healthy habits

How to Take Care of Your Health Without Losing Your Day Job

rena williams wellness

The question lingers in your mind like chimney smoke on a cold winter’s day - do I risk calling in sick one more time and fear losing my job? Or get gifted the worst of projects as a subtle nod? Or suddenly be moved offices as a less subtle nod?

This happened to me. From corner office with an incredible 23rd story view, to a middle office, to an interior office with no windows. #firstworldproblems All while trying to get to the root of why my health had gone seriously awry.


Still, this passive approach to deliver a message was clear. And my self-doubt kept me from making wise and healthful decisions that would have created a deeper shift in my health I so desperately craved.


When your health is screaming for attention by way of symptoms (whether physical, mental or emotional) and you contemplate, even for a millisecond, a change in your work schedule. Yet, what gets stirred up within you is fear, take this as super valuable information. You’ve hit a pivotable moment. The fear is your indicator that you’ve fallen away from balance - in your thinking, in the stories you’re making up about your work and your value. Stories so ingrained they’re now subconscious patterns. Your body had no other choice but to exude symptoms of dis-ease.

Our bodies take on what the mind doesn’t deal with. And when it’s something repetitive like a belief or ingrained story, illness most often results.

So at this pivotal moment, you can choose to do nothing. Continue as per usual. Behind this door you'll be greeted with more health symptoms, falling further away from balance. Symptoms that you’ll try to mitigate with a cleanse here and there. This will only quiet the symptoms temporarily, but you still won’t feel like you’re back to baseline.


Taking Care of Your Health Without Losing Your Day Job - 6 Ways

These six ideas can lay the groundwork for a profound impact on your health, especially when it's in a compromised state. As you read these notice what initial reactions and thoughts come to mind:

  1. Consider a leave of absence. If I was coaching you one on one I’d be super curious at the stories that flood your mind as you even consider this sentence. When you have your health you have a thousand dreams. When you don't you have only one. If this true for you, a leave of absence can be a valid consideration.

  2. Negotiate a revised work schedule. From home, reduced hours, days off during the week. Propose a solution that creates an opportunity for you to heal.

  3. Outsource as much as you can so time at home allows rest to be made a priority. Whether it’s cleaning, grocery shopping, dog walking, etc. This level of support can make an impactful difference.

  4. Make room in your schedule for health. Have plans for Saturday? Trying to keep up your regular social life while trying to get back to health is tough. Shortlist your social circle to those that leave you filled up instead of drained. And people who respect your boundaries. Speaking of boundaries…

  5. Boundaries. This is an ideal time to work on your boundaries. Boundaries are about your relationship with yourself. They’re not about other people. A lot of the overwhelm we experience is caused by not respecting our boundaries or being unclear about what they are.

  6. Learn the art of saying no.That doesn't work for me.” “No, not this time.” “No, I'm not able to help you.” (Side note: No is also a boundary). You’ll most likely get tested on this especially if others aren't used to you honouring your boundaries.


Now some of these may feel outlandish and downright absurd to you. Your fear or discomfort around any of these is always a great indicator. Bring curiosity to that discomfort instead of judgment.


I’ll leave you with this promise - the mindset that contributed to your ill-health is not the same mindset that will bring you back to a state of thriving. You’ll have to shift your mindset (and the beliefs held so tightly about yourself and yourself in relation to others). This feels incredibly uncomfortable at first consideration. But for you, my fellow empath, this is foundational to your health.

Now it’s your turn - what’s one way you take care of your health without losing your day job? Share with me in the comments below.

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How to Develop Habits That Last

how to develop habits that last

Have you ever felt like you were torturing yourself when trying to develop a new habit?

Like not drinking coffee or making breakfast everyday instead of grabbing something on your way to work?

 

It can be hard to make a new habit feel like second nature and something you wanna stick with. 

 

One of the podcasts I listen to recently featured author Gretchen Rubin and her new book Better Than Before. It’s a book about developing lasting habits. I found it so fascinating that each of us has a habit ‘personality’. What motivates one person isn’t necessarily going to motivate someone else to form a similar habit in the same way. 

 

Regardless of your habit personality, when it comes to rewarding yourself while developing new habits, there’s a common approach that can be useful. And you do want to reward yourself, right? I mean, who doesn’t love a present?! ;)

 

 

Rewarding Habits to Make Them Last

You want a habit to feel automatic. Like getting dressed or having a shower. That kind of automatic. It's something you choose to do because there’s a payoff. (Feeling human? Check.) 

 

I’m always working on ways to help my clients build lasting habits. To help them reach their goals. Plus, I love understanding and learning how us humans work. Learning about our tendencies never gets old for this one. 

 

When developing a habit you often want to reward yourself. But depending on the reward, according to Gretchen,  it can be working against making the new habit last. 

 

If you want the habit to feel automatic, reward yourself with something that’ll take you deeper into forming it, rather than taking you away from it. Rewarding yourself with something that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve only makes the habit burdensome. And you end up feeling deprived. Which means you’re most likely not going to stick with it. 

 

For example, say I’m trying wanna make my breakfast every day. If I do this every day for a month, to reinforce the habit, I might want to reward myself with a new high powered blender. A reward like this will help make mornings easier as I have the option to make smoothies, etc. Having tools that saves you time + makes working in the kitchen easier will help reinforce the new habit.

 

If you choose to reward yourself with something like going out for brunch, you’re not reinforcing the new habit. This type of reward takes you away from your intention. 

 

I’m not saying don’t go out for brunch. Definitely go if that’s fun for you. Make the reward something that encourages the habit, instead taking away from it.

 

Say you wanna build the habit of eating greens everyday. Rewarding yourself with a burger, isn’t going to reinforce it. You’ll be left feeling like the habit is depriving you. Then you’re less likely to keep up with it. A reward that could take you deeper into the habit, might be to buy a cookbook. One loaded with delicious, inspiring recipes that make you excited to eat greens because you’re learning new (yummy) ways to prepare them.

 

Choosing a reward that takes you deeper into a habit helps it feel like second nature. 

 

I remember I had a goal of running a half marathon. I put in the time and miles to achieve this goal. But because I didn’t make it a habit (it was only a goal), once I finished the race, I didn’t run for weeks (maybe months ;)) after. I was like 'Wihoo! I’m finished. Now let me go back to my regular life.'

 

A goal brings about a sense of achievement and often has an end date. Once you’ve met both, you’re not motivated to keep it going afterwards. 

 

But, if you wanted to build the habit of running, your reward could be a new pair of running shoes, or sneakers (potato, potato). New shoes would help reinforce the habit, making you more likely to continue running. 

 

See the difference?

 

If you want to make your habit feel second nature, reward yourself in a way that encourages you to keep going. It’s like setting up your own little sideline cheering team of ‘Woot, woot! You can do this!!'

 

 

Are you trying to develop a habit that lasts? What’s one way you can support building it? Share with me in the comments below. 

 

This is not a sponsored post. I found the theory really interesting. Here’s a link to the podcast, in case you like this stuff like me. 

 

To developing new habits, 

rena williams wellness