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Professional Women, Ditch the Anxiety-Exhaustion Trap and Rediscover Your Calm, Productive Self

The alarm blares, but instead of a surge of energy, you're met with a familiar dread. Worries, like unwelcome guests, have already settled in. Work deadlines loom, family obligations pile up, and the "what-ifs?" whisper like a broken record in your mind. This is the exhausting reality of chronic worry and its partner-in-crime, chronic fatigue. It steals your focus, zaps your energy, and leaves you feeling trapped in a cycle of anxiety and exhaustion. But it doesn't have to be this way. Understanding the root cause:

The first step to reclaiming your power is understanding why worry thrives. For many professional women, it's a potent cocktail of societal expectations, internal pressures, and the relentless pursuit of "having it all." We juggle careers, families, social lives, and personal aspirations, often feeling like we're failing at all of them. This constant pressure fuels anxiety, which in turn, disrupts sleep, depletes energy, and amplifies exhaustion. It becomes a vicious cycle, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and powerless.

Breaking the Cycle:

The good news is, you're not alone. And, more importantly, you can break free. Here are some powerful strategies to silence the "what-ifs?" and reclaim your calm, productive self:

1. Reframe your "shoulds" into "wants": Instead of feeling obligated by a never-ending list of "shoulds," ask yourself, "What do I truly desire for my life?" Shift the focus from external pressures to your internal compass. This empowers you to prioritise what truly matters and let go of unrealistic expectations.

2. Befriend the present: Worry thrives on the future, but you live in the present. Mindfulness techniques, meditation and breathing techniques are great practices to support this. If you are not yet practising, then start where you are, there is no need to add extra responsibilities. In any given moment that you notice yourself wandering off into the past or future - simply bring your attention to the present.

3. Celebrate small wins: The pressure to achieve grand goals often fuels anxiety and exhaustion. Instead, celebrate the small victories – the completed task, the healthy meal, the moment of laughter. These tiny triumphs fuel progress and boost your confidence, creating a sustainable path to success.

4. Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness you'd offer a loved one. Forgive yourself for missteps, acknowledge your efforts, and remember, you are enough, exactly as you are. My clients often think about what I would say to help guide them in this practice.

5. Build your support network: You don't have to go through this alone. Surround yourself with supportive people who understand and encourage you. Talk to a therapist, join a supportive community and connect with like-minded women who face similar challenges (like the Anxiety Relief Collective), or connect with other professional women who face similar challenges. Being around others who understand, walk and have walked the path can make all the difference.

Remember, healing is a journey, not a destination. There may be bumps in the road and moments of doubt, but with self-compassion, intention, the right support and tools, you can break the cycle of worry and exhaustion. You can reclaim your power, rediscover your calm, and step back into your life as the confident, successful woman you were always meant to be.

Ready to silence the "what-ifs?" and reclaim your power? Let's see if the Anxiety Relief Collective or one-on-one support is the perfect fit to help you tame anxiety, boost your energy, and thrive in your career and life. Book your complimentary call today and step into the calm, confident future you deserve.

Another year dawns, a fresh canvas of possibility stretched out before you. Yet, instead of the usual flurry of excitement, a familiar, unwelcome guest sits at your shoulder – anxiety. Its voice whispers, "Shoulds" hissing like steam from a pressure cooker: you should have a list of resolutions, a gym routine, a new career plan, all mapped out before the champagne cork even pops.

But what if this year, you stepped into the new year with a different kind of resolution – a resolution to be kind to yourself, to let go of the pressure cooker, and to embrace the messy beauty of the present?

Professional women like us know the drill: juggle deadlines, maintain a picture-perfect life, and chase the elusive ideal of "having it all." But under this relentless pursuit, the whispers of anxiety grow into roars. We hear them in the quiet moments, in the nagging feeling that we're never doing enough, never achieving enough.

This year, let's rewrite the script. Let's face the truth – perfection is a mirage. It's the shimmering oasis in the distance that keeps us thirsty and running, but never quite quenches our thirst. It's time to stop chasing shadows and start embracing the light of our own reality.

Here's how we can do that:

1. Slow Down, Breathe Deep: The pressure cooker thrives on agitation. Take a step back, breathe deeply, and acknowledge the anxiety. Don't judge yourself, just observe. This act of awareness is the first step to defusing the pressure.

2. Reframe the "Shoulds" into "Wants": Instead of "I should have a resolution list," ask yourself, "What do I truly desire for this year?" Shift the focus from societal expectations to your own inner compass.

3. Celebrate Small Wins: The pressure cooker thrives on grand achievements. Instead, celebrate the small victories: that morning meditation, the nourishing meal you cooked, the kind word you offered yourself. These tiny triumphs are the fuel for sustainable progress.

4. Practice Self-Compassion: We're often our harshest critics. Treat yourself with the same kindness you'd offer a friend. Forgive yourself for missteps, acknowledge your efforts, and remember, you are enough, right now, exactly as you are.

This New Year, let's step away from the pressure cooker and towards self-acceptance. Let's nurture our minds and bodies with kindness, celebrate small steps, and embrace the messy beauty of being human.

And if you're ready to take the next step, to silence the "shoulds", get true relief from anxiety so that you can feel calm, confident, enough and present in your your then, I invite you to book a free call with me. Together, we can explore how to navigate anxiety, cultivate self-compassion, and create a New Year that truly nourishes your soul so that you can focus on the things that mean the most to you - your connections, your aspirations and your happiness.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Take a deep breath, release the pressure, and step into the year with an open heart and a gentle smile. You've got this.

Winter can really play havoc with our anxiety and mood. So, stay around to the end and I’ll be covering top tips to anxiety proof your winter for you. I will be covering why anxiety is particularly difficult around the winter and key areas such as the cold weather, the dark, avoidance, mindset and routine. In the winter there is much less sunlight from Autumn we get less light in the mornings and the evenings draw and it gets cold. This impacts upon us, our anxiety and mental health because we need light to regulate our sleep patterns. In the absence of light, a hormone called melatonin is produced which makes us sleepy. This in turn impacts on how tired and sleepy we feel and impacts upon our natural sleep pattern. When our sleep is disturbed, we are more likely to feel anxious, agitated, overwhelmed and our ability to cope with things reduces. What can we do about it? We need as much daylight as we can get in winter. This helps with our sleep pattern, but it also gives us our much-needed boost of vitamin D which are both vital in supporting our emotional health and wellbeing. Here are some practical strategies you can implement right now to help: - Wake up with sunrise or if you have to wake up earlier use a light that it emulates a sunrise. This helps you naturally start to wake up rather than waking up in absolute darkness.

- Go outside in daylight as much as you can and allow the light on your skin. Use flexible working to take a break in the day where you can get the benefit of the light. I.e., if you usually walk your dog in the morning or night maybe take a mid-afternoon walk instead. - When indoors stay close to windows and where there is natural light. If you spend a lot of time at a desk or at work, consider what changes you could make to be closer to natural light. - If access to light is quite limited, you can get light boxes that can emulate day light and the use of day light bulbs can be helpful. - Adapting your environment to be uplifting and bright In the winter it gets cold, and we get cold. I personally am that person that really feels the cold and I am the one that receives all the freezing cold person memes from friends and family over the winter. Cold is of course uncomfortable but it also makes our body work harder to regulate our temperature and it also causes physical reactions and sensations which are very similar to anxiety. You may feel tense, your body may become rigid, you may shake, chatter your teeth, feel your heart beating faster. These are also symptoms of anxiety, and this can signal to your brain that you’re not ok and trigger anxiety symptoms so that you continue to feel these things and some more uncomfortable sensations. What can you we do about it? -Help yourself feel warmer -Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather – you may want to invest in some warmer clothing - Keeping your environment warm or having access to things that can help warm you up such as a jumper, scarf, blanket, hot drink, hot water bottle, hand warmers etc - Visualise a warm place, visualise feeling warmer and imagine the warmth surrounding your body or the feeling of sun on your skin. - Adapting your environment to feel warm, cosy, inviting and soothing

Helping your body feel warmer will help your body to be relaxed and you will be less likely to then experience these symptoms as anxiety. It will also take the pressure off your body to regulate your temperature meaning more energy for you and other things rather than leading to agitation or tiredness which in turn can make you more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety. Do you hear or do you say to yourself ‘I'm dreading winter, I hate winter it is so long, it's drawn out I just hate it’. Have a think about what those words evoke and how they may impact upon you. What we think and believe creates our emotional response and our reality so these words can physically impact upon how we experience winter and cause some of the distress. If you have found winter difficult previously and you have thought to yourself, I don’t like winter or maybe you dread it then I invite you to think about What do you like about winter? What does winter give you the opportunity to do? What do you have to look forward to over the next couple of months? If you struggled with these questions then it’s no wonder you’re not looking forward to it so I invite you to plan something that you can look forward to, think about how you would like to invest your time over winter what would you like to do how you would like to feel and what can help you achieve this. In winter we naturally hibernate, our routine changes and because of this we may be avoiding situations that cause us anxiety. At this time your anxious mind is loving life because anxiety loves to avoid things as it doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable, stressed, tense and overwhelmed. Wahoo, we don’t have to go out, we don’t have to be in social situations, we don’t have to get on public transport etc. This is great in the short term but in the long term it makes those things much more difficult to do. Imagine not exercising for a couple of months and then booking in for the most difficult spinning class or challenging cross country run – it’s going to be difficult – yeah. Same different with anxiety if you don’t experience something for months when you experience it again it’s going to be more difficult because our tolerance or ability to cope with it diminishes. Don't completely stop doing what you're doing now, my advice would be to make simple adaptations to your current routine to make it winter proof. This could be from appropriate clothing to help you keep up with your outside exercise to planning things indoors or at a time when it is light. Have a think about your normal routine and what may naturally slip off because of winter and see how you can still do these things or reinvent them to be more winter proof. Changes in our routine and stopping doing things can have an impact upon our emotional wellbeing and anxiety because we may be stopping or doing less of the things that gives us connection to other people, that gives us our energy, joy, sense of purpose, achievement and zest for life. Therefore, it will come to no surprise that if we do stop these things it can get us down and can trigger more anxiety. If some of the things are just not possible during the winter month’s then think about how you would like to spend your time, what you would like to do that gives you a bit of what you’re missing. If you'd like to take the next step; maybe you are worried about winter, you know that it tends to be difficult period of time for you. If you need a little bit more than this information, I invite you to have a chat with me, let's see how we can work together to support you through these experiences. This is a complimentary (completely free chat), simply follow this link or message me to arrange a suitable time and date for you.

Be kind to yourself, With love Emma

Emma Draycott - Anxiety Relief Therapy

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