exhausting cycle of trying to silence your inner critic of not feeling good enough to be loved. 

We people please for many reasons. 

It could be a response to fear associated with a past trauma. Maybe you’ve experienced abuse and you learned it was safer to do what other people wanted and take care of their needs first. By people- pleasing, you made yourself likable, and therefore safe.

Or it could be self-esteem issues. Maybe when you were younger you learned that your value comes from what you do for others. This will probably play on repeat throughout your life unless you work to undo the message.

Or it could be fear of rejection. If your parent offered you approval and love based largely on your behavior, you probably realized pretty quickly it was best to keep them happy. To avoid rejection in the form of criticism and punishment when you did something wrong, you learned to always do what they wanted, maybe before they even asked it of you.

Wherever it comes from, people-pleasing is damaging to you, others, and your relationships. It plays out with many negative consequences including:
  • You feel frustrated and resentful.
  • People take advantage of you.
  • Your relationships don’t satisfy you.
  • You experience increased stress and burnout.
  • Partners and friends become frustrated with you.

Here are 6 signs you’re a people pleaser:

  1. 1. You’re terrified of disappointing people.

You might worry that telling someone “no” or turning down a request for help will make them think you don’t care about them. Agreeing to do what they want might seem like a safer option, even if you don’t actually have the time or inclination to help. 

  • 2. You feel like everything is your fault.

Are you always ready with a “sorry!” when something goes wrong? People pleasing involves readiness to take on blame, even when what happened has nothing to do with you.

  • 3. Your sense of worth comes from being needed.

People pleasers often deal with low self-esteem and draw their self-worth from the approval of others. You spend a lot of time worrying about rejection. You may think, “I am only worthy of love if I give everything to someone else.” You may believe people only care about you when you’re useful and need their praise and appreciation in order to feel good about yourself. 

  • 4. You have trouble asking for help.

You don’t want to impose or interrupt anyone else. They may think you’re not capable if you ask for help. You think it’s best to figure it out on your own

  • 5. You hate conflict and will avoid it all costs.

You’re quick to agree, even when you don’t really agree. Agreeability often seems like a surefire way to win approval. You’re really setting yourself (and others) up for future frustration. The flaws you could have brought to light early on will eventually surface. 

  • 6. You take care of everybody else and do a lousy job of taking care of yourself.

Try to pinpoint the last time you did something just for yourself. Do you have many moments like that? If you can’t think of many (or any) instances, you could have some people-pleasing tendencies.

3 Secrets to ending the habit of people-pleasing.

  1. 1. Learn to set boundaries.

Next time someone asks for help or you tempted to intervene, consider:

  • How you feel about the action. Is it something you want to do or are you dreading it.
  • Whether you have time to see to your own needs first. Will you have to sacrifice limited free time or skip out on some necessary self-care?
  • How helping will make you feel. Will it make you feel happy or resentful?
  • 2. Wait until you’re asked to help.

No matter what the problem is, you’re always ready with a solution. You jump in with fixing everything anytime someone mentions a problem. Next time, challenge yourself to wait until someone explicitly asks for help.

  • 3. The secret to ending this pattern is learning how to be okay with other people not liking you. When you truly like yourself, you’ll no longer struggle with people pleasing.

As long as YOU like yourself, nothing else matters. 

Break the habit of people pleasing by learning to love yourself FIRST, even if that means making some people upset or even making them NOT like you. 

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You think self-care isn’t that important because you are getting by each day. Your body is resilient. You can neglect it and not only will it keep working but it will alter itself to keep up with garbage habits. You might not realize the toll it’s taking because you can “push through”.

Every choice and action does have effects. You may just be so deep into exhaustion and neglect that nothing really seems to be “bad enough” until something drastic happens.

If you could experience five seconds of how good you could feel with good self-care you would have endless motivation to keep it going.

Thought 1:

You think “self-care is not that important.”

This is a direct hit to your self-worth. Saying self-care doesn’t matter that much is like saying I don’t matter.

Low self-worth tricks you into believing that your own health, personal development or rejuvenation doesn’t matter. It’s not true.

You do matter. How you take care of yourself with thoughts and action signals to your mind that you DO MATTER.

Thought 2:

You think “self-care is selfish or takes away from others.”

This also implies low self-worth because you think another human is more important instead of equal, and it also makes you feel guilty.

Self-care = self-responsibility. Not selfishness.

Look, if your definition of self-care means you ignore people you love and purposely cause suffering to get your massage, then yes. You are selfish. But that’s not what self-care is.

Caring for yourself doesn’t equal someone else’s suffering.

What is your intent? To make sure you get yours and everyone is punished? Or is it to take care of you so you can stop being so short-tempered, ill, or worn out when somebody wants to talk to you after a long day?

“Self-care is giving the
world the best of you
instead of what’s left of
you.”

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I know it can be hard to fit self-care into your life. Twenty minutes when you park your butt on the couch is twenty minutes you’re not with your kids, or doing all that stuff on your to do list.

But skimping on self-care is not going to help you get those million things done. It might work some of the time but eventually you are burned out and resentful.

Self-care comes in all kinds of forms from laying on the couch for 10 minutes to staying hydrated on days you are busy.

Self-care can also mean relaxing your unrealistic expectations of yourself. Sometimes the best self-care is looking at your personal expectations and to do lists and evaluating if this is even what you want to be doing. Often, we ignore our basic wants. Self-care is paying attention to them.

What are some doable self-care things you’re going to start doing every day?

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The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

Burnout is not what you think it is. It is not about being too busy or having too much to do.

You see, burnout is about how we handle having too much to do. It’s about how we let our to-do lists and demands from others hijack us and create a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet those constant demands.

You are the only one who can manage how you respond to all that stuff coming at you. It’s about protecting your energy and you have control over that.

Here are 7 ways you can start protecting your energy today.

  1. Unfollow, mute, or block as needed on social media.
    Social media is a huge “energy suck”. Mentally we compare ourselves to others and feel like we aren’t enough, that we don’t have enough. This zaps so much energy. Make sure if you are on social media that you unfollow those accounts that make you feel like garbage. Follow “real people”. They should inspire you, make you laugh and show you their flaws, struggles and triumphs.

  2. Turn your ringer off, leave the text unread, or call them back later.
    Technology has put us in a state of being expected to answer someone immediately. Think about how you feel when someone doesn’t respond to your text right away. Do you think, “Oh they must be upset with me”, or “They don’t care about me”, or “They really don’t want to go hang out so they’re ignoring me”?

    Most of the time, none of those are true. Most likely, these are the people who are setting boundaries to give themselves a break from constantly “being on”. Follow their lead. It’s up to you to manage peoples expectations of you. Initially, set-up some auto-responses when you get a text or a call that let’s everyone know you are not available right now and you’ll get back to them as soon as you can.

  3. Take an emotional/mental break from people that leave you drained.
    Again, this is about setting boundaries. We all have those people in our lives who use up all our energy reserves. You can still be there for these people, but you need to set boundaries on how often you make yourself available to them.

  4. Practice resting as a preventative measure.
    I can’t even tell you how many of us punish ourselves for taking a break. When we’re taking a break we sit there and feel guilty, thinking about all the other things we SHOULD be doing instead. The challenge is to REST, GUILT FREE. When you truly check out mentally, you will return to your work with a fresh perspective, clear of the brain fog.

  5. Don’t be available for every request of your time.
    Do you hear boundaries again? You can start adopting a personal challenge to start saying NO. You could start slow by simply saying “Not now.” Everyone else will be amazed at how capable they are when they now have the space to have to figure something out on their own without you. If you’re being asked to do something socially, that you know drains you, then say “not now”. You have the power to choose.

  6. Stop doing things just because you SHOULD or can do it yourself.
    First ask yourself what would happen if you simply did not do this thing? Would anyone else care? Do you really care? If not, stop doing it. If it is a MUST do, consider asking for help or pay for assistance if you can.

  7. Speak up as a strategy to prevent future frustration, burnout, and discomfort.
    You need to tell people what’s going on with you. If there is too much on your plate at work, speak up. Of course, don’t do this in a whining, complaining way. Tell your boss, you feel like the workload is too much and you’re concerned the quality of your work is at risk and you want to do your best work. Go in with a solution, maybe recommending what can come off your plate or what can be put on hold for now.

    If you’re frustrated at home, talk to your family and tell them what you need and from them. No one can read your mind.

You know your needs. Honor your needs by protecting your energy. You get to decide how to use it.

If you like this, grab your free guide here:
The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

Burnout is the product of unhealthy expectations with yourself or others. We cannot do and be everything. 

Much worse than ordinary fatigue, burnout makes it challenging for you to cope with stress and handle day-to-day responsibilities.

If you’re experiencing burnout you may often feel like you have nothing left to give and may dread getting out of bed each morning. You may even adopt a pessimistic outlook toward life and feel hopeless.

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

Do you recognize any of these 7 Common Causes of Burnout in your life?

~Listening to people when you don’t have the emotional capacity to hold space for them.

~Working hard and not being shown appreciation for your efforts.

~Overextending yourself to others.

~Unreasonable expectations for yourself or unreasonable expectations placed on you.

~Not taking care of yourself but taking care of others.

~Trying to manage situations outside of your control.

~Offering advice to people who don’t value your feedback.

Once you identify what is causing your burnout you can take steps eliminate them or manage them in a healthy way.

Tune in to your behaviors and how you are really feeling. You may find you’re suffering from one or more of these burnout symptoms

Exhaustion. Feeling physically and emotionally depleted. Physical symptoms may include headaches, stomachaches, and appetite or sleeping changes.

Isolation. You tend to feel overwhelmed. As a result, you may stop socializing and confiding in friends, family members, and co-workers.

Escape fantasies. Dissatisfied with the never-ending demands of your job, you may fantasize about running away or going on a solo-vacation. In extreme cases, you may turn to drugs, alcohol, or food as a way to numb your emotional pain.

Irritability. Burnout can cause you to lose your cool with friends, co-workers, and family members more easily. Coping with normal stressors like preparing for a work meeting, driving kids to school, and tending to household tasks also may start to feel insurmountable, especially when things don’t go as planned.

Frequent illnesses. Burnout, like other long-term stress, can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, the flu, and insomnia. Burnout can also lead to mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.

Stress is unavoidable. Burnout won’t go away on its’ own, but it is preventable by taking some steps to keep stress from getting the best of you. 

  1. Let go of people pleasing
  2. Accept that you’re not supposed to spread yourself so thin
  3. Eliminate toxic people and find people to support you
  4. Get back to the basics of self-care

    Exercise: Not only is exercise good for our physical health, but it also gives us an emotional boost.
    Stretched for time? You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to reap these benefits. Mini-workouts and short walks are convenient ways to make exercise a daily habit.

    Eat a balanced diet: Eating a healthy diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids can be a natural antidepressant. Adding foods rich in omega-3s like flaxseed oil, walnuts, and fish may help give your mood a boost.

    Practice good sleep habits: Our bodies need time to rest and reset which is why healthy sleep habits are essential for our well-being. According to the National Sleep Foundation, avoiding caffeine before bedtime, establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual, and banning smartphones from the bedroom can help promote sound sleep hygiene.

    Ask for help: During stressful times, it’s important to reach out for help. If asking for assistance feels difficult, consider developing a self-care “check-in” with close friends and family members so that you can take care of each other during trying times.

Knowing your limits is an important part of preventing burnout.

If you are experiencing burnout, consider this:

What can you change now?

What needs to change soon?

What supports do you need?

What boundaries can you place with yourself and others?

When you realize that you won’t die from letting go of things you thought you needed, you will be able to pursue things that are healthier for you. As you learn to let go, your self-esteem and self-confidence will grow.

Letting go is so hard because we allow our default thoughts to keep us stuck. The more we can simply watch our thoughts come and go without attaching our identity to them, the easier letting go becomes.

Thoughts are nothing more than thoughts. What we decide to do with them is what can either make us or break us.

Letting go requires you to release all doubt, worry, and fear about a situation, person or outcome.

Letting go is about accepting what is happening right now and not worrying about what will come up tomorrow.

Learning to let go is not as difficult as you might think. But it does take some courage and determination. Here are 5 Steps you can take to start letting go.

1. Stop Blaming Others

We often blame others for our misfortunes. We feel we’re the victim of others’ injustices. While this may be the case, we cannot waste our lives waiting for other people to repair the harm they did to us. They may be unwilling, or even unable.

2. Make a Decision to Let Go

Letting go is a choice to decide that you will no longer ruminate on things that are out of your control, and focus on what you can control, instead.

It would help if you put that decision in writing. Write a statement like, “I have decided to let go of ________. I realize that holding on to this is preventing me from growing and being happy.” You can expand on this by listing more of the benefits you’ll receive, and how you look forward to a new chapter in your life.

Once you’ve written your decision statement, print it and post it some place where you’ll see it every day. Also, copy it by hand in a notebook regularly, such as once a day until you are certain you won’t go back. This will ingrain it in your subconscious mind, and the new behavior will begin to manifest itself naturally.

3. Trust That You’ll Be Okay

One of the reasons we hold on to things is that we think we need them to survive. Remember, letting go is the release of our mental and emotional fixation on something. It is not a physical letting go. 

Trust that you’ll be okay. If you have to, lean on a friend. Your experience isn’t unique. Chances are that many other people have gone through the same experience, and they’ve survived. You don’t have to go through a detachment by yourself. You are not alone.

4. Forgive

To truly let go and move on, sometimes you have to forgive people who aren’t even sorry. Sometimes you have to accept an apology you’ll never receive. That takes so much strength and courage and humility. While it may seem unfair and backwards, sometimes, that’s how the chips will fall.

There’s nothing worse than holding onto resentment about someone or something for years, while they happily move on with life. And the reality is, doing this only hurts you. The most important thing is that we also have to learn to forgive ourselves.

This can be done by writing a letter to yourself, replacing self-loathing with self-compassion, and deciding to make better choices next time.

5. Learn the Lesson and Move On

Life is a series of experiences that are meant to teach us important lessons. When we refuse to let go of something, it is because we refuse to see what life is trying to teach us. As a result, we feel stuck.

When you’re having trouble letting go of something, ask yourself, “what can I learn from this experience?” The answer may not be revealed to you immediately. But when it is, you’ll be able to let go, and move on with your life.

Everyday we have a choice to keep holding on just a little bit longer, or choose that today is the day we will finally let go.

If you like this, you’ll love this free guide.

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence.

How we set-up our day determines how we end our day.

It’s so common for many of us to hit the snooze button everyday.

The amount of sleep you get never feels like enough, so you use your snooze button to tack on an extra 10, 20, 30 minutes… whatever you can squeeze in.

Those stolen minutes — as delicious as they seem — aren’t worth it. 

I’ve heard you should get up as soon as your alarm rings — but why is hitting that snooze button bad for you? Turns out this habit is counterintuitive; instead of giving us a little more rest, it makes us more tired during the day.

Contrary to what you might think, those spurts of sleep between alarms won’t leave you feeling more rested. You’re basically oscillating between sleep and wakefulness without reaching deep, restorative sleep, which takes longer than just a few minutes to enter, according to Xue Ming, a professor of neurology at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, who specializes in sleep disorders.

The body needs some time to get you ready to wake up. When you let yourself go back to sleep, your body thinks, “False alarm! I guess I didn’t need to do anything, because we’re not getting up after all,” and settles in.

When that buzzer goes off a second time, your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in that groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia. The more you snooze, the more confused your body and brain get (“So are we going back to sleep or not?!”), so you’ll probably feel more out of it even though you actually spent extra time in bed.

What’s more, this groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling can persist for up to two to four hours.

This sleep inertia leads to difficulty getting our day started. It’s harder to get in the zone and focus. Our attention span is shorter throughout day. We get cranky more easily and we give up on ourselves. 

At day’s end, we feel like garbage because we didn’t get our stuff done and then we repeat the snooze button habit all over again.

The answer here is simple. Set your alarm for the time you really want to get up. When your alarm goes off, GET UP! 

A simple answer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a simple habit to break. Tell yourself before you go to bed that you are going to get up when your alarm goes off. Then when it goes off in the morning, count down 5-4-3-2-1 and GET UP.

It literally, takes our brain 5 seconds to talk us out of doing the thing we promised ourselves we’d do. Counting backwards and then taking action will interrupt your habit brain. 

Think about how great it will feel to NOT be in a brain fog for hours. Think about how much more you’ll be able to accomplish. Think about how good you’ll feel at the end of the day.

If you liked this grab your free Productivity Guide here.

When we are stressed and anxious we usually fall into one or more behavior traps that keep us stuck. We repeat these things over and over. Most of the time we don’t even know we are doing these things. They have become our habit and our way of protecting ourselves.

These are the most common go-to behaviors when our anxiety is triggered and what you can do instead.

1. PROCRASTINATION

Procrastination is a way of avoiding the thing that is stressful for you. This keeps you from doing the things you want and need to do and you likely beat yourself up for procrastinating. 

What to do instead:

When your procrastination has been triggered, ask yourself, “What am I avoiding? Can I avoid it forever or will I have to do it eventually?”

Most likely, you’re going to have to do it at some point.  You get to choose if you step into this zone of being uncomfortable now or later. Choose now so you can get it over with and you can stop thinking and stressing about it.  

If you are second-guessing yourself and you’re not sure what your first or next step is, talk it out with a friend or co-worker. The fear of “I don’t know what to do” can be solved quickly.

Now go do the darn thing! You got this!

2. WORRYING 

When you feel anxious, you think about everything that can go wrong. You stay stuck in the worry and cannot take action. 99.9% of the things you are worrying about will never happen. It feels so huge in your head though. Worrying creates stress in your body and leads to full blown anxiety. Do you wake in the middle of the night worrying about things? It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? 

The fact is, that never, ever, ever has a problem been solved by worrying.  

Here’s how to break the worry cycle:

Ask yourself, “What do I have control over?” Then decide what action you can take in that space of control. Worrying is NOT an action. 

Once you see there is something you can do, go do it! There is nothing more powerful over our minds than taking action and proving all our worry thoughts wrong. 

3. PERFECTIONISM 

Did you know that perfectionism is the greatest form of procrastination? It helps us avoid the things that make us anxious. Perfect does NOT exist, which means you will never finish that thing you’re working on. You may never even get started.

Perfectionism is a trap, fooling us into thinking that we have such high standards for ourselves and that’s a good thing. Wrong! It holds us back from learning and growing. If you’ve ever heard of the growth mindset, you know what I’m talking about. When you adopt a growth mindset you don’t think about getting it all right. You think about what is this “try” going to teach me, so the next time I “try” I’ll be smarter. 

Here’s what you can do:

When you find yourself trying to get it perfect, ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that will happen if this is B+ work instead of A+ work? Will anyone but me really notice?” Probably not. Approach each thing you are avoiding as an opportunity to learn something new. If this mindset is foreign to you, check out Carol Dweck’s book Mindset – The New Psychology of Success.

4. STRESS EATING 

When you’re feeling anxious food comforts you. Well, it comforts you in the moment. But later you most likely regret that emotional eating. We all have our comfort foods. The biggest problem with this behavior is it is such an auto-pilot response we don’t even notice it. 

Here’s what you can do:

Before you grab something and put it in your mouth ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” If not, exit the kitchen and go get busy for 10 minutes. Your desire to comfort yourself with food will most likely go away.  Try some deep breathing.

And this next one is the most powerful…get up and move! Anxiety isn’t just an emotion. It sits in our body as muscle aches, a racing heart, a heavy heart, sweaty palms etc. When you move, you help the anxiety move through and out of your body. Give it a try.

If you’re not sure which of the above behaviors is your default, go take this quick 5 question quiz to find out.

Overwhelm is paralyzing. We can’t think logically or make decisions or take action. 

 I’m telling you, my friend, you want to fight this overwhelm. If you allow yourself to stay in the state of being overwhelmed by the amount of things that you have to do, that pressure and that uncertainty combined with this feeling that you can’t get anything done, is going to create anxiety in your life. It’s going to impact not only your wellbeing but, it’s also going to severely limit your ability to focus and get things done. 

The two most important things to understand about overwhelm is first, what it is, and second, a simple tool you can use to get rid of it. 

In order to do your best thinking, you need to make sure you’ve got the full capacity of your brain leveraged and pointed at the things that are important to you. 

Here’s the problem. When you go through life, as you go through life, what happens is your brain starts to fill up with information and that’s what creates a state of feeling overwhelmed.

Being overwhelmed is nothing more than having a full brain. 

As you go through your day to day life and… 

start checking email and 

looking at texts and 

looking at Facebook and 

sitting in meetings and

going to class and 

flipping through television channels and 

sending emails and 

writing excel spreadsheets and 

running and picking up the kids and 

getting another text and 

looking at Instagram and 

looking at Twitter and 

checking out the news, 

…your brain gets pretty full doesn’t it? And now you feel overwhelmed because your brain is full of a bunch of garbage.

In order to fight overwhelm, you need to do a brain dump. You have to get rid of all that stuff so that you’ve got an empty brain so you can focus again. 

You are literally going to dump out everything that’s in your head onto a piece of paper; every concern, every worry, every to do, everything that’s bothering you that you’re thinking about, you’re going to write it down.

When you’re done writing down everything that’s in your head and there’s absolutely nothing left, pull out a highlighter. Take a look. You could do everything that’s on that list, you could. But what should you do? 

What are three things, just three, that you need to do in order to advance the things that matter to you most? Highlight these three things.

See all that garbage that is NOT highlighted? That is the garbage causing your overwhelm. It’s other people’s stuff. It’s the email stuff.  It’s the meeting stuff. It’s the stuff that’s not all that important. By dumping all that garbage out, you’ve gotten clear on the three most important things you need to do. You’ve got a clear head so you can get it done. 

It works. So, go do it and get back in action!

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The Habit of Self-Doubt:
Crush it and Build Real Confidence

We can all agree that waking up feeling anxious sets you up for a horrible day. And how crappy is it that you haven’t even gotten out of bed and you’re stressed already?!

It doesn’t have to be that way. Trust me. If you take one small step it will lead to another small step and then another. You don’t have to sit in your anxiety. Follow these steps and then I invite you to add/change them based on what works for you. Make yourself a promise to take one first step.

1.Get up! Do not lay in bed.

This is your one first step. It is also THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Let’s do this.

If you can get up, you can get moving. If you can get moving, you can get dressed. If you can get dressed, you can move your body. If you can move your body, you can move your emotions. If you can move your emotions, you can move your mind. If you can move your mind, you can move your mood. One thing leads to another. 

2. Make your bed. 

I still make my side of the bed even if my husband is still in it. I make my bed when I’m in a hotel room. I do it for myself. It’s a little promise I keep to myself. It’s a habit. Habits are amazing at grounding us. It creates a foundation; a foundation that’s there for us no matter where we are. It’s right here, even in a moment of anxiety. 

3. Talk back to your anxiety.

Remind yourself that you’re ok. Step back and notice that you are safe. Nothing bad is happening right now. Yes, the anxiety feels bad and uncomfortable, but you are ok. 

4. Get your exercise clothes on.

Seriously, this is a game changer. It’s a constant reminder that you need to move your body or exercise (whatever you call it). Do this step and you’re more likely to do the next step. In fact, I put my exercise clothes out the night before. I don’t need more decisions to make when I wake up.

5. Move your body. 

Moving your body, moves the anxiety out. This isn’t about crushing a workout. This is about doing whatever releases the stress and anxiety for you. For some it’s yoga, others cardio, others strength training, or simply stretch for 10 minutes. Play with it and see what gives you the best relief. 

6. Move your mind.

Journal. Do a brain dump. Write down every single thing that is on your mind. By clearing your mind and letting go off all that stuff, you manage the anxiety instead of it managing you. 

You don’t have to let anxiety hijack you. You can meet those moments and manage them. Whether those moments are when you wake up or it’s the anxiety that comes at night, or the anxiety that is your companion during the day.

Anxiety is a normal part of life. Having a simple process allows you to respond to it vs. reacting to it. It’s an essential skill that makes a profound difference in your ability to move through your life and face the obstacles that life throws at you. 

I’d love to hear what works for you. Give yourself permission to find your best way to manage your anxiety. 

Grab your free guide:

The Habit of Self-Doubt:
Crush it and Build Real Confidence

Tuning out her son army crawling across the floor to grab his headphones and helping her daughter make homemade tortillas for her Spanish class all while running a virtual team meeting was the breaking point for one of my executive clients.

Let’s call this client Claire. During our last conversation I could hear her exhaustion, frustration and overwhelm.

She sighed, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I’ve hit the wall!”

Can you relate?

After weeks and weeks “safe-at-home” we are hearing more and more that people are feeling overworked, distracted, stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. Adrenaline got us through those first weeks. Now we’re reaching into our energy reserves to get us through.

Claire knows she is not showing up for her team or family like she wants to or like they need her to. Not only is she distracted, but she’s got a short fuse. She says she doesn’t have any patience to listen to her family or team. She wants to simply tell them what to do and move on. Her stress is at an all-time high.

When our brains are flooded with stress chemicals, we lose the ability to show up with empathy.

Add to that, we are no longer getting that great energy from being with others in person.

And the cherry on top is that connecting virtually comes at a cost. According to Harvard Business Review, we are suffering from “Zoom fatigue”. They have found that when we are on virtual calls, we have to use so much more energy to focus. This explains why Claire is so exhausted after meeting on-screen at least 6 hours a day.

Meeting in person is like having a healthy, well-balanced meal and meeting virtually is like eating cheetos for dinner.

After talking more, we discovered Claire is not taking care of herself. Her sleep is erratic at best. Exercise is non-existent. She has her leaded coffee for breakfast, cheez itz for lunch and M&M’s for dinner.

Claire wants to do better.

I asked her what she could do now to empty all the crap out of her cup and fill it with things to reduce her stress and give her more energy and focus.

She said, “I think I need to make wellness part of my job description. Framing it that way will help me make it a priority.”

I usually don’t encourage clients to take on more than one change at a time. But Claire is ready to do radical self-care. She decided to tackle three areas that will have the greatest positive impact on her overall well-being.

Eating

  • Claire has committed to eating something high in protein with her morning coffee.
  • She’s blocking 30 minutes at noon each day to eat a healthy lunch with her daughter and catch up with her.
  • She’s telling her team that her workday is done at 6pm and will make a weekly plan with her family for getting a healthy meal on the table every night.

Movement (Exercise has a negative connotation for Claire.)

  • Claire committed to doing 15 push-ups as she rolls out of bed.
  • Claire will set her timer to go off 30 minutes into each meeting and have everyone get up and move for 5 minutes.
  • She committed to walking the dog with her husband every night after dinner.

Sleep

  • Claire will go to bed at 10:30pm and wake up at 6:30am every day.
  • She will do a 5-10 minute meditation to wind down from the day and clear her mind.
  • She will not check her phone in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. She will check her phone after she has had her breakfast.

This is the time to double down on our self-care.

In fact, Claire told me she was never this “messy” with her self-care. She can’t even believe what bad habits she has adopted these past several weeks. She’s confident she can get back on track.

If you’ve got some messy self-care going on, make your own action plan of specific things you’re going to do to start feeling better.

Feeling crazed and exhausted every day? I know the feeling. The fix sounds simple…make self-care a non-negotiable priority.

It’s likely if you’re not recharging your battery every single day, you’re walking around haggard, crabby, and resentful.

The first step in self-care is to be gentle and kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion.

Next, give yourself permission to get support around your self-care. Yes, you can ask for help. It’s a positive healthy part of life.

Now, make a commitment with your spouse, a friend, your sister, anyone who loves you a lot and scares you just a little to hold you accountable. Ok? You got your person? Good.

Lastly, be realistic. I know you have superhuman powers. After all you’re a woman. It goes without saying. Choose just one of the following hacks to start. Not all of them. Once you’ve made one of these part of your life, add on another. Read More

It feels like everyone expects you to cooperatively organize everyone without complaining, and look great while you do it.

It’s unrealistic for anyone. There’s the part of you that knows it’s unrealistic, and then there’s the part of you that pursues it anyway.

When you feel chronically strung out and stressed, you don’t feel you deserve any time for yourself.

You don’t feel entitled to relaxation or adequate sleep, and you put your own self-care on the back burner.

This saps your resources, makes you more likely to get sick or have an accident, and exacerbates your ADHD symptoms even more. Feeling awful becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Don’t give up hope. Read More