Rest

What comes to mind when you hear the word rest?

  • not enough time
  • you can sleep when you are dead
  • who needs rest
  • work hard, play hard
  • successful people never stop moving
  • rest is for weak people

The above are just some of the very common phrases I hear people say when they don’t want rest or see no value in it.

On the other hand, people (including myself) who have suffered burnout and depression have all said these common statements:

  • I wish I had worked less
  • no one told me that rest is beneficial to my success
  • rest rejuvenates the soul
  • rest provides a space for creativity to grow
  • rest helps you problem solve
  • resting your body will help reduce stress and anxiety

Benjamin Franklin who as a scientist and inventor knew the very importance of rest.

“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” —Benjamin Franklin

As a once confessed workaholic, I now take my rest time very seriously. Being burnt out from too much work doesn’t help you or anyone you interact with. I have chosen to not only rest but to enjoy resting. I now love doing nothing! That is a big statement for me as I have always been goal orientated and wanting to achieve success in all areas. I had put reaching my goals and achieving success before resting as I thought that if I rested, I would slow up the process of reaching my targets and goals.

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Photo by Adrienn from Pexels

Maya Angelou who was an American poet and civil rights activist said:

“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” ― Maya Angelou

I have found the following benefits when resting and taking the time to do nothing:

  • Healthier eating habits
  • Being more alert in my everyday conversations and interactions
  • Having meaningful ideas in meetings at work
  • Being braver in my life and taking risks
  • I have been more kind and compassionate
  • Being able to think outside the box and being more creative

Resting is so important in this modern, upbeat and instant society that we live in. You and I do not have to do what everyone else is doing, we can give ourselves permission to go against the flow, swim upstream, be different and put ourselves first. Try today to not do some of these following everyday rituals and see the benefits from just one day without them:

  • checking our phones every other minute
  • cramming work in or cramming for the next big exam
  • competing for the next promotion before your even ready to move up
  • neglecting our health to achieve wealth

A Harvard Business Review article, explains the areas that lead to burning out such as

“Workload – When you have a workload that matches your capacity, you can effectively get your work done, have opportunities for rest and recovery, and find time for professional growth and development. When you chronically feel overloaded, these opportunities to restore balance don’t exist.” (https://hbr.org/2019/07/6-causes-of-burnout-and-how-to-avoid-them)

Today, I am committing myself to take one day a week for myself, to rejuvenate my mind, spirit, and body. I know that by doing this, I will be a better partner, a better friend, and a better employee. What will your rest commitment be today?

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Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Brave

brave

adjective

Showing no fear of dangerous or difficult things 

BRAVE

  • Starting a new relationship after being in an abusive one
  • Starting a the role you wanted when someone has told you never to apply for that type of job role because in their words you will “just not succeed”
  • Moving cities to start a new adventure
  • Taking an overseas trip rather than playing it safe locally
  • Starting a new business after a previous one had failed
  • Deciding to drive again after being in a fatal car accident
  • Living life to the fullest when people have told you to take it easy
  • Being a friend and reaching out when people are too lazy to reach out to you
  • Showing up at an event when I know there will be people there who betrayed me

These are the things that I have done which were brave and courageous

  • Be bold and very courageous, nothing good can come from playing it safe
  • Learn to love the world around you and branch out to new possibilities
  • Never underestimate new beginnings
  • Try, try and try again

These are the things that I have told myself to help me be brave.

When life throws you curve balls sometimes they do actually knock you out. You then have to decide to wipe away the dust, pick yourself off the ground (sometimes literally) and try again. I know it is hard however the other option is to stay down and defeated and loose your potential. No one else has been hand crafted and formed the way you were in your mothers womb. There will only ever be one of you. No one can copy your thought processes, inspiration or what motivates you. We need to be brave so that we achieve what we were born to do. Other people will benefit from our bravery. There is someone who needs to hear your story, someone who needs to be inspired by your voice, someone who needs you to be brave. Go on, do it, be brave, I dare you!

Berave

 

Time Out

Are you stressed? Lonely? Exhausted?

Or all of the above?

Yep, me too.

Taking time out can help you revitalise and restore your body. I have always loved the opportunity to relax, put my feet up and rest for intervals throughout my life. I find life as interval training. Sometimes you go hard and fast and other times you stop, relax and reflect. I find being still during intervals throughout my life is a proactive approach to ensuring that my mind, body and spirit stay well.

There are way too many unknown’s in life that can drag you under and make you feel like you are drowning. These life events can be a one-off circumstance that you find yourself in or it can be an ongoing problem in your life that doesn’t seem to get resolved. It could just be the day-to-day pressures of adulting that cause you to feel overwhelmed. Taking time out to revitalise and restore will help you feel like a new person. It may not take away the pain and the problem you are experiencing, it will however get you to a place in your mind, body and spirit that you can tackle these challenges you are facing with gusto when you return to your daily routines.

cup of tea relax

Having time out to revitalise and restore is imperative to helping our mind and body switch off from all these pressures. Working too much and not having enough down time to play or relax can cause anxiety and depression or exasperate it in someone who has an underlying mental illness. Too much work and no play is not how our bodies are wired to live. The fun factor in our life is an antidote to stress. We need to be proactive and not wait for our bodies to burn out before we choose to do something about it.

The bad news…

I am guilty of running for a glass of wine from time to time after a hard days work however this is a stimulate and wont help me relax in the long-term if it is my only go to quick fix. The same applies for someone who reaches for a cigarette, any alcohol or even drugs to chill out. These definitely help for a very quick amount of time however they are stimulants. A stimulant is a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body. That is what you and I should try to avoid, stimulants. We don’t wont to increase the nervous activity in our bodies, we want to decrease it. These stimulants unfortunately won’t help us to relax properly and fully. Not to mention they do have life long devastating effects if the use of these stimulants are prolonged. These unwanted effects include but are not limited to:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Reduced sexual functioning
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Breathing problems
  • Headaches
  • Stroke
  • Seizure

Drugs such as cannabis which can act as a depressant, can also make anyone that uses it to be paranoid and lose their ambition and drive. I don’t know about you but I want to have passion and drive in life and take life by the horns not be lazy and melancholy and lifeless.

Caffeine is another stimulant which accelerates the messages travelling between the brain and the body. We are trying to slow these messages down when we take time out not speed them up.

So when you take time out, chill. Do just that and nothing else.

The Good News…

There are plenty of ways to take time out and relax without the use of stimulants. Not one way will work for everyone. I am NOT a yoga person or a morning person (as my friends will confirm). That means you will not see me at 6:00 am walking to the gym with my yoga mat. I am however very good at cardio and love a good dance work out. I find that dancing not only brings me joy, it also helps with my overall fitness and health and reduces stress. Here are some other ways to take time out. Choose one or two that work for as a time out and practice them regularly:

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Breathing and Mindfulness Meditation

When you focus on your breath, you are using your own inbuilt calming device. This is so exciting because it’s something that you do not have to spend money on and it really works; anywhere and at anytime. When you need to take time out and calm your body, you can take a long deep breath in through your nose, and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this at least 10 times and see the difference. Focus on your breath. Choose to relate your breath to a colour, for example, when I breath in, I imagine the colour blue, this helps me feel calm and relaxed and then when I breath out, I imagine the colour red. This allows me to imagine all the negativity and harshness of life leave my body as I breath out ‘red hot air’.

Laugh Daily

I love to laugh at a good comedy show or a funny meme. I love laughing with friends and those dear to me or even just by myself. I have a very loud laugh so that sometimes is a good thing to just laugh by myself lol.  Laughter is an amazing stress relief. It reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. Anyone can make space for more lighthearted comedy in their life and learn to be less serious about everything. It really is important to find one thing each day to laugh at. Use website and apps such as these to get you started:

Laugh Factory

Laugh Therapy

Emerse yourself in nature

Walking on grass, sand or dirt for a short period of time each day, allows you to feel grounded to the earth. We have so much that is pulling us in all sorts of directions and when we choose to ground ourselves on earth, it brings us back to reality. I love the beach and use it as an anti-depressant and stress relief. Finding peace and harmony in nature is again a free and natural way to take time out and be proactive in guarding good mental health.

relax by pool

I would like to also mention that you should never feel guilty for taking time out. Time out allows us to reflect and recharge. It allows our tank to be filled up with petrol again. The energy that we allow our bodies to restore when we take time out sets us up for a successful combat against modern daily challenges. None of us are robots or perfect and we can not run on empty. Don’t feel sorry for putting your health and safety first by taking time out and doing nothing. It is vital if we are going to live a long, healthy and happy life.

Proverbs 23:4-8

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” – God.

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Love Bombers

love bomber oung

Love Bombers…what is that you ask? Well, let me tell you a few things that I have learnt which might help you to understand this new and strange dating ritual. I have personally experienced this 3 times in the last 12 months. While I have been shocked by the behaviour I have seen in the dating world, I also want to warn others so that anyone you know who is also on the dating scene, can be fully prepared.

Love bombing is when one potential partner bombs you with large gestures of love early into their dating experience with you. This person may make grand displays of affection, use words of love very early on and entice you in with words of affirmation on a regular basis. They shower you with love and gifts, kind words and large displays of romantic feelings even before they have really taken the time to get to know you. Love bombers also mimic what you like and may tell you that your passions are also theirs, that the places you like to travel to are the exact same as them, that what saddens you also upsets them. This makes you feel very close to this person in a very short amount of time. Often the love bomber does not believe what they are saying to you however they know that if they can mimic what you like and your interests and dreams than you will feel straight away that you are a match made in heaven with them.

love bombing flowers

So why do love bombers do this? Love bombers know that if they can get you to fall for them very early on in the relationship than they can have their date kept on a string. They know that love is sometimes or more times than not, blind. This helps them in the conquest for control over you and the relationship. As you believe that you are a match made in heaven, that you believe you have met your soul mate, you will willingly want to spend more and more time with this person and you will trust them and devote your energy and love to them. This means, that the love bomber can then walk away from the relationship and it will leave you yearning for them, wanting more of them and waiting and waiting for your next soul encounter with them. When they have roped in their date by their love bombing, they can easily come in and out of the relationship as they wish knowing that because they have manufactured a fairy-tale romance with you, they know you will always be wanting more.

love bomber cafe

Love bombers often approach dates who are open and vulnerable with their feelings. They love to know what makes their new partner tick. They want to know all about the ins and outs of their partners’ life however, they will rarely tell you about theirs. This means with the information they gather about what makes you tick, they can quickly target your areas of need and be your shining light and your so called “saviour”. This makes you crave them even more because they falsely make you believe that this person just ‘gets you’ and could be that one you have been searching for your whole life.

love bomber

So what should you do when you think you have met a ‘Love Bomber’?

Avoid Contact

Love Bombers will pursue you and want to continue to pursue you even after you have decided this person is not being genuine. They will want to show up at your house with flowers, take you out for drinks, text you and message you, call you and leave voice messages. Love Bombers know how the human mind and emotions work, they have tested and tried this theory. The know that if you keep the contact open and be available for them then they can continue to do this until you learn to trust them again and then when you do, the cycle of love bombing to manipulate your feelings will continue.

No contact means, blocking on social media, not answering calls or texts and not accepting gifts from this person. Having no contact with the love bomber means they  will be unable to continue to manipulate you and tell you exactly what you want to hear to gain your affection again. Even though their sweet messages and words of love may seem very tempting to accept, resist the temptation to respond. The love bomber does not take the time to get to know you however will bomb you with these messages time and time again, if you let them. This of course will allow them control over your emotions effecting your judgement of their character and in turn it means falling victim to the cycle of abuse.

Stay close with family and friends

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Your friends and family know you best. Typically they will not be able to stand the love bomber and will want to support you in your attempt to avoid all contact with the person. Keep yourself busy with family and friends and enjoy the company of others who will not bomb you with love, however will genuinely care for you and will want the best for you. Love is blind, however your friends and family especially those that have known you for an extended period of time, will be able to tell if you are getting sucked in by the love bombers attempts to contact you and will help challenge your thought processes. Challenge in this way is good, we should never think we are wiser than we actually are and when we are emotionally vulnerable, family and friends can help us stay on the right path. Love bombers will always seek to bomb you with loads of affection, gifts and love when you are emotionally down, this is when you of course need to stand firm in your no contact rule. Love bombers will not be able to keep up the love bombing ritual for long until they become aggressive, angry or controlling again.

Love Bombing is Abuse

When you are being love bombed, you are being abused. Emotionally and psychologically. It affects your judgement and is a controlling behaviour. It is intentionally meant to persuade you to fall in love with the person very quickly and trust them before they have even earned that trust. Don’t become prey to this odd behaviour which can leave the victim feeling worthless and damaged once the love bombing ends. Know your worth and know your value. If someone really loves you then they will be OK to date at a pace that is comfortable for you. A person who is genuinely in love with you will be prepared to respect you and wont have the need to be over the top and extreme with their love just to gain your affection quickly. They will trust the dating process and will work with you in this process and will not try and control the pace or control how you feel.

angry love

Please remember that if you are experiencing any form of abuse, emotional, psychological or physical please seek help straight away.

http://www.dvconnect.org  or www.lifeline.org.au

Remember that you are more valuable then rubies or pearls, diamonds or gemstones. You are worth the wait, don’t let anyone else bully you into dating at a pace that is not comfortable for you. Enjoy the dating process and stay safe.

The unexpected suddenly’s

Have you ever had a time where something was just dropped into your lap? Where you were handed what you wanted on a silver platter? Where you were given the opportunity to do something you never thought you could?

The unexpected suddenly’s are the best kind. Sometimes we strive to get what we want, with blood, sweat and tears; we grind and work for it. However, when something that happens unexpectedly in our lives for the good, it really is amazing. I recently was offered a new job, that I absolutely love. I wasn’t expecting it, however it came at the perfect time and I have so much excitement about it. I have learnt when these unexpected miracles happen in our lives to be truly thankful and to NEVER take it for granted.  Don’t try and work it out, don’t try and understand it, just embrace it.

unexpected

Some of us need to learn to receive. We are so good at giving; giving to our families, our friends and our work. We need to learn sometimes that when good things happen to us, to embrace and receive it.

So why do some of us have a hard time receiving the good things? Maybe we don’t feel like we deserve it? I know that I have experienced quite a few bad romantic relationships in my life that at one point, I felt that I didn’t deserve any better. It wasn’t until something beautiful came in to my life in the form of a romantic relationship that I realised I had unrealistic expectations of myself. Did I deserve this love? Why did this love find me? Will this person love me? Maybe they are too good for me? Have you ever said these things to yourself? Maybe it wasn’t in the form of love, maybe it was about getting a new home, finding a new friend or a new job.

You may have thought…”how can I embrace this good thing in my life when it has never worked out before?” or “why did this good thing come to me when there are so many others who deserve it more?” Sometimes, there is no reason to why good things happen to us or on the contrary why bad things happen to us. However, the best thing you can do is not to judge it but embrace it.

What would happen if you were never afraid to say YES to the suddenly’s in your life? The things that came into your life unexpectedly however you know will be amazing. You and I can sit here and think and think and logically try to reason why this would be a risk, however sometimes the best risks lead to the best rewards. Never be afraid to say no, even if something comes along that you were not expecting or will interrupt your plans.

 

my plan

What are the benefits of embracing the suddenly’s in our life:

  • an opportunity for adventure
  • a reason to challenge our own thinking
  • gaining more confidence by stepping out of the box we find ourselves living in
  • receiving even more greater opportunities
  • getting a larger view of the world around us
  • receiving healing and wholeness

Next time, something suddenly comes into your life and you  know that it is a good thing, try not to question it too much. Sometimes we are very good at talking ourselves out of a good thing. Just embrace it and love all that life provides to you. Remember tomorrow is not a guarantee. Take a hold of the good when it comes to you and truly live the amazing life you were born to live!

Don’t Give Up

We have heard it over and over, again and again….never, never, never give up! But what does this really mean? Does it mean going through a bad experience and not feeling the pain and just pushing through? Does it mean distracting yourself with activities so you don’t feel the pain or burden of something? It is a broad and also a vague statement which I am going to try and put some sense to, in my own way…

Pushing through the pain, means different things to different people. Some examples I have seen are

  1. Attaching yourself to a new partner to remove the pain of a break up
  2. Becoming a workaholic to find your sense of self worth and not focusing on the pain of a personal situation and to use work as a distration
  3. Gym – I am not talking about just general healthy exercise, however some people I have seen become what I call ‘fitness fanatics’, they become obsessed with fitness and it completely distracts them to a point where they do not have to deal with their own emotional pain (until they can not exercise for some reason and this type of pain is then bought to the the surface)
  4. Travelling – Many people move cities, or travel over and over again to withdraw from their current situation and remove themselves from the situation that is bringing them pain

None of these are healthy ways to ‘Never Give Up’. I understand the pain of life, I understand physical pain (undergoing 3 heart operations and living with a congenital heart condition), emotional pain (break ups, including the break up with my fiance 3 weeks before my wedding) and of course psychological pain (being involved in a fatal car accident and experiencing PTSD). All of these things have caused me a tremendous amount of pain. I have however chosen to never give up. Yes, I have had my own coping mechanisms and not all of these have been healthy (or ones that I would promote). I however have learnt some very healthy ways to never give up, to allow myself to feel the pain , to experience and accept it. This has led me then to ultimately heal from the associated pain.  The following are examples of what actions I take to ‘Never Give Up’:

  • Tell my story to a trusted friend
  • Write it out (journal)
  • Dance it out
  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Be involved in something bigger than myself
  •  Take mental health days when I feel that my emotions and pain become too burdensome, sometimes taking time out to just be still and re group has been the best source of action. Doing this regularly will help you remain calm, in control and to not quit. Sometimes, we feel we want to quit but all we really need is just some time out to re group.
  • Speak to a professional and explain my pain and story to them. Speaking with a registered psychologist or counsellor will often allow you to speak about your pain in a non judgemental way. The benefit of this is that the professional can help challenge your thought process and bring you closer to acceptance and eventually healing

man never give up

There are many ways to never give up. The most important thing however is to not avoid the pain through distraction. When we do this, we throw everything under the rug. While our pain and hurt lay under the rug, it can not hurt anyone or ourselves. Unfortunately what happens is one day someone will eventually move the rug, and then ALL this pain and hurt will be bought to the surface and have to be dealt with. This makes you and I feel out of control and can be very uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather deal with the pain and hurt in a healthy way and in my own time, instead of being forced to deal with it in an inconvenient and unexpected time (because someone moved the rug).

Never giving up will look different to all of us. It is vital however to always remember how far you have come. I have wanted to give up many times in my life. I however now choose to see how far I have come to help me to choose to never give up. When I look back on what I have overcome (you can read about this in my other posts), then it really does give me courage to continue on in my journey. Some days will of course be darker then others, however, if I look at life through the lens of seeing what I have been through and persevered through, than it makes me that much more enthusiastic about the future. I am not enthusiastic about going through similar or more difficult experiences, however, I am enthusiastic knowing that if I have overcome major difficulties and challenges in the past then of course I can do it again!

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Many people often ask me to share my story. This can be in small groups, corporate team building days and conferences. If you are interested in hearing me share and tell my story to your team, please see the contact page for more information. I would love to hear from you!

microphone

Taking Control

To often in our lives we let other people take control of us. Our feelings, our emotions, what we say and what we do. We then find ourselves in relationships we don’t like, jobs we hate and not being true and authentic in our every day lives.

If your nature is like mine, then you are born to care for others, you see the best in people and you are always up to give others a second chance. Being an empathetic person, I often feel when others are hurting. I can sense pain in someone else and want to try and help them any way I can. This is a great trait for anyone to have and we should all be loving, caring and respectful of others. When this however is out of balance and I find myself giving too much, not taking care of my own self, giving and giving and not receiving, I then can become emotionally depleted.  If I do not set clear boundaries in a relationship, whether it is friendship, a romantic relationship or even in the workplace then I can allow others by default to control me and in turn control my well being.

love yourself

It is up to you and I to decide how we will let others treat us. If someone is crossing the line with you emotionally, physically or in any other way that makes you feel uncomfortable, then it is up to you and I to say something. It is always ok to say no. Being a people pleaser, I have learnt that art of saying no. This has allowed me to have a more balanced life. I can say no to that birthday party invitation if I feel that I have already too many social engagements that week. I can say no to having people in my life who do not appreciate or respect me. Friendships and relationships are a two way street, we need to be aware of our worth. If you are constantly giving out in a friendship, whether that be that you are always the only one with the listening ear, or the one who always hosts the social gatherings, the one who is always shouting your friend a ticket to the movies or the one who is always chasing up the other to set a date to catch up, then you could be in a very unbalanced friendship. It is ok to start to take back the control over your own life and say no. To not always have to jump when others say so, to not always have to say yes to every invitation or phone call. It is ok to not answer every text message and to not always be ‘on’. This allows you and I to take the control back over our own lives and to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Young Women Travel Together Concept

Taking the control back could simply mean spending more time focusing on the things you love. For me some of these are dancing, the beach and of course writing. I find when I am giving too much of myself and not leaving room for the things that I enjoy in life, than I become emotionally drained and can almost feel flat and empty. Taking the control back could also mean setting a time to catch up with that friend who is always taking from the friendship to discuss what your needs are in the friendship. Sometimes, people get used to us always being the one to rely on, it is ok to let others know that you too need someone to rely on from time to time. Talk to that friend, re instate the boundaries or set new ones if need be. There will be times in every friendship or relationship were one party will be going through a difficult time and the other has to give more. However this should not be the case throughout the whole friendship or relationship. It is healthy to set a balance and to set boundaries in the friendship or relationship  which can involve letting the other know when you will be available to talk, letting your friend know that sometimes you too need a shoulder to cry on or asking your friend to respect you if you can’t always be at every party they plan. Setting these boundaries allows for a healthy friendship and one that can grow from good soil. Rather than one person being bitter and angry from always having to be the giver in the relationship, boundaries will allow the relationship to enhance your life instead of take from it.

alone

By our actions we determine how others will treat us. Do you want more love in your life? Then be more loving to others. Do you want better friendships, then be a friend first. The world of the generous gets larger and larger however the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. You attract what you are. Smile, be courteous, forgive (this does not always mean to forget), and be motivated to always improving yourself. This way you will attract the same type of people in your life and you will see your life unfold and improve in miraculous ways. There is always a greater power at work within us, take the control back. Learn to appreciate and value your self. You were born to not just exist but to make a mark in this world. Set clear boundaries, allow yourself to say no sometimes, don’t always be the giver, allow yourself to also receive. In turn, you can reach your dreams, live a long and healthy life and find peace.

fishing peacefull