5 Tips for Building Support Systems that Will Empower You During Stressful Times

“I’m so overwhelmed…”

Lately, it seems like this is the prevalent thought occupying space in your mind throughout the day. With all that’s going on in the world, it’s natural to feel your stress levels rising. But it doesn’t help when there’s already so much on your plate!

Running errands. Looking after the kids. Finding work/life balance (especially if you’re working from home). Now, you might be feeling distressed by the latest news surrounding COVID-19 and social unrest.

The cycle repeats with barely a moment to breathe and center yourself and eventually, signs of burnout start to settle in. 

It’s time to rely on your support systems.

  • When you feel overwhelmed, your support systems offer a helping hand. 
  • When you feel isolated, your support systems remind you that you are loved. 
  • When you feel yourself faltering, your support systems offer encouragement.

Physical distancing doesn’t mean you have to stay socially distant. You can still cultivate profound connections with your friends and loved ones! And by the end of this article, you will learn how to build your own support systems that empower you during stressful times.

The Importance of a Support System

Healthy and strong relationships are essential — especially if you’ve been feeling lonely during self-isolation. Harvard Medical School found that social connections “not only give us pleasure; they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking.”

That’s right. Connection is just as crucial to your well-being as proper nutrition and quality sleep. When you have strong relationships, you also have incredible support systems that help you:

  • Live longer
  • Heal from injury and sickness quicker
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Fortify your immune system
  • Improve your heart health.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, your support systems can help you feel focused and empowered again. They can offer you advice and encouragement when you’re stuck on a problem. Or they can simply offer an ear when you need to vent your frustrations.

Developing relationships is essential to your mental and even physical well-being. Here are a few tips for building support systems in your own life.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, your support systems can help you feel focused and empowered again. Click To Tweet

5 Tips for Building Support Systems that Will Empower You During Stressful Times

#1 Find Women on the Same Journey As You

Realizing your goals doesn’t have to be a solitary mission. There are so many women working toward the same things you want to achieve, whether it’s living a healthier lifestyle, building stronger relationships, or advancing in their careers.

Someone on the same journey as you will probably experience similar struggles. She can be someone who helps you tackle a shared problem and whom you can share your victories with.

You can also act as accountability partners to each other, continuously pushing each other to learn, grow, and achieve.

Share one goal you’re trying to achieve in the comments below. You just might find a kindred spirit on the same journey as you!

#2 Create More Intentional Family Time

There are many types of personal support systems and family is one of the most essential.

When was the last time your home had family time?

Pre-coronavirus, you went to work, ran errands, and attended to tasks. Your children were at school, playing sports, or spending time with their friends. 

Now, you and your partner might be working from home and your children might be taking online courses. Even with businesses reopening, it can still be a good idea to continue practicing physical distancing.

Since you see more of each other, why not spend some quality time together?

Sit around the dinner table as a family. Vote on a movie to watch together. Pull out the board games!

You can cultivate connection right at home with your own family.

#3 Check in Regularly 

These uncertain times of COVID-19 provide a good opportunity to check in on your friends and family. A simple text saying, “Hey, I hope you’re staying safe and healthy” can make the people within your support systems feel loved and appreciated.

But you don’t have to stop at texting. A phone call or a video call can personalize the conversation. In this day and age where our attention is so fractured, giving 100% of your focus and attention on the person you’re talking to can deepen your relationship and strengthen your bonds.

#4 Join an Online Hobby Group

During self-isolation, you might have picked up a hobby or two to help you tap into your creative flow.

The internet has created so many avenues to expand your social circle and engage with people with similar interests. For example, if you finally started on that book you always wanted to write, you can find a Facebook group for aspiring authors. 

Just because you’re not physically in the same room as other people doesn’t mean you need to stop communicating with other people altogether. You can seek online groups where you and other like-minded women can engage and cultivate a shared passion.

#5 Get Comfortable Asking for Help

Asking for help can be the hardest thing to do when you’re feeling upset and overwhelmed.

Maybe it’s because you don’t want to inconvenience other people. Or perhaps you feel you’re not worthy.

Yet, asking for help and relying on your support systems is what helps you to thrive. 

By choosing to ask for help and working with a certified life coach instead of attempting to go it alone, I was able to more quickly and effectively manage my stress, reverse my burnout and start feeling empowered again.

So, if you’re tired of feeling stressed and anxious and want to know what it would look like to have me as part of YOUR support system, join me in a Complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session. In this 60-minute consultation, you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again
  • Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm
  • Tap into greater energy and inspiration 
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to sign up for a complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session.

How to Keep Moving Forward When the Future Is Uncertain

We recently passed the halfway point of 2020 and it feels like so much has happened

A global pandemic? Mandated quarantine? Business shutdowns?

One year ago today, there was no predicting all the challenges we’d have to overcome.

Now, businesses are reopening and people are going out again. That means finally leaving your home for social and recreational activities.

Sounds exciting, right?

But the thing is, there is so much we don’t know yet. Coronavirus stress is real and you might be feeling anxious about the changes and uncertainties to come. 

My intention is to help you move forward courageously, even when the future is uncertain.

Thoughts and Emotions You May Experience During These Changes

This global pandemic has completely overturned your daily life and perhaps even displaced you from your job. Your life has undergone so many drastic changes that you struggled to even catch your breath. And unfortunately, while coping with coronavirus in self-isolation, you may have developed:

  • Fear of public spaces and large crowds
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Anger or panic when you see others not wearing masks or practicing physical distancing
  • Fear that the second wave of COVID-19 will hit

It’s easy to feel helpless when the entire world is shifting around you. We may not have all the answers right now. You may stumble and falter or feel scared and anxious. And that’s okay.

Even so, we will continue moving forward and these tips will help you keep putting one foot in front of the other.

How to Keep Moving Forward: 7 Tips to Help You Put One Foot in Front of the Other (Even If You’re Scared) 

#1 Stick to a Routine

Uncertainty can be scary because you don’t know what to expect. Following a routine of self-care and personal growth can help you feel empowered and grounded again.

The Cleveland Clinic says, “It’s important to try to maintain some sort of schedule. Routine makes most people, especially children, feel safe.” When your external world feels chaotic, seek stability in your daily activities and habits. 

Creating a morning ritual with calming activities, like journaling and meditation, can embolden you to tackle the day and keep yourself moving forward.

What is one must-do activity in your self-care routine? Share it in the comments below.

#2 Embrace Fresh Air and Sunshine

These past few months may have left you feeling cooped up in your home. If you feel like being stuck at home has stifled your creativity and inspiration, take this opportunity to get outside for fresh air and exercise.

Sometimes all you need is a quick trip into nature to help you feel motivated again. A simple walk while basking in the sunshine can do wonders for inspiring calm and tranquility. The Vitamin D your body absorbs will encourage overall well-being, lift your mood, and even lower your blood pressure.

#3 Get Plenty of Sleep

The benefits of sleep are widely known. It improves mood, brain function, and even your immune system. Try creating an evening ritual with activities that promote more sleep and quality sleep, such as:

  • Enjoying a slow and relaxing activity, like reading or a scented bubble bath
  • Journaling to unburden your thoughts and make it easier to slip into a deep slumber
  • Having an electronics cut-off time two hours before bedtime

You’re better equipped to face the challenges ahead when you’re well-rested and focused.

#4 Take a Break from Media

These past few months, you may have been addicted to following the latest headlines, from coronavirus updates to the horrific tragedy of George Floyd.

It’s helpful to stay informed, but staying plugged into the media might be adding fuel to the fear and uncertainty you might be feeling about the future. Instead of keeping tabs on the world around you, remember to check in with your body-mind. Activities, like meditation, prayer, and journaling can help you tune into your emotions and listen to what your body is telling you.

The outside world will always be there. So, take time now to cultivate daily habits that empower YOU.

#5 Practice Social Connection

I believe social distancing is somewhat of a misnomer. Instead, I say we practice physical distancing but remain socially connected. Because connection has been shown to boost well-being and even fortify your immune system. Your relationships also act as your support systems when you’re feeling overwhelmed with life.

In creating your routine, it may be helpful to reach out to close friends and family. If you’re still avoiding social gatherings, a simple video call can help you feel connected. For example, I meet with friends on Zoom for Happy Hour.

Practice physical distancing but remain socially connected. Click To Tweet

#6 Focus On the Things Within Your Power

There’s a reason why routines can help you feel rooted when your external world is going crazy. A routine encourages you to focus on activities that are within YOUR realm of power.

Businesses are going to reopen whether you are prepared for it or not. Other people will choose not to wear a mask and attend large social gatherings whether you approve or not. We still can’t say for certain that the worst of COVID-19 has passed.

But you can control what YOU do.

Even if we have to undergo self-isolation again, you can stay flexible and optimistic. You can practice daily habits that encourage you to feel empowered, grounded, and calm. And you can continue putting one foot in front of the other each and every day.

#7 Practice Gratitude

With all that has happened recently — COVID-19, racial injustices, dramatic shifts in your daily life — it can feel tempting to dwell on everything that’s wrong. The hopes you originally had for 2020 might be dwindling with each passing day.

But, I want to remind you that there is still so much good in your life.

Even during this global pandemic, you still have loved ones who are in good health. You still have a roof over your head and food in your belly.

And that’s worth celebrating.

If you’re feeling fear and uncertainty about the future, just remember that each step forward is an act of gratitude and optimism. You haven’t given up. You still have so much to live for and you have power in creating the future you want to see for yourself.

Seek Support When You’re Overwhelmed by the Coronavirus Situation

While self-care is essential to well-being, sometimes you need more. In these unprecedented times, you may be feeling helpless amidst the latest news and changes.

If you’re overwhelmed, it may be time to seek extra support. Because tackling life’s countless challenges need not be a journey you travel alone.

If you need somebody to stand alongside you and help you feel empowered again, sign up for a Complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session with me. In this 60-minute consultation, you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again
  • Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm
  • Tap into greater energy and inspiration 
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to sign up for a complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session.

 

How to Use Your Time Effectively And Without Overwhelm

There are two things I used to find myself saying almost every day:

“I wish there were more hours in a day, week, year, etc…”

AND

“I wish I could clone myself.”

There never seemed to be enough time to get everything done! 

I was stressed out and overwhelmed by my to-do lists, putting intense pressure on myself to accomplish all these tasks. That was my Type-A personality at work, thinking that I had to get everything done.

I was at the mercy of my to-do lists. I felt powerless.

Until my life coach pointed out that I could reclaim my power. I learned that I am at choice about the actions I take and how I manage my time. This helped alleviate the overwhelm I’d been feeling.

Can you relate?

Maybe you’re also feeling overwhelmed with life, especially with the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation. You might wish there was more time in the day to get everything done.

But here’s the real problem.

If you’re not managing your time properly by getting the right things done, more time would do little to ease your stress.

Instead of wishing for more time, the trick is getting better at utilizing the time you already have. That means learning how to use your time effectively.

Here’s how to do that in three easy steps…

How to Use Your Time Effectively: Fulfill Your Priorities and Still Have Time to Enjoy Your Life

Step 1: Identify Your Priorities

Effectiveness is the art of getting the right things done. Click To Tweet

Effectiveness is the art of getting the right things done. Efficiency, on the other hand, is about getting things done more quickly.

So, it’s important that effectiveness comes first — and it starts with identifying your priorities.

#1 Pause and take stock of your life.

Are you living the life you want? Or were your goals left at the wayside?

What happened?

Life can sometimes feel like a monotonous loop. If it seems like you’re not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to reflect on your dreams and values.

Take a moment to notice where you are in comparison to where you want to be.

#2 Break the cycle.

What priorities do you want to manifest in your reality?

  • Expressing your creativity (i.e. painting or writing)
  • Living a healthier lifestyle (i.e. eating better and/or exercising)
  • Changing your career path (i.e. returning to school or applying for a better job)

If you’re unsure of how to break the cycle, remember your priorities. Your priorities are your goals and they will guide you in creating the life you want.

#3 Align Your Actions With Your Priorities.

Your priorities will steer you to do the right things.

Because not all tasks are created equal. 

Sure, you may get a lot of things done but what if they aren’t the “right” things? If they don’t advance your goals, are you spending your time effectively?

If you’re not mindful, you may burn out by moving 100 things an inch instead of completing three priorities that move you forward a mile.

What priorities do you want to manifest in your life? Share one with me in the comments below.

Step 2: Make Time for Your Priorities

I don’t have enough time!

Knowing your priorities is one thing — but making time for them?

It’s challenging but here are some ways to make the most of the time you have:

#1 Create a Time Log

I encourage you to document everything you do in a single day and the time each task takes. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Choose a time tracking system. This can be an agenda, a blank notebook, or a calendar app.
  2. Note the start time for each task. For this to work, note every single time you begin a new activity, like working, showering, or eating. This includes each time you get distracted, like checking your email or responding to a text. 
  3. Record the end time for each task. Keeping track of when you end each task makes it clear how long it takes to accomplish it. You can use this information to assess whether you’re taking too long or if you need to dedicate more time to a specific priority.

Like a financial budget, this will help you understand where you’re spending all your time.

If you’re spending your days at home, it can be tempting to lounge on your couch and watch TV. Keeping a time log will expose all the time sappers that you engage in throughout your day.

The next two tactics are effective time management strategies that can help you create more time for your priorities…

#2 Eliminate Your Time Wasters

Do you waste 20 minutes snoozing your alarm in the morning? Or maybe you transform into a couch potato for three hours each evening.

Even small things like checking your phone every ten minutes can accumulate into an entire hour. 

Identify your time-wasting habits. 

Then either eliminate these activities or reduce the time you spend on them.

#3 Start Outsourcing

After eliminating your productivity sappers, see what tasks you can outsource.

For example, you can delegate more house chores to the kids when they’re home for the summer.

You only have 24 hours in a day. 

If you try to tackle your never-ending to-do list alone you’ll quickly feel the signs of burnout.

Outsourcing lets you tap into other people’s time and energy pools. It frees up more time in your schedule.

You can then spend that time more effectively on the essential tasks that will advance your goals and help you create the life you envision.

Step 3: Do More, Save Time, and Enjoy Life More

When managing your productivity, you’ll want to spend your time effectively and efficiently.

After you identify the “right” things to do, you can focus on how to do them better.

Here are two tips to help you spend your time effectively and efficiently.

#1 Start Monotasking

A study by Dr. Sophie Leroy shows that multitasking creates attention residue. Each time you settle into a new task, you spend time and energy shifting your focus. While it may be a little at a time, it can quickly add up if you frequently shift back and forth. 

Ditch your multitasking tendencies and start mono-tasking. 

When you sit down to work, identify the task you’re working on and commit to a time frame:

  • Over the next hour, I will work only on writing the three body paragraphs of this essay.
  • Over the next 30 minutes, I will tidy up my home and workspace.
  • Over the next 45 minutes, I will prepare for an upcoming teleconference.

 

Once you start mono-tasking, you’ll notice that you achieve higher quality results with greater speed. 

#2 Schedule Time for Enjoyment

When you think about productivity, your mind probably jumps to time organization hacks. 

Well, it’s time to widen your definition of productivity to include fun.

Efficiency is more than saving time. It’s also about using that extra time to enjoy your life — in these weighty times, we need fun and joy more than ever. That may include practicing self-care with scented candles and a bubble bath. Or that could mean finding ways to spend quality time with your loved ones, like with Vertellis or Table Topics conversation starter games.

A healthy balance of work and play is what nourishes your mind and body with the energy it needs to live your best life and achieve your goals. Without self-care, your performance suffers and you burn out — little gets done when you reach that point.

Yet, it’s difficult to relax when you’re stressed and overwhelmed. Racing thoughts and anxiety about the future thwart your every attempt to slow down and enjoy yourself.

If overwhelm is consuming your life, sign up for a COMPLIMENTARY Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session with me. 

In this 60-minute consultation you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again
  • Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm
  • Tap into greater energy and inspiration 
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to sign up for a complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery Session.

 

How Compassion for Yourself Can Enrich Your Life and the People Around You

Imagine a world that is more loving, more compassionate, and more forgiving. There is less racial injustice. Communities and people from different backgrounds embrace each other. Everybody is treated equally under the law and in reality.

It almost seems like a utopia too good to be true, right?

Yet, it’s a mission that is just and worth standing for. I believe compassion is the key to manifesting a world that is freer and more equitable. But before we can change society, we must start with ourselves. Enriching the lives of the people within your community begins with having compassion for yourself.

Enriching the lives of the people within your community begins with having compassion for yourself. Click To Tweet

What Does It Mean To Have Compassion For Yourself?

The myths surrounding self-compassion are abundant:

  • It’s self-indulgent
  • It’s selfish
  • It’s for weak-willed people.

But here’s the truth. Compassion is necessary for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Compassion is what encourages you to care for your body and your mind.

Think about this.

If you own a pet, you care for them. You feed them high-quality pet food, bathe them, buy them toys. You love to spoil your non-human companion. 

Yet so many women fail to direct this affection within.

When you neglect your well-being, you deny yourself the resources needed to live a beautiful and thriving life. Can you imagine a life where you’re:

  • Full of inspiration
  • Abundant with energy
  • Loved and fulfilled
  • Guided by meaning and purpose

This is the power of self-compassion. And when you build a well of love and compassion with yourself, you can then share it with others.

That is why I encourage you to prioritize enriching your life first and then expand your circle of influence to encompass the people within your community and country.

Why is Self-Compassion Important for Enriching Other People’s Lives?

Even if your own relationships are in order, you’re living in a bubble. The world outside your bubble needs your support too.

People are suffering. Botham Jean, Aura Rosser, Philando Castille, and more have died under a system of racism. We’re seeing more headlines of deaths and injustices every week.

And it’s within your power to extend your hand to help. It’s within your power to express compassion towards those who need it most.

However, you must first fill your own well. Practicing compassion towards others begins with practicing compassion toward yourself.

Here’s how you can do it.

3 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion to Enrich Your Life and the People Around You

#1 Advocate for Your Well-Being

When you hear about horrific murders, like what happened to Stephon Clark, you feel compelled to advocate for those who suffer from racial discrimination. This is an important mission and I encourage you to educate yourself with anti-racism resources and join causes that oppose racism and police brutality.

At the same time, I encourage you to advocate for yourself to become a better and healthier you. You may want to charge full-force ahead, but doing this will leave you feeling burned out and overwhelmed.

Remember to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling mentally strained, try going on a digital detox for a few days. Unplug from social media, turn off the television, and stop reading the headlines. During your detox, practice more self-care:

  • Read a favorite book
  • Go for a long walk outside
  • Light some candles and indulge in a warm bubble bath
  • Have a movie night with your family

Practice self-compassion by giving yourself permission to relax and pamper yourself when you’re feeling signs of burnout.

What is one thing you do to practice self-care when you’re feeling tired? Share it in the comments below!

#2 Keep a Self-Compassion Journal

Dr. Kristin Neff says that journaling is one of the best ways to express your emotions and it’s often linked to mental and physical well-being. This is one reason why journaling is a part of my morning activity. Writing in my journal has become a spiritual practice that helps me be more present and mindful of how I’m feeling in the moment.

“As you write,” Dr. Neff says, “try to be accepting and non-judgmental of your experience, not belittling it or making it overly dramatic.”

The point of this exercise is to acknowledge the full-range of emotions you’re experiencing at this moment without judging yourself. Whether it’s anger, disappointment, sadness, or another emotion, acknowledge what you’re feeling as you write about it. 

In your journaling practice, your body could be telling you things you didn’t recognize earlier. You might realize that you’re stressed and need to take a step away from work. Or you might have a stroke of inspiration and tap into your creative flow.

#3 Ask for Help When You Need It

Learning how to love yourself can be difficult when you’re already overwhelmed with life.

You have to work. Put food on the table. Care for the children. Run errands. 

You’re so busy! How would you even find the time to practice mindful self-compassion?

When you’re feeling overworked and burned out, self-compassion can often look like enlisting others’ aid.

If you need help restoring order to your hectic life, I encourage you to accept my gift of an “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session. In this 60-minute consultation you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again.
  • Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm.
  • Tap into greater energy and inspiration.
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to sign up for a complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session.

Practicing self-compassion can be one of the greatest challenges you encounter. It can be a struggle to accept and love yourself.

Yet it’s a worthwhile challenge. Because self-compassion is necessary for your personal growth and fulfillment of your potential. As a more compassionate woman, you have a greater capacity to enrich your family. And if you’re called to be an advocate, you can tap into your resources and help those who need it most. 

Advocate for Human Equality and Compassion (But Don’t Forget Your Well-Being)

2020 has been relentless.

COVID-19 and self-quarantine have completely transformed our daily lives. Now, our country is in a state of outrage and despair. We hear the cries for justice from the Black Lives Matter movement. We bear witness to the awful injustices committed against our black communities.

It’s unbelievably disheartening.

The tragedy of George Floyd — along with  Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor — aches my heart and weighs heavy on my soul. And while we mourn their families and communities, I encourage you to do what you can within your circle of influence to inspire positive change.

Change Starts with Awareness

You can start by signing your name on this public open letter against racism and police brutality

Next, educate yourself. If you don’t know how or where to start, click here for a list of anti-racism resources, which include books, podcasts, and articles.

You can also have a frank conversation with your partner and children. As you learn more about the injustices committed against black people, share that insight with your family.

Then expand outward. Talk about it with your friends. Spread the message across your social networks.

Use your voice and your privilege to expose anti-black racism and amplify black voices.

Don’t Forget to Be an Advocate for Yourself

Being an advocate for others is an incredible thing.

As a white woman, I possess certain privileges that members of the black community don’t. I am in a position to use this privilege as a tool for good — to combat racism and raise the volume on issues I believe in.

But when you take a stand, you might feel compelled to stand on your platform forever. That you must do what you can 24/7, 100% of the time. Because if you don’t, it feels like you’re giving up.

But I learned that you can still support the causes you believe in and take time to be an advocate for yourself. You can step away and recharge.

Being an advocate for others and being an advocate for yourself aren’t mutually exclusive.

As you fight for the causes you believe in, your energy drains. And eventually, you need to step away and take time for yourself.

Being an advocate for others and being an advocate for yourself aren’t mutually exclusive. Click To Tweet

Step Away So You Can Come Back Stronger

#1 Let Go of the Guilt

Think about this.

How effective are you as an advocate when you’re exhausted?

How can you be compassionate towards others if you can’t direct it to yourself?

How can you think clearly when your mind is riddled with anxiety and stress?

When you feel guilty about stepping away, remember that you’re not a stone monolith. You’re not unwavering to the forces around you.

You’re human.

Your energy is finite and your well-being is vulnerable.

There are times when you need to step down and step away. And that’s okay.

Taking care of yourself is okay.

Advocating for yourself is okay.

So, let go of the guilt. And take the time you need to feel 100%, so you can do what you do best and support the causes you believe in.

#2 Go On a Digital Detox

There is only so much negativity you can consume before your body and mind begin to suffer. Very Well Mind discusses a study that found “using social media when you are in bed at night increases the likelihood of anxiety, insomnia, and shorter sleep duration.”

That’s why I ask you to give yourself permission to tune it out.

Unplug from social media. Turn off the television.

You don’t need it every day.

Instead, find other outlets to spend your free time. Rediscover the joy of slower activities, like reading a favorite book or trying a new recipe in the kitchen.

Take some time for yourself. The rest of the world will be there when you are ready for it once again.

#3 Journal Your Emotions

Lately, I’ve been experiencing emotional turmoil. You might, as well.

You might have already been feeling loneliness in self-isolation. And now you feel horror over the pattern of racial injustice against black people that’s seen in the United States and around the world. Recent lootings and riots might even make you feel unsafe in your own home.

Right now, your emotions probably feel like a tangle of raw energy.

Journaling helps to sort those emotions. It finds the one string and unravels the mess, so you can better understand your thoughts and ease the burden in your heart.

If you need help getting started, here are a few journaling prompts to inspire you:

  • What am I feeling at this very moment?
  • How did the tragedy of George Floyd’s death affect me?
  • What are 5 actions I can take today that will help me feel more calm?
  • What are 5 short-term goals I want to achieve?
  • What is one long-term goal I want to prioritize?

#4 Prioritize Your Sleep

During these uncertain times, you may have developed increased anxiety and stress and might even be experiencing signs of burnout.

All of these can compromise your sleep quality. 

Do you have trouble going to sleep?

Are your thoughts racing when you pray for tranquility?

Are you waking up in the middle of the night?

Your sleep affects every moment of your waking life. Your energy levels. Your mood. How productive and effective you are.

It’s time to make sleep a priority. If you follow the above tips, you should see an improvement in your sleep quality.

Walking Toward a Better and More Compassionate Future

With the relentless media and chaos in our country, it’s no wonder you might be feeling overwhelmed with life.

Like me, you might feel compelled to speak out against injustice, like racism, in the world.  That’s amazing, and I encourage you to do so.

At the same time, I urge you to practice self-advocacy.

Advocate for yourself to become stronger and more resilient.

Advocate for yourself to become a better and healthier you.

Because the world can only heal and improve when we have stronger and more compassionate women in it.

Why Productivity Is the Key to Managing Your Energy (Optimize Your Energy, Part 2)

Managing your energy is a lot like managing your finances.

If you want to be in good financial health, learn how to budget your money. If you want to do the things you desire, learn how to manage your energy.

But now that you’re in quarantine, it’s so easy to be wasteful with your energy.

Hitting the snooze on your alarm five times. Scrolling on your phone throughout the day. Staying awake past midnight. Watching TV as a couch potato, instead of exercising.

We’re experiencing a new phenomenon where coronavirus-related stress is affecting our energy and motivation. 

Behavioral health therapist Dr. Jane Pernotto Ehrman calls it coronavirus quarantine fatigue. “This kind of fatigue drains our motivation,” she says, “We just want to go lie down on the couch and do nothing. Because of these difficult situations, we’re in a kind of shock and we don’t know what to do.”

Being stuck at home makes you more vulnerable to these energy sappers. And although they may seem minor, they can snowball into a serious problem. 

Because if you don’t get a handle on it, you’ll encounter more than a dip in your energy and productivity. You’ll experience:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite changes
  • Racing thoughts
  • Poor focus
  • Signs of burnout

Poor energy management keeps you from creating and living the life you want. Last week, we learned how self-care can boost your energy. Now, I’ll show you how to budget your energy levels with a few productivity tips.

(And yes, all these tips can be done at home!)

Ready? Let’s begin.

How to Manage Your Energy Using These 4 Productivity Tips

#1 Master Your Environment

Ever tried focusing when your desk is in shambles? How can you work when piles of paperwork and unwashed mugs sit on a light coating of dust?

It’s more than distracting. It’s inefficient.

Each time you look for an unfiled document, you lose energy.

Each time an unwashed mug grabs your attention, you lose energy.

Each time you have to shuffle your clutter around, you lose energy.

Don’t let unnecessary clutter sap your focus, energy, and creativity. 

Before you sit down to work, take a few minutes to declutter your space. If you’re now working from home due to coronavirus, a dedicated workspace that is clutter-free is even more critical to preserving your focus. When your space is free from distracting elements, you can better focus on the task at hand.

#2 Understand Your Peaks and Dips

Ever notice how at certain times of the day, you’re ready to conquer the world? And then at other times, you’re ready for a power nap?

That’s because your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day — understanding how they rise and fall is key to optimizing your energy. You can do this by listening to your circadian rhythm.

Your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day — understanding how they rise and fall is key to optimizing your energy. You can do this by listening to your circadian rhythm. Click To Tweet

“Your circadian rhythm,” according to the National Sleep Organization, “is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals.”

Everybody’s circadian rhythm is different. It’s why early birds feel most productive in the morning and night owls work better during the evening.

Understanding your circadian rhythm helps you learn how to manage your energy levels throughout the day. You’ll want to save your cognitively demanding tasks, like writing or planning, for when your energy is highest. Similarly, you’ll want to save your less demanding tasks, like answering emails, for when your energy dips.

What does your circadian rhythm look like? How can you use it to structure your workday for maximum energy and productivity?

#3 Clean Up Attention Residue

If you still believe that multitasking is efficient, think again. Studies show that multitasking is actually wasteful with your energy and productivity.

Dr. Sophie Leroy observed that each time you switch between tasks, your focus experiences a type of lag. “This is what I call Attention Residue,” she says, “when part of our attention is focused on another task instead of being fully devoted to the current task that needs to be performed.”

Let’s look at an example.

You’re working on a project, but you’re notified of a new email. You check it out but reread it a few times because your mind is still stuck on the project you were just working on. After you respond to the email, you return to your project. You take a few moments, however, to figure out where you left off and your next step before getting started.

This is just one example. If you’re transitioning from working in the office to working at home, you’re exposed to even more distractions — laundry, dishes, and children just to name a few. Switching back and forth between tasks is often tempting but it wastes bits of your energy. To help you clean up attention residue, use task batching and time blocking.

Task batching is when you group similar tasks, like answering emails or editing a paper. Time blocking is when you dedicate a slot in your calendar to complete a specific task. 

These strategies will help you be more mindful of how you’re spending your energy and where you’re directing your focus.

#4 Start Outsourcing or Delegating

Here’s the reality: there’s no way you can do everything yourself.

Trying to do everything yourself can lead to coronavirus quarantine fatigue and feeling overwhelmed with life.

Your time and energy are limited. But that shouldn’t discourage you from getting your priorities completed. Instead of doing everything yourself, start relying on others.

Outsourcing or delegating your responsibilities is an efficient way to manage your energy while getting things done.

If you’re a business owner, there are several business operations you can outsource:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Bookkeeping
  • Copywriting
  • Customer service
  • Human resources

Outsourcing these processes frees up your time and energy for things that you enjoy, like serving your clients or business development.

You can even delegate or outsource at home. Your spouse and children can help out with the household chores. Or instead, you can hire a housekeeper to tidy your home while you’re at work or a cleaning service to come in periodically.

Your energy levels are finite. But when you start outsourcing, you tap into the energy pools of other people. This neat productivity tip gets your priorities done without overextending yourself!

Productivity is Only One Part of the Equation

As I mentioned above, this article is part two of a two-part series on energy optimization. (Link to Part one at bottom of article.) The productivity tips I shared help you better utilize your energy. But productivity tips do little when your energy baseline is low from exhaustion and stress.

Productivity is only one of two keys to optimizing your energy. The other key is self-care.

As you work on better managing your energy, remember to take care of your body. Regular self-care can expand your energy baseline, improve your mood, and protect you from coronavirus quarantine fatigue.

To help you build self-care into your daily routine, take advantage of my “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

This practice has been shown to:

  • Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
  • Increase your ability to concentrate
  • Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
  • Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
  • Reduce or even stop worrying

Click here now to claim your free gift of my “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

Go here to read Part One: Feeling Tired All the Time? Try These 4 Self-Care Tips (Optimize Your Energy Pt. 1)

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