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Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately? Read on…
When was the last time you took a long, deep breath?
A long while ago, I was employee number 9 at an internet startup company. I was working long hours because we were moving at a speed of lightening making things happen. I was constantly on the go. I was constantly on the phone texting, emailing or talking on it. I was on conference calls in all different time zones, which meant sometimes I was on the phone at 2 AM California time as it was day time in Europe. Nuts right? Well that was my normal life back then.
I wasn’t taking very good care of myself physically and probably mentally. That was when I learned what it felt like to be “burned out.” You know that expression, “it was the straw that broke the camel’s back?” Well, after hours of working on this particular task, I went from one moment pushing the last change that needed to get done out. Then I found out while I was making that last change, another change just hit and I was going to have to start all over again. Then I remembered the next moment where I ran into the restroom because I couldn’t stop crying. No, that wasn’t good, nor healthy. I knew in that instant things had to change or I wasn’t going to make it back to my fast-paced executive job.
Does this sound familiar to you? Well, may be not the internet start-up part but the part where you were barely hanging on and the “burn out” was rearing its ugly head?
May be you were there or may be you’re going through it as you’re reading this. Either way, I hope this article will serve you or someone you know.
If you don’t ever want to get to Overwhlemville again, here are some simple techniques that would help you.
1) Set a timer for 90-minute work cycles. We perform at our optimal level in 90-minute cycles. Studies have shown that our brain can only focus for 90-120 minutes before it needs a break. Set a timer for 90 minutes. When the timer goes off. Make yourself get up, go the restroom, walk out to your office lobby, step outside the building for a quick 5-10 minute break.
Want to know what I do? I’d walk outside to my backyard (I work from my home office), take my shoes off and I’d just stand on the grass with my bear feet. If I had a little bit more time to spare, I’d walk around with my bear feet and slow down my breathing. For me, the physical contact I make with the earth soothes me and helps me get grounded. For you, it may be something else, like listening to music or taking a nap. Find your trigger that would slow YOU down. Believe me, whether we like to admit or not, our body and our mind need it.
2) Fill your lungs with fresh deep breaths. Am I stating the obvious? When was the last time you took a deep breath? I’ve taught this technique in my professional development workshops to my clients.
• Step away from your desk for 5 minutes.
• Close your eyes.
• Take deep breaths, I mean slow inhales and slow exhales.
• Repeat 5 times or more.
You will start to feel calmer and more peaceful. Don’t laugh until you try it! This process requires your intention to alter the state of your mind and body. It sounds easier said than done. It also takes a higher level of awareness to do it consistently. I still have to keep reminding myself to take care of me first.
Do you have other techniques that have helped you to step out of Overwhelmville? I’d love to learn from you. Who knows, you may help others too!
Here’s my challenge to you. Start your 90-minute timer and give yourself a 5-minute “mental break” starting today. Repeat it for the next 7 days and let me know if your days seem to flow more smoothly…or not. Are you willing to accept the challenge? You might actually thank me! Meanwhile, stay blessed and shine on.
About The Author:
Kasama is a mother, a wife, a well-recognized inspirational speaker who has become a coach, a consultant to professionals in business who want to positively impact their work and their team through leadership development. She is a certified John Maxwell leadership speaker, trainer and coach. She’s a creator of an Online Course Community for professional and personal development:The Winning Formula.
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