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Thrive vs Survive

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Are you thriving or surviving?

Do you wake up each day ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way with enthusiasm or is the mere thought of getting out of bed a scary challenge because of what lies ahead? What could you do to wake up each day feeling refreshed and excited about the productivity and results that lie ahead?

Surviving your day being tired, overwhelmed and unproductive?

Does this sound like you: You wake up feeling like you haven't slept well, in reality you have been in bed trying to sleep for 7 hours. Not an ideal amount of sleep but enough time that you should feel rest
Coffee is the first thing on your mind, a necessity to start the day and avoid the potential headache/ sluggishness that would otherwise dominate your mindset to start the day. You now feel good, coffee has done its job, a quick breakfast and it's off to work.
You start to process the day ahead - “overwhelmed” is a good way to describe your emotional response to the day. There seems to be a gap in the level of performance your brain needs and what’s available. The shortfall leaves you wondering where that next stimulus is going to come from.

You bounce through the day on stimulation (sugar or caffeine?) and drive to meet your commitments. Mid-afternoon comes and as lunch was missed you feel like the day should already be finished. The last 2 hours of the day are under productive and you head home exhausted.
Food and hunger dominate your agenda when you arrive home, after all you have created an energy deficit by riding high on mental stimulants like caffeine and sugar all day whilst your energy levels have been decreasing as the day went on.
At this point it can even be hard at home to spend time engaging with loved ones, as your mind remembers what was meant to be done during the day. Being present can be a challenge when we are tired.

Thriving- an energising, productive and positive day

An alternative scenario see’s you wake up having spent no longer in bed but feel great - well rested and looking forward to the day ahead. You know what sort of food makes you feel good, eat when it's convenient and focus on the right type of food. You enjoy a coffee but don't feel it's “needed”.
Throughout the day you operate well, feeling energised. Your productivity is high and you accomplish what you set out do without stress and get ahead of the game for tomorrow. When it's home time you arrive with a positive mindset, you enjoy the evening wind down and can be present when spending time with family and loved ones. You even have some time to think about what you wish to accomplish tomorrow - without it affecting our sleep.

What could you do to make each day seem easier?

When we realise that our actions around personal wellbeing help our ability to manage stress and improve productivity we create and in control mindset.

If we spend our time surviving we do so out of control and just getting by. Not a place our body of mind likes to be.
Most of us like to have control of some or all aspect of our lives.

5 suggestions on how you can be proactive around your health

Reduce sugar and alcohol in the evening for better sleep quality, nothing after 7pm.

Place a 1-2 litre water jug on your desk and finish it during the work day.

Make a larger portion of your dinner meal and take some for lunch the following day, twice a week to start with.

Prioritise your day, tackle your most challenging task first and then take 5 mins to stop and refresh.

Set an hourly reminder on your desktop/ device to remind you to move: 1-2 mins every hour is proven to improve cognitive performance and increase your ability to stay on task.

Take a proactive approach to your health and you may well remove some of the challenges in your professional life or your ability to manage them will improve.
What's one thing you could do to improve your personal health that will in turn improve your professional health? Make one change and become aware of the improvements so you value the change. If you have an all or nothing mindset put your all into making one change!

Paul Todd
Health and Performance coach
Smart Body Fit Mind/ Advanced Fitness