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With the recent years of lockdowns and uncertainty behind us, Miriam offers some great tips and mental hacks to develop a platform to move forward with resilience, a sense of calm, and a drive to improve our overall well-being.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Miriam on our Good Change Conversations podcast. With an extensive background in health psychology, Miriam’s knowledge surrounding the interaction between both mind and body are fascinating. She believes in translating science into practical strategies we can use to better understand and enhance our mental wellbeing.
Several years ago, Miriam recognised how burnt-out colleagues and friend's were, and that the causes of this was often both life and work stresses. She started asking, how can we prevent burn-out? In our latest episode of Good Change Conversations, Miriam lets us in on these psychology secrets, and offers a few tricks and mental hacks to improve our overall wellbeing!
Creating a wellness plan is a great way to make sure you’re ready when burn-out threatens sneaks up on you. Follow Miriam’s easy to curate wellness plan to help you spot the early warning signs of burn-out, and how to counteract it.
Write down your early warning signs.
Feeling a little snappy? Extra tired? Lacking concentration and motivation? Take some time to think about and recognize the early signs of looming burn-out.
Acting on these as early as possible is the best course of action.
Define your positive coping strategies.
What are the things that you have inside of your control to help you cope when things are maybe going a bit South or you're getting a bit more stressed?
Miriam says, “Because often when we are in that space, when we are tired and stressed and almost can't be bothered, we forget the things that actually help us.
So, we either need someone else to say, get out and go for a run. We know you'll feel better. Or if we've written it down in a plan, this wellness plan, then we can look it up and go, ‘that's right. I always feel better when I go for a run’, even though I don't feel like it.
The ones that are kind of fake strategies. They're the coping ones that make us think we are coping, but actually are undermining. If we can think about what our good ones are, we can write them down so we don't get tripped up when we're in a bad space or when we are starting to go south.”
“The other thing I'd say to put in a wellness plan is what's something helpful I can say to myself when the pressure's coming on? Just be positive. I often say we don't need to have a mantra that's super positive. For me, the kind of thing that I say is, you've coped with this before. You've got the resources to cope with this”
Next, write down who can you go to for help.
“You know, write down the names of where you can go for help. Is it your family? Is it a special friend? Is it your GP? Is it a website, Is it a helpline?”
And most importantly, have it somewhere that's accessible.
“Put it on your phone or put it on the fridge. Put it somewhere and make one for everyone in the family.”
When you spot those early warning signs of burn-out, try Miriam's three clear practical steps to relax and keep burn-out at bay:
Be kind to yourself
"Talk to yourself like you would someone that you really cherish, because so often the way that we talk to ourselves in our own head. Is not very nice. Stop if you notice that and say, ‘Would I say this to my friend?’ And if you wouldn't, try and talk to yourself like you would a friend.
Look at your trick coping strategies.
"(The ones where we reach for the glass of wine, or we get sucked into Netflix for hours or start surfing on our phones. ) Ask yourself a question, ‘is this helping or harming my wellbeing?’ Then you can give yourself that opportunity to decide whether your strategy is a trick strategy or whether it's a real one."
"One of the greatest things that we can control in our physiology is our breath to control anxiety and worry. When we have strong emotions, often we have a physical response. Take the time, where ever you are to breathe, 10 long deep breaths whether you’re sitting on the couch or at the traffic lights."
Good Change conversations with Kristy Hunter and Stine Smith is a seasonal podcast dedicated to equipping you with practical advice to do small, but good changes.
In each episode we interview people making good changes, who are experts in their field. If you are looking to make small changes, Stine & Kristy will give you the inspiration and action plan to do this, today.
Listen to our full Good Change Conversation with Brianne and explore more episodes