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Two guaranteed ways to thrive this busy season

Shutterstock_1227113197Now that we’ve fully stepped into the new year, busy season is picking up speed. During this period of longer work hours and takeout dinners, it can be challenging to address your own needs when your day-to-day priority is your clients.

This imbalance might not be noticeable at first, but it can have a cumulative effect as the weeks pass by. Instead of being a time when we realize our greatest potential, busy season can leave us feeling stuck and overwhelmed. Does this sound familiar? Before you know it, it’s June and you’ve somehow lost half of the year.

Here’s the thing: If you don’t take time for your wellness, you will take time for your future illness.

Starting this very moment, you have the opportunity to do something different this busy season. You have the choice to take back the reins of your well-being. If practiced with curiosity and steadiness, these two thriving tips are guaranteed to keep you feeling great all year long.

Thriving Tip #1: Find a routine that works for you, and stick with it

For many of us, busy season is that time of year where we let ourselves go. We inhale breakfast, lunch and dinner in front of our computer screens and cut back on precious sleep. Without these important staples in our life, we sacrifice performance, productively, contentment and overall well-being.

Health goes beyond the body; it extends to mindset, workplace productivity, overall energy, communication skills, empathy and much more. When we’re not in good health, we take more time to complete tasks. This impacts our free time and decreases our company’s profit margin. Lose-lose.

According to the evidence-based science of Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old school of health and longevity, routines are key to good health. The body doesn’t just crave a steady routine, it thrives on one. When our bodies work efficiently, we have more energy for higher-complexity tasks that require deeper focus and awareness.

Consider these daily routines for optimal energy (without the need for excess coffee):

Daily routines to thrive every morning

  • Wake up at the same time every day, ideally before sunrise. This establishes a strong circadian rhythm in the body and mind.
  • Eat meals at the same time every day or within 30 minutes of your daily planned time.
    • Breakfast: 7-9am
    • Lunch: 12-2pm
    • Dinner: 6-7pm
  • Stay hydrated, drinking half your weight in water ounces each day (e.g., someone who weighs 150 lbs. would benefit from approximately 75 oz. of water).
  • Move your body at least 10 minutes a day with a brisk walk, stretching sequence or short run. Workouts don’t need to be long to be effective and rejuvenating.
  • Decide on a consistent clock-out time with your team. Knowing when you’ll leave will make you much more productive during your time in the office. Without structure we’re more likely to waste time.
  • Reflect on at least one thing you are grateful for. Before heading to bed. A regular gratitude practice can positively change how you perceive your surroundings and circumstances. By being grateful, we can alter how our bodies are affected by stress on both good and bad days.
  • Go to sleep at the same time whenever possible, including weekends. Don’t get sucked into more screen time on social media or in front of the TV. Although it feels relaxing, it’s stimulates your brain before bed, making it more difficult to get a good night’s rest.

It’s understandable that routines will change when our work schedule changes, but focus on progress verses perfection. For example, a shorter workout is better than no workout.

Ideally, you want your routine to be daily. At a minimum, maintain it 4-5 days per week. Otherwise it’s not a routine!

Thriving Tip #2: See the best in others and let them know it

During challenging times, our patience drops and our expectations of others rise. We lose our temper, we roll our eyes at colleagues and we snap at our friends and loved ones. Simultaneously, we notice that others are harder on us, and we react defensively. Loneliness ensues.

It’s a vicious cycle, but it can be broken by starting within.

When clients come to me with strained personal and professional relationships, I notice they’re generally more closed-off, negative, distrusting and fearful. They believe that their environment made them this way and their response is a form of protection.

However, if we can change how we respond, others will react to us differently.

It’s our responsibility to maintain healthy relationships, even during busy times. We cannot expect friends to fully understand why we’re too tired to respond to them. We cannot expect everyone in the office to be extra patient when they’re also feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

The one tip that has helped many of my clients is to see the best in others and let them know it. At least once each day, outwardly express a genuine appreciation, compliment or positive moment with a friend, family member or colleague. By seeing the best in others, and by letting them know you see it, you’re building a safe, trusting environment where everyone can thrive.

Try it consistently for three weeks and see how others change their interactions with you. If done consistently and with a loving heart, you will notice a shift at home and in the office. My clients are always surprised by how the people in their lives become nicer, more giving, more responsive, more understanding and much more human. They start having better “luck” and life feels easier.

This simple exercise can have a profound impact on your levels of happiness and positivity, and it takes little to no extra time or effort.

It’s important to remember that we can’t change how others manage their stress, but we can change how we respond in any given situation. Keep in mind that your colleagues also feel overwhelmed during this busy time, and your loved ones miss spending time with you.

These days, everyone’s feeling stressed — but if you can stay empathetic and continuously share your appreciations of others, you and those in your life will positively benefit from your actions.

WHAT’S YOUR STRESS-TO-THRIVE STRATEGY?

Before you scroll away from this post, take a moment to reflect on what small actions you will take to make this busy season better than last year’s. These two tips to thrive are easy to implement, so long as we foster a proactive intention and sincere focus on what we need to succeed.

Although busy season can be a challenging time of year, it’s one of our greatest opportunities to evolve and level-up. For many of us in the profession, however, we can temporarily lose sight of our personal goals, desires and aspirations. If you notice that you’re not thriving or are feeling stuck, reach out for support. Contact a coach, mentor, guide or trusted friend to support you.

This busy season, I’m dedicated to helping you feel empowered and inspired, and it’s absolutely possible! If you make the conscious choice to approach busy season in a way that feels aligned with your needs and values, there’s no stopping how far you can go.

Stay tuned for upcoming contributions to this writing series. Soon you’ll have an arsenal of practical tips, tools and mindset techniques to help you thrive during busy season and beyond!

Lauren Baptiste is an Executive Wellness Coach who specializes in breaking through the effects of workplace burnout. Lauren founded Acheloa Wellness, a firm that empowers ambitious, hard-working women with the tools and techniques to be successful in today’s world. Lauren is a scholar of Ayurveda, hormonal health and other healing arts, and is also a CPA with over 10 years of experience in the corporate environment. 

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