Katy Maycock, author of ‘Get Your S**t Together’, works with business leaders to help them find balance and stay healthy whilst working within exceptionally challenging roles. The author lived with anxiety for eighteen years before realising what was happening. It was almost too late. She talks about everything coming to a head when she was unable to get out of bed from exhaustion. Her joints had swelled, her digestive system was unable to function properly and her face was full of cold sores. It was undeniable. Years of stress and anxiety had taken its toll. So, Katy set out to do something about it. Her research encompassed how she viewed everything in her life. Work. Relationships. Diet. Exercise. In a year, where the population’s stress and anxiety has peaked, Katy’s observations are refreshing, enlightening and liberating.
It’s often the first thing we ditch when life gets busy. If you recognise this, it’s time to change your mind-set around exercise. Getting the blood flowing refreshes and re-energises us. Gone are the days where you need to travel to a gym or join a 45- minute exercise class. As little as 10 minutes of exercise is beneficial and should be your daily minimum. Another practical option is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which doesn’t have to be time-consuming. These workouts incorporate short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. Schedule exercise into your diary. It’s more likely to happen if you do. Having a buddy to keep you motivated to do exercise is another great strategy.
Innovations like Peloton also offer flexibility. Granted, it’s an investment, but you can do a class anytime from the comfort of your home. Walking the dog counts too! Manage time smartly. If it’s a full-on day, use the dog walk to make some calls. Katy refers to these as ‘talking and walking meetings.’ Even though you’re working, you still get to do the dog walk. It shouldn’t be sacrificed.
What we put into our body is of equal importance. Katy highlights that we should be disciplined about drinking habits. Alcohol gets used as a crux for relaxation and winding down post work. Exercise is a healthier alternative. While it may not cause an issue today, later down the line, habitual drinking can cause digestive issues.
Technological developments have enabled incredible access to the world community and instant communication, but it brings challenges too. Work and home life are no longer separate. Now, we wake up and instantly scroll through our phone, checking emails, social media and often beginning work. Post work, we come home and do more of the same.
It’s incredibly important to set boundaries. Question productivity if you’re sitting on a laptop late into the evening. Might it be better to have an evening of relaxation, go early to bed and rise earlier to finish that document, feeling fresh and clear-minded? Phones don’t belong in bedrooms. Nor should you be doing anything digital five minutes before you’d like to go to sleep.
Work better from home by mixing things up daily. A change of space, place, table location, direction of view or a change of room can refocus and re-energise you. Book grey time into your diary. This means a proper lunch break, a change of scenery, a walk or a meeting over coffee. Try using our FOCUS Aromatherapy Balm to refocus on work after a grey time break.
The most important relationship is with our-self. From now on, view yourself as the priority, not everyone else. Katy often talks about being a human first, then a businessperson. When everything revolves around the next deadline or a KPI, it’s easy to lose yourself. Over time, you forget what makes you tick, your values and what you feel passionate about. Ask the question. What makes you happy? If you find this difficult to answer, you’re not alone. It’s an indication that you need to conduct some internal research and work on self-awareness and self-care. Otherwise, you face feeling depressed, stressed, frustrated, unfulfilled and burnt out.
Listen to your body. It’s the best indicator of your health. Don’t ignore warning signs. Coughs, colds, aches, pains and digestive issues – these indicate a system that’s run down. If it’s not attended to, it can progress and become more sinister. Know when you’ve hit your limit and stop pushing yourself. Then give yourself a huge dose of self-care. Remember, always be human first.