Hi Everyone, Jamie here from Sanga Living. As some of you know, I have been working with Jillian and her Team Jilly for over the last two years. My job is to support these high performing women to excel in a high-pressure environment. And let me tell you, I work with Fortune 500 companies and High-Powered CEO’s and these ladies over here could give them all a run for their money!
For any of you who work in high-performance environments – oh and stay at home Moms this includes you, it is important to understand how the nervous system functions when there are constant demands, time constraints, and pressure. Most importantly it is important to understand how to optimize brain function.
Life isn’t perfect, we all have moments where things get overwhelming and we can’t seem to handle our sh*t as well. Guess what, you’re human. Emotions can run high, patience can run low, and the brain seems to never want to turn off. Instead of feeling like you are failing, I want you to reframe how you look at this and realize all of these things are actually signs from your nervous system that you are operating too much in the sympathetic nervous system (the stress response) and you need to counterbalance. There is more than likely too many stress hormones in your system, and your brain isn’t functioning as well as it could because of them.
It happens to the best of us, where we get into this go-go-go habit of putting lots of energy out and we don’t have the habit of putting it back in. Your biology was designed for both ways of functioning – the “gas pedal” and the “brake”, but when you are hitting that gas too much we tend to crash.
Stress cannot be completely avoided, it is a part of life … and for those of you who are high performers, you more than likely enjoy the faster pace. Just like Jillian and her team, they are serious about what they do and know to be industry leaders it takes hard work … but that does not mean you ignore your biology. You must prioritize your mental health and wellbeing. That is the true secret to success in life.
Here are 5 quick tips to supporting your nervous system
1. Make sure you’re giving your brain the right vitamins and minerals to do its job
When you are under stress, your body rips through nutrients at a much faster rate. Your brain needs Vitamin C, B’s, Magnesium, and L-Tyrosine to manufacture neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, protect the brain from free radical damage, and lower the effects of stress.
2. Drink water before coffee in the morning
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people do not have this habit. Caffeine is stimulating to the nervous system and can create reactivity. Your body is dehydrated after sleep, so give your nervous system what it really needs first, then enjoy that lovely cup of coffee.
3. Have a strong boundary around device use
When you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is look at your phone before you have even got out of bed, and before you have even determined what your priority is of the day it can set you off on the wrong foot. It is important to have a 10-15 minute window when you wake up to allow the nervous system to ease into the day versus jumping online and getting triggered by all the “to-dos” or emails, or news, or comments, or texts, and so on. Don’t worry, it will all be waiting for you when you are ready to engage with the internet…but realize having a strong boundary in the morning with your devices has been proven to lower stress and impact mental health positively!
4. Essential Oils
Every meeting I have been to lately at Jillian’s the ladies are rubbing their favourite Sage oil on their hands then cupping their face and breathing deeply. At first, I was a bit confused because I had never seen essential oils used this way, but when I tried it the effect was really lovely. The science behind the use of essential oils for mood enhancement and emotional balance is this: When breathed in, the plant oils stimulate smell receptors in the nose that send chemical messages through the nerves to the brain’s limbic system. The limbic system effects mood, emotional regulation, memory, and arousal. So if you are too wound up and need to calm down, breathing in a lovely essential oil is a great way to impact your overall mood.
5. Scheduling and saying NO
When you are used to being in a go-go-go mode, it can be hard to stop. Your schedule can look like one never-ending time block, and you keep hearing yourself saying “I was so busy today but felt like I got nothing done”. It is common, it is exhausting, and it is ineffective. To truly act like a high performer a few key items need to happen when scheduling:
1. Schedule downtime like you would schedule an important meeting
You wouldn’t miss an important meeting. You wouldn’t keep pushing it off again and again. You would show up. Scheduling routine renewal, even mini renewal breaks of 5-10 minutes throughout the day is a game changer for those of you who never stop. Scheduling downtime should not be a reactive approach. It is a critical element to sustainable success and deeply needed for optimal brain function.
2. Say NO or NOT RIGHT NOW
When you say yes to every little thing, what you are actually doing is creating a lot of distraction in the brain and reactivity in the nervous system. Your plate becomes too full, and then you get into the habit of multitasking to try to accomplish everything and guess what – your brain isn’t designed to multitask which is why we can feel frantic and unfocused. It is important to analyze opportunities and demands requested of your time in the same way a big bouncer analyzes who he lets into the VIP club. Not anyone is allowed to get in, or they may have to visit another time because it is already full. Either way, your
time, your energy, and your focus are incredibly valuable. You should not waste it by saying YES to everything because what you are actually saying is NO to more important things. Just like that VIP club, people have no problem waiting as long as they know they can get in. ?
Please check with your doctor or health care professional before taking any suggested vitamins or minerals in this post.