Stepping away from the noise and taking lessons from myself.
Just last weekend, I started to feel those familiar pangs of anxiety.
I couldn't quite work out what was causing it; I've had a brilliant few months with work, had on-boarded some of my best clients, I've had great results and amazing experiences in my business and an amazing time at home with my family.
I've been achieving some personal goals and everything looked rosy - so what was the anxiety about?
As someone who has learned through the burnout and ongoing recovery of over-doing, over-achieving, I'm starting to learn to take this as a warning sign.
As I said back in my post, Why Under-Achieving is my New MO, this is an ongoing process for me.
I need to always make sure that I'm listening to these warning signs and taking heed.
If I'm honest, I started to get these warning signs a couple of weeks ago.
For me, it usually rocks up in the form of feeling too awesome (ever have that?), so it's kind of hard to know when to dial things back.
Especially when you're rising high, everything's going really well, and you're working in your synergy and you're feeling in your power, it's really difficult to recognise when you have overdone things.
Now, you are very different from me, maybe.
I have chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis. All of these are manageable (thanks to a LOT of mindset work, nutrition, movement and all sorts of stuff), under control right now, and all at the tail end of a very long journey with managing chronic pain.
Whenever I feel out of kilter, one, two or three of these flare up- it's a sure warning sign. It's like my body's alarm system and it's so, so useful.
When these start to flare up on a more regular basis and when anxiety comes to play, I know that there's something not quite right.
When my soul literally feels as if there's a hole in it, I know there's something not right.
When my mental health is taking a dip, it's time to ask why.
Just this last weekend, this was starting to happen - that feeling of anxiety, overwhelm, exhaustion and not being able to take on any more.
I had reached total inbox full status in my brain.
I made the decision really quickly to just put a self-care protocol in place.
For me, this meant stepping away from social media for a while - and when I noticed that this is the hardest choice for me to make, I knew that this was also part of the problem.
I felt literally one email, one Slack update, one Instagram like, one Facebook share away from feeling like I would break down in tears.
I felt as if everybody wanted a piece of me all the time.
Obviously, that's not the case.
Yes, I have a large audience, but not as large as many out there. I also have a team to help me.
This wall of noise that we all so often integrate with can also be so, so damaging to your mental health in whichever area of business you are in, entrepreneur or not.
My (irrational mind) was telling me that if I stepped away even for a day, everybody would stop following me, that nobody would ever buy my products anymore, that I would lose all my customers.
This is a complete paranoia, and a HUGE warning sign to find some space.
In fact, as a leader, it's my hob to step up and to show my audience and my clients how to look after their wellbeing, especially as I teach so much in my work about finding space to play, about finding space for creativity.
Having implanted my self-care plan, which not only included stepping away from social media, but über early nights, upping my supplements and wellness formula, upping the meditation, and retaking care of myself, things started to turn around after just a few days.
It really doesn't take very long now for me to be able to move this stuff around.
What else happened in that time?
Well I've been super, super productive because my brain doesn't feel bombarded with overwhelm and panic.
I have been consistently outputting content every day.
I've been taking in new information, which gives me pleasure rather than feeling completely overwhelmed.
I'm able to come up with more creative ideas for my clients and for myself.
In short, I am able to serve from a much better place.
In fact, I think that intermittent fating from social media is such a good practise and one that I need to really build into my weekly habits.
Whenever I notice that I'm checking my phone all the time it's a warning to take stock.
Last Sunday I deleted the apps and from my iPhone, and felt as if I was stepping into a retreat.
I had Pinterest, Voxer, three Slack channels, Whatsapp, text, three email accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - all of these things vying for my attention all the time (or so it felt).
Not only that, but I was allowing my attention to go to there.
Instead, I allowed windows of time to access each one when needed on my Macbook Air, and even then used Newsfeed Eradicator and Freedom App to help manage the habit of looking at ALL OF THE THINGS.
Sometimes it feels like there's no way of stopping it, but there is.
We can reclaim that space.
We can do less and be more.
We can underachieve yet achieve way more than we thought possible.
We can find that space to play and every single time I am reminded of this, I'm so grateful for that gift of overwhelm because it helps me to recalibrate.
It helps me to re-share that message that our inner genius needs time to play.
We need time to breathe and to say no to things that don't serve us.
If you find yourself saying yes to so many things and you wonder why your calendar is absolutely jammed full, then it's time to take stock.
You need to re-look at where you are spending your time and what your priorities really are.
I'd love to know do you find it hard to step away from the noise?
Do you find it hard to switch things off?
What do you feel like you are missing out on and how do you feel if you step away from the noise just for a while?
Let me know.