A checklist for the January 31st tax deadline
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We caught up with wellness expert, life coach and content creator Angelika Alana to talk about handling fears, overcoming stress and kicking ass in life.
All the time, ha! I know sometimes all the uncertainty of freelance life can build up but I think it’s about managing the fear. Motivated people aren’t necessarily super motivated, they just minimise de-motivating factors in their life, so that it’s easy to be productive.
To me, bravery is the same. Brave people aren’t necessarily ‘fearless’, they’re just really good at minimising the things in their lives that create unnecessary fear. Like, for example, not thinking they have to make a living off their passion straight away, but instead maybe keeping up their side hustle to avoid unnecessary money stress. This leaves you with more bravery juice for when it really counts.
I also use a journaling method where I follow my fear through each worst-case scenario and retort with “and so what?” and a series of other questions. It helps me put the truth into perspective. I’ve survived 100% of my worst days and whatever life throws my way, I can bounce back. It isn’t the end of the world (as my fear would sometimes have me think) because, as Marie Forleo, says “everything is figure-out-able”.
It varies, but at the moment I start by writing in a gratitude journal. This is such a buzzword right now but the science is clear: it works when it comes to feeling happier and cultivating emotional resilience…don’t take my word for it though, try it out!
Then, I have an energy cleansing ritual I move through, that involves visualisations, repeating mantras and using the smoke of palo santo wood or sage. This could be a little different for most folk but it works for me. It’s said that ‘feeling is understanding’ and this gives me a clear head and a sense of grounding. I then do a couple of rounds of breathwork and move into a silent 15-minute meditation.
Lastly, I drink ½ a litre of water with good quality sea salt to start the day hydrated.
Like any relationship, the one with ourselves has to be kept varied, so I like to switch it up. The most important thing is that I start the day with some kind of mindfulness ritual. It’s something simple and immediately actionable, that every single person can do to safeguard their mental health and skyrocket their productivity.
It depends on the kind of stress I’m feeling. Like if I feel frustrated, first I’ll shift my state by doing something uber physical like lifting weights or going to a vinyasa yoga class.
If I’m worried about something, I’ll take a really long walk outside in nature with no phone or music and just let my mind run.
If I’m anxious, I’ll use breathwork. The common theme here is: I’ll start by doing something to shift my state from panicked or acute stress to calmness.
Then once I’m a little clearer, if something is still bothering me I’ll usually journal. I think it’s important to give your inner world a voice. Plus, it helps to organise the thoughts that could be creating a lot of the stress and determine if they really deserve to be taking up that valuable inner state. Some of my favourite journaling questions are…
“Is this really true, can I know with absolute certainty that this is true?”
“If not, does it serve me in any feel-good way to keep this thought?” (an ode to Byron Katie)
“What is subjective about this situation and what is just a story I’m telling myself?”
“What would that story look like if it was empowering?”
“What would this situation look like if it was fun and easy?”
One of the first things I get every person who works with me to do is: start getting serious about scheduling – because it works! Every Sunday I schedule for my week: social and work commitments, workouts, clients and content projects I’m working on.
When I have space for my own personal workflow I don’t just schedule ‘work’, I schedule the specific task based on its priority. I don’t always hit 100% of my targets for how I plan my week, but even hitting 80% puts me way ahead of where I’d be if I didn’t plan.
I also never skip a morning mindfulness routine. In the morning, I make time for myself before I make time for the world and this is a commitment I’ve made to myself to balance my priorities.
At night, my partner and I have a ‘no electronics in the bedroom’ policy. We leave our phones at the door and light candles to read with. 1. Because it feels super luxurious and calming and 2. Because if we don’t set a time to be ‘off’ then we’d always find something else to be working on.
The quality of your power comes from the quality of your rest, so as, Arianna Huffington would say, I’m sleeping my way to the top. No shame in my 9-hour-a-night-game!
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