mental health, Mindfulness, stress, anxiety, depression, help, support, Uncategorized, wellness

What Does Success Mean To You?

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I’m quickly learning that running your own business from home comes with its downfalls. Somedays you feel like you’ve made the best decision and you’re on top of the world, whilst other days you question WTF you were thinking trying to do this all. You realise that most of your time is spent alone in front of a laptop in your sweatpants.

When your well-dressed husband, who has been out in the real world comes walking through the door with a sense of achievement, you feel a tad jealous. You get paranoid that it looks like you’ve done nothing all day, so you start listing all the medial tasks when he asks how your day was, only to see that he’s still so preoccupied with his emails. You feel like you almost want to be back in the structure of corporate life, where you worked for someone else and most importantly, had a steady income each week.

This has been the topic of conversation for us lately. A few weeks ago, I finished up a part time contract role and had to face the reality of putting my heart and soul back into the business, 100 percent. All of Me. This was what I’d wanted for the last 10 years, so why wasn’t I jumping into my business with the passion and excitement that I expected? I sat quietly and had a light bulb moment. I only feel successful when I am making money, when I can see that same dollar value in my bank account every week. That’s when I feel like I am worthy in my life. I’ve also been in sales for 15 years, so like a well-trained soldier, my discipline or craft was making money. My mindset had become so used to measuring my self-worth via two scenarios; how much money I was earning and how much money I was making for whoever I was working for. In the early days of my career, someone so eloquently told me that I was “Only as good as my last sale.” Well how very motivating and inspirational! As the years went by, the messages were pretty much the same, just delivered differently and packaged up in pretty little bows disguised as compliments.

You see, what I’m starting to learn about myself is that money comes and goes. I haven’t turned into a full tree hugger burning notes while chanting around the camp fire! I still believe we need it to survive, but our mindset around success and how we define it needs to change. Just because I technically didn’t convert a sale this week, it doesn’t mean that I’m worthless and not working hard, or more importantly, working towards a purpose. We need to go easy on ourselves and remember that money and material possessions don’t define us and we are more than enough without the bells and whistles. Success can be anything you want it to be. For me, it’s helping a client see clearly when they feel like everything is hopeless, or dragging my butt out of bed at 5am to get to the gym. Better yet, it’s knowing that I can now cook at least 4 decent meals a week! Not kidding, a year ago “I used my oven for storage” as Carrie Bradshaw from SATC would say.

I want you to sit still for a moment and ask yourself “What makes me feel a sense of achievement that doesn’t involve money or possessions?” Only then will you start to feel a wholeness that can only be achieved when we connect deeply with our hearts and not through our wallets.

mental health, Mindfulness, Uncategorized, wellness

Out of the Phone and Into Real Life

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I have a confession; I’m starting to have an unhealthy relationship with my phone. I love how convenient it makes my life, but I hate that sometimes I go to bed and feel like my eyeballs have merely jumped from one screen to another for 16 hours of the day! Ironically you are now reading an article about how to minimise your smart phone screen time while you’re on it, am I right?

I realised that I needed to change things when my phone was the first thing I reached for upon waking and the last thing I touched when I went to bed. Too much information? Spooning becomes less romantic when you are holding your phone that’s for sure. I also have moments with my device in the bathroom, the kitchen, the lounge and dare I even say it; the car (only at the traffic lights). But seriously WTF is so important all the time that we need it glued to our hands?

I have a few theories, the first one is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). God forbid that we will miss something on our Instagram or Facebook feed that happened between the 10 minutes of not checking it! Secondly, the thrill of receiving a notification and the inner dialogue associated with it; “How many people like my post?” or “What did they write?” or “What will they think of me if I don’t write back quickly?” Truly, this happens to all of us, but especially when you’re starting out in business and have never been a massive social media user, hoping that at least someone is finding your content useful. Again, these are my confessions….

So how do we minimise our screen time, when it’s not just social media that lures us, but also our work emails and other stuff like online shopping or the latest viral video that everyone’s talking about. I’m hoping the below list gets me through the next month, so maybe you can try a few tips if you’re feeling the same and let me know what worked for you:

1. Buy an old school alarm clock and keep technology out of the bedroom

2. Stop taking the phone into every area of the house (my place is tiny, this is a problem!)

3. No phone use half an hour before bedtime

4. Give people your full attention when having a conversation – phone down

5. Set a timer for work email notifications i.e – nothing comes through between 7pm and 7am

6. No phones at the dinner table

7. Do something on the weekend without posting about it #guilty

8. Have a meal without instagraming it – I’ve never done this but it may be helpful for others, I’m always too hungry to take pictures!

9. Play with your pets when they are sitting there staring at you on your phone

10. Same as previous but replace this with kids (for me this will be my husband!)

Really, we all just need to reconnect with what’s around us and get our heads out of the phone and into real life. When you have to visit the Chiro because your forehead is constantly facing the floor, it’s time to take action. I’m not there yet and hopefully never will be that bad!

mental health, wellness

My Story

coming soon
You know that question teachers ask when you’re trying to figure out who you are; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

My response;

“Well gee I don’t know, I’ve only just worked out how to sneak into the club on Saturday night with my fake ID!” (thanks cousin Tina…)

The one thing I’ve always known though, is how much I loved talking to people, and helping others when they felt like their world was imploding. It was so good when someone walked away feeling happier from a conversation we’d shared. So I thought about becoming a psychologist, a teacher… Or perhaps even an actress during my drama phase at school! Where I did eventually find myself, was in the world of media sales; and what a journey that was.

I’ve spent the last 15 years talking, selling, presenting, and eating, drinking and laughing with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met; many of whom remain great friends of mine today. I loved what I did for the first few years, and it made me feel so connected to people, but something was missing.

I started to feel burnt out and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t shake the stress and anxiety that was building. I wasn’t living my purpose; in fact I was avoiding it like the plague. I finally reached breaking point one Sunday morning, when I had a panic attack while making a cup of tea. It took a lot for me to walk away from the career I’d built, but I did.

I created Time to Exhale so that I can help others who are going through a tough time like I was. We can all get back to being the best version of ourselves, which doesn’t involve an overnight fix, or suppressing feelings until they disappear (because they don’t).

My journey didn’t happen overnight, and it’s one that sees me learning new things about myself every day. I have a great team of people around me. Some of them are coaches, and others are my natural therapy gurus. We all need a little help sometimes, so don’t be scared to reach out when things aren’t feeling right.

Welcome to my community!