Guest writer and former burnout sufferer Bree Nicholls on the need to disconnect from certain areas of your life in order to reconnect with your creative side and re-energise – and prevent the dreaded burnout.
One of the greatest lies we’ve been sold in the modern-day working world is the idea that being constantly on the go is synonymous with output and success. Throughout my 20-year career, I’ve spent half that time being ‘on the go’ and the other half coming to know and realise a different, more content way of working.
The ‘on the go’ me from 12 years ago was stressed, overworked, had imposter syndrome, was physically ill and suffered from digestion issues and insomnia, to name a few. I reacted to my workload and my life by trying to do even more. We all know how this story ends don’t we? (Heads up, it’s burnout) which wasn’t quite how I envisioned leaving my job.
When I first made the transition to being self-employed three years ago, I struggled immensely with all this time I had. I had just left a Group Sales Manager role and we were taught to constantly be pushing for more. After all, if you’re not pushing, you’re not making money, apparently.
I had to learn how to sit with myself. Meditate. Be still. I was fascinated with how my creativity skyrocketed during this time. I accessed parts of myself I didn’t even know existed, slowly but surely becoming a stronger, more dynamic businesswoman – and it was all because of this space I had suddenly inherited and decided to use differently.
Disconnecting is a funny thing because it’s like pulling the plug out of the noise and plugging yourself into a different source – one that comes from a deeper place both inside and outside of yourself, one of intuition, expansion, creativity and inspiration.
I’ve noticed that for my business to be successful in both how I feel day-to-day, and in the output, I need a beautiful blend and balance of disconnecting and then moving forwards with momentum. I liken it to a bow and arrow. The more space I create, the more I pull the arrow back to restore and disconnect. The further I pull this arrow back, the further my arrow can fly when I let it go. It springs faster and further with the space I provide for myself. Less space, less distance for the arrow to fire – and more burnout.
What values can you expect to feel when you disconnect and why is it important?
- The ability to strategise better, and see the bigger picture
- More creative thinking, more ways to work through problems
- A greater sense of peace in your day to day life
- Less stress!
- The answers to overcoming challenges come more easily
- Great for cleansing the brain for new business growth ideas to emerge!
How can you create a more beautiful balance between disconnection and reconnection?
- Create the time and space to breathe and centre yourself and your thoughts. This could be as simple as leaving your computer and heading outside to sit in the sunshine for 5 minutes
- Give yourself the permission to be still when you need it. Prioritise rest. You do not need to go home and burn the midnight oil. If you are good at what you do and you get the results, your workplace should respect your time and your mind
- Work in tune with the ebbs and flow of your body. If you are a morning person, use the mornings to focus on tasks so that you can leave more space for your evenings, and vice versa.
- Meditate. It is widely proven to have many great benefits, and I would say it is one of the most powerful ways you can access deeper insights, clarity, and focus. For those who don’t know where to start, simply try sitting somewhere quiet for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and focus in on your breath. Cancel the noise out and come back to the breathe continuously
- Practice Gratitude. This broadens one’s view and perspectives and helps make way for new possibilities to energy that could not be seen behind the tunnel vision of logistical problems.
Bree Nicholls is the Founder and Director of The Being Way, a consciously curated coaching method that blends the world of coaching, counselling, psychotherapy and mindfulness together.