Exhaustion seems to be the new “badge of honor.”
It affects both men and women, although women’s nervous systems are not designed to be as resilient to stress as their male counterparts.
We don’t have to look very far for the impact that stress has on our physical health, on your mood, and on your behavior: nagging headaches, frequent insomnia, decreased ability to focus and be productive, anxiety, and weight gain or loss, to name just the tip of the iceberg.
If you think living a stressful life is normal, it’s time to think again, if you are interested in living a quality life.
I remember, when I worked for a Fortune 500 company, getting into the office earlier and earlier and staying later and later. Arriving home around 8 PM, I would drink a glass of wine with my dinner and then fall asleep – only to repeat the scenario all over again.
Taking time off was discouraged. “You’ll miss too much if you take a vacation. Better to spread it out talking a 3-day weekend every so often,” was the advice from my boss!
After four years, and 30 lbs gained, I decided that it didn’t matter how much money you made if you had no time to spend it!
According to The Huffington Post, 40% of workers leave paid vacation days on the table! And, a recent marketwatch.com post shouts that Americans forfeit over a billion dollars per year in paid vacation days!
What’s up with that?
The path of the entrepreneur is not much different.
Do you notice how you’ve taken over the voice of your boss, insisting that you chain yourself to your desk even on Bank Holidays?
When was the last time you took a vacation longer than 3-5 days?
When do you take the time to smell the roses, or exercise your body?
Does your workday include some balance points that provide a pause, an opportunity to breathe some fresh air, or to sip tea out of a bone china teacup?
If this profile fits you then, perhaps, it’s time to redesign your life! Here’s how:
- Start by noticing where the issues are in your life.
Is it your health, your stamina, or is it your impact in the world? Could it be that your finances are drawing your attention more than usual or that you are tired of limping along financially?
Perhaps, your relationships are up: your partner or spouse, or family, complaining that you aren’t present for them? When problems surface in life, it’s your sub-conscious trying to get your attention to make a needed change.
- Continue by examining your habits.
Do they make you feel more alive or do you perform them by rote, just because you always have? We’re not just talking about negative habits like reaching for the next cigarette, pouring that next glass of wine or sitting on the couch all evening; we’re talking about habits that are unconscious.
Yes, negative habits can be unconscious; are you even aware of how many cigarettes you’ve smoked, or glasses of wine you’ve imbibed? But, we’re also talking about the habits you do by rote, meaning there is no awareness, no aliveness – you are not even present with what you are doing.
- Next, take a look at the beliefs that are running your life.
How current are they? Are they even yours, or are they your parents’ beliefs?
Most of our beliefs are limiting. For example, many of us were taught to believe in scarcity – or ‘Scare City.’ If this is the belief that drives you then when is any effort enough? Living in ‘Scare City.’
- Clean out the deadwood.
You know those projects or relationships that clutter up your day without contributing anything of value.
They have outlived their usefulness or they are a drain on your energy without giving enough back. Anything that needs to be released opens the space for something new to come in! It can’t get in while you have other stuff occupying the space.
This includes updating your address book, your Rolodex, your file cabinet. Perhaps your clutter is sending a signal that you are full and have no more room for new clients.
Now, that you’ve cleared the space and made some room, take a large sheet of paper and draw a circle in the middle. This represents your own self-care. After all, if you are a busy executive or an entrepreneur then you are the commodity you are selling.
If you don’t renew yourself on a regular basis you will burn out and no longer be able to play at the top of your game.
What nourishes and re-juices you?
We each have a different formula but typically quality time alone, time to stretch or go for a walk, time spent in nature, bubble baths, and massages are on most peoples’ lists.
Now, draw another circle around this first circle. This circle represents your inner circle; those people who are the most important to you. For most of us it’s your partner or spouse, children, family members and perhaps a ‘bestie’ (best friend).
The next circle, drawn around your inner circle, contains the next most important people in your life. For many of us, this means your clients or boss. It also includes people in your life that you hold dear; extended family, circle of friends, and your colleagues.
There’s one more circle to draw. This circle contains everyone else; people in your community, vendors and marketers, even strangers.
Now, take a look at your drawing. Where do you spend the majority of your time? Is it in alignment with what you say is most important? You are not alone if this shocks you as you recognize that you spend most of your time with people who are in your outer circles.
What one or two Inspired Action Steps could you take that would bring your life back into balance, or at least, move in that direction?
If you feel like sharing them, we’d love to hear!
About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams
Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.
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