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Hello lovely and thank you for joining me for day 6 of Searching for Serenity's 7-day video tutorial series, eliminating Exhaustion.
I can't believe that we are at day 6 already. I am so pleased that you have been going through this 7-day video tutorial and hope that you have discovered she huge benefits already.
Today is a direct lead on from what we had discussed yesterday. Yesterday we went thorough everything you've had in your head; everything you needed to do, everything you think you need to be and then we started deleting things that didn't bring you joy and enthusiasm.
This was simply a lesson in finding your real motivation and learning to let go of the things that don't bring happiness.
So many of the women I work with, so many of my friends and colleagues even, feel this constant pressure to do things, have thing, be this person, must, ought, should. It's exhausting simply having that go through our head and never feeling positive enough or good enough at what we do.
This is really a lesson in stepping back, not feeling that you had to do everything or say yes to everything and being the brightest, shining what ever it might be. This is about caring for you.
We are looking at joy and creativity today. This is something that I have touched on previously through the
Searching for Serenity blog and livestreams and in the Facebook group. I would encourage you to check those out!
So many women come to me at a point in their careers when they have been pushing, working all the hours available to them, adding extra, doing overtime and not seeing the rewards that they wanted.
It is incredibly difficult to see progress when you're living under a microscope.
You might well feel that you are doing everything right and seeing no reward. However, I can guarantee you that you are so much further along your path, that you have learned so much, even in the last 6 months of your work, never mind throughout your whole career. Because we focus on the 'what's next'. What's going to happen next, how are we going to get there how are we going to do it.
For today, I am bringing you something that is emerging in psychological research; the study of creativity and joy.
Brene Brown studies this in her work. She studies people that she calls 'the wholehearted'. One of the key tenets of the wholehearted are that they do things outside of work that are nothing to do with work and specifically are creative.
At this point, so many people run away and become fearful. They come self conscious at the concept of being creative and become self-effacing and deflect the question out of a misguided sense of embarrassment or fear.
But I bet you bake, or cook really well, or mix a mean cocktail, or sang in a choir, or danced as a child or played sport. Whatever it might be, these are all creative acts. It is the act of making something from small parts and it's something that most off s used to do. W e had hobbies as children and teenagers, but as we enter the real world of living and pursuing careers we let these hobbies go by the wayside. Contrary to this, Brene Brown's research demonstrated that people who pursue some creativity have a much better perspective on work and feel more positive and have contributed something to the world.
This has a dual effect in my programme and the work I do with women suffering exhaustion and burnout.
The first point is, if you are creating, if you enjoying an activity outside of work you will feel more positive because you are not simply running on a treadmill of 'that’s next'. This is because you are doing something; whether it's a art class or a dinner party with friends. You are creating something that has a beginning, middle and an end and you see the progress of that.
If I was to step you out of your career and was to take you, Scrooge style, to the ghosts of Christmas past and future and showed you your career you would see the huge steps that you have take and will take. but you can't see those progress points when you are in the middle of them. The benefit of creativity is that you are trapped within a tiny bubble, an ecosystem of its own, watching the evolution of the parts of the project you have taken on, whether it's painting or creating jewellery (something I do myself) or singing or dancing.
Take singing for example. Learning a three-part harmony with a group is something that takes place over a matter of hours. Seeing the beginning middle and end of a task and seeing the joy of it really does take you out of your workplace stress. It also gives you energy, because you have achieved something, spending time doing something that you enjoy and getting energy from others.
The second part is, if you are doing something outside of work that is creative and giving you energy and enthusiasm 1) this will feed into your work and 2) it gives you an entire structure and support outside of
This is incredibly important.
No one lies on their deathbed and thinks 'I wish I could have worked more'. We all have big markers to achieve and want to make a big difference in this world but we can't do that exhausted and overworked.
This is the most simple, quick fix tool that you will ever need.
Think for a moment about what it is that brings you joy, considering creativity in particular.
Many people will ask what to was that you studied or enjoyed as a child. I struggle with this myself; I was the child who wanted to be a lawyer from a very young age and so pursued this to the exclusion of all else.
However, along the way I can also tell you that I was part of award winning choirs and spent hours singing (no I will not sing on request!) and a few years ago I experienced first had the impact creativity can have on the life of a stressed professional when I started making jewellery. It was a simple hobby that has now developed in to a whole business, alongside Searching for Serenity and my own professional career.
I love each of my businesses and career because each has given me different skills, I get to express different parts of my own personality and behaviour and I get to see the beginning, middle and end of a project, which takes me outside the context of my professional career. it brings you joy to do something that you love outside of your career.
It is so trick when you are actively pursuing a career because you feel compelled to give all your resources, including your energy and attention, to your career. Plenty of working mums have an incredible amount of guilt about this and do not give any time for themselves because they are so wrapped up in both work and home.
It is so much greater to have these skills and abilities that we develop outside of work using joy and creativity. Even if it something as simple as a colouring book; this will give you something intently yours, something that brings you joy, something that, even when everything else in the world is going wrong, you can retreat to.
For today I want you to consider joy and creativity. What did you used to do and enjoy before it fell by the wayside in favour of the 'real world' of pursuing a career? What makes you feel young ,crazy and fun. What will help you to boost our energy and enthusiasm, and the direct knock on effect is that we will begin to eliminate exhaustion. Finally, what can you do without a huge financial or emotional investment? Is there something that you can do with our friends or family of children?
Start throwing out these ideas, start thinking what it is you can do and we will start booking in time to explore them. Don't forget you have your 20 minutes of self-care each day; if this is something that you really enjoy then it is part of your self-care routine.
Creativity can be as simple as singing a song at the top of your voice in the car (again, I will hold my hands up to that one). This is something that you create by yourself or with others that ring you joy and allows you to see the evolution of its parts.
So, what are you going to do and how are you going to fit it in each day. It can be as a little as 15 minutes a day if it's something that combined with your self-care routine.
What brings you joy and how are you going to bring more of it in to your life?
If you try this exercise out I promise that within a few weeks you will see huge differences because it takes you completely away from your work and putting stress in g a box becomes slightly irrelevant when you have something that you love to do outside of your career.
If you are struggling at all with this or want to bounce ideas around for this, do come over to the Facebook group. I would love to hear you all bouncing ideas off each other and exploring what it is that you used to do.
I will be back for day 7 - our final day in this course - tomorrow.
I hope that you are finding this so helpful and that it is really boosting your energy. That is what this whole process is about; the opposite of exhaustion is energy and that’s exactly what we are all about.
Do take care of yourself today, implement your self-care tonight, reach out if you need further support.
See you tomorrow for the final day of the course.