Tag

burnout

Browsing

Struggling to keep your eyes open at work? Been super moany and snappy at friends and family? Maybe things are just too hectic right now and it’s really impacting your sleep and ultimately your life.  Those who are stressed often end up having less sleep. If you’re an entrepreneur or a side hustler you will likely have a great deal of stress as you try and make your dreams become a reality. Then poor sleeping habits simply become a bad routine.  63.1% of people in the UK surveyed by Dreams were not happy with their quality of sleep.

So what can you do about it? I am not here to remind you that you are not having a great nights sleep. You know that. What I can tell you is what you can do to improve your sleep and hopefully reduce your stress. Now I am not a sleep dr but I get a good night’s sleep so maybe I am an experienced sleeper. All the advice below has been taken from a number of sources which you can read more about. Read below on how to have a Good Night’s Sleep.

 

Stick To A Sleep Schedule

At the moment you may only be going to sleep when you can- after that presentation you have to write, or when the coffee buzz has finally left your system.

Your body clock is what helps you sleep and sticking to your sleeping schedule will in turn help that. So, this might mean going to bed at 11pm every night. Now of course life will mean that you want to go out some nights and are not getting home till 2am or maybe you’ve got to travel somewhere and need to be up at 5am. But generally speaking try and stick to this schedule even on weekends. I found going to bed at a very similar time and getting up at a similar time on weekends made that Monday morning so much easier.

If you are currently going to bed at a crazy hour like 1am and you want to bring that bedtime to something more reasonable then start adjusting slowly, like you would if you were adjusting your body clock for a new time zone before you go on holiday to avoid jet lag (bit dramatic but you get what I’m saying). Try it for a good night’s sleep.

Read more on sleep scheduling here

 

 

Get A Bedtime Routine Together

Now some people relax in different ways. I personally choose to have a bath about 1-2 hours before bed to start relaxing me for bedtime. A routine I started as a child and continue to do today…. It hasn’t failed me yet. Others like watching a chilled out tv show, some like to read; whatever you find relaxing start doing that before you go to sleep.  Research has shown that adult’s bedtime routines for calming them before bed are just as important as children’s ones.

Some tips for you:

  • Avoid watching that thriller or tense drama before bed on Netflix as you will likely be thinking about that as you try and get to sleep.
  • A lot of people and articles I have read recommend not having caffeine before bed. ( I personally, find this doesn’t affect me and will always have a cup of tea after dinner- find what works for you ).
  • Start to reduce the light around you- switch off the glaring lights and turn on a couple of lamps.

Read more here

Photo by: Jacek Dylag

Exercise And Eating For A Good Night’s Sleep

It’s not the first time you have heard that exercise helps your life! Move the coffee table back and start doing some home workouts tonight. Physical exercise increases the time spent in deep sleep, which as you may be aware helps boost your immune system, cardiac health and control stress and anxiety (The sleep doctor).  This could be simply a home workout or a regular team sport you play after work. Try it for a month and see if you notice an improvement.

Now eating habits? There are mixed opinions on this. However, you should try and eat a few hours before bed to avoid sleeping on a very full stomach. Your body will be fast at work digesting your food and won’t be able to focus on your immune system . However there is conflicting evidence, so feel free to read more here.

Photo Andrew Tanglao

Cover Photo: Jay Wennington

 

I’ve suddenly started thinking a lot about travel recently. It could be the fact that it only got light a few hours ago and it’s already dark again (ie. It’s winter and it’s grim). It might also be the fact that one of my friends is currently planning the trip of a lifetime and I’m hella jealous. But either way, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately reading travel blogs and giving myself serious travel envy. Here are a few of the blogs I’ve been reading recently when I should have been doing my job:

Solo Sophie

Sophie Nadeau is a student living in London. She has a lot of love for Paris (and who doesn’t?) as well as writing about destinations all over the world. She started her blog by travelling solo all over the world and therefore is also a great example to hold up to your family when they start worrying about whether terrible things will happen when you go on holiday on your own.

Our Wild Abandon

Jill and Kyla from Our Wild Abandon are basically in the world to make everybody feel jealous of all of their awesome, aesthetically-perfect adventures. They travel around in a caravan full-time, and in the process they give us all something to look at on Instagram every morning when we’re on the train on the way to work. Jealous? Me? Of course not. I’ll work on it.

Travelling Weasels

Fun fact I learned from reading Travelling Weasels: You can find free accommodation in new places by house sitting. It (obviously) saves money, and means that you get to explore parts of cities that you otherwise might not. And yes, this is my way of telling the rest of Team HowNow that I’m leaving to become a house sitter as of right now. Bye guys.

Polka Dot Passport

Polka Dot Passport is a fantastic blog that teams inspiring posts about the destinations you’ve always wanted to visit with practical guidance about how to, y’know, actually do that. You’ll find everything from how to keep your money safe, to the Singaporean wildlife reserves you need to visit.

Just One Way Ticket

Just One Way Ticket combines practical things like reviews of the travel services we all might need one day, with envy-inducing pictures and posts from all around the world. Wherever you might want to go, the chances are Sab has been there first.

Port Lockroy

The inhabitants of Port Lockroy in Antarctica aren’t your typical travel bloggers, but that doesn’t mean their blog is any less fascinating. The site documents the lives of the people who staff the Port Lockroy post office (which is a thing) for a four month period each year. That’s a thing anybody can do and it sounds like an amazing experience and I desperately want it to be my turn one day. Just putting that out into the universe.

Van Dog Traveller

Van Dog Traveller is the tale of a man who gave up his day job, converted a white van into a super-cool living space, and drove around Europe, as well as exploring closer to home. One of the best things about this blog is that Mike makes the whole things seem so easy. I’ve never built a thing in my life, and I’m still convinced I’m about to follow in his footsteps. In a non-creepy way, of course.

Adventurous Kate

Adventurous Kate travelled full time for nearly five years. She visited over sixty countries. In fact, there’s a very impressive map which shows exactly where she’s been. She’s now dialled back on the constant travelling, but she’s still sharing tips, debunking myths, and offering all kinds of advice on her blog.

Don’t forget, there are tons of language classes on HowNow which could help you wherever you end up travelling. And if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and want to make money on the road, how about teaching classes on the go? Where are you heading next?

 

January 16th is Blue Monday. For the uninitiated, that means it’s the most miserable day of the year. And even if you weren’t already aware that it had a name, you might well have felt its effects. The holidays are over, it’s getting dark early, the weather is terrible… I could go on, but it’s just really bloody depressing. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to bypass the Blue Monday feels, and we have a few ideas for how to do just that:

Plan a trip

What’s the best thing to do when it’s miserable, and dark, and everybody’s in a bad mood? Get away from it all! Whether you set off on a month-long European odyssey, or just spend a day exploring a nearby city, a change of scene can be just the thing to give you a new perspective. Even just booking a trip and getting yourself prepared ahead of time can blow away the Blue Monday blues.

Relax

Another thing that makes Blue Monday the beast that it is is the fact that you’re probably still catching up on work. Things pile up over the Christmas break and it’s almost enough to make you wish you’d never been away. But no more thinking like that, please. Take some time out, practice some breathing, even try some meditation. Even twenty minutes can be enough to remind you that there’s life beyond your overloaded in tray.

Get moving

Exercise has loads of benefits, one of the main ones being the ability to make you feel happier. You gotta love those endorphins. Make sure you get your fix on Blue Monday and you’ll sail through the day. The good news is you don’t even have to drag yourself to the gym if it’s cold out. Try anything from yoga to belly dance right from the comfort of your own home.

Express yourself

There’s nothing to be gained by keeping your feelings bottled up. It’ll just make you more likely to want to punch someone in the back of the head when they’re walking too slowly in front of you on the way home and- Ahem. OK, maybe that’s my personal issue. But the point still stands. It’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you if you don’t find a way to release them. So we recommend doing that.

Do something creative

As well as being a way to express yourself, getting creative can help you let go of Blue Monday by making you feel productive. Because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing in the world better than feeling productive. You might choose to learn to draw, or to sew, or any number of other creative pursuits, but whatever you choose it’ll help you to forget about feeling stressed.

Take action

At the heart of all of this Blue Monday talk is one question. Why is it so depressing? If it’s more than just the weather, and you’ve found yourself surrounded by work you no longer care about, maybe it’s time to do something drastic. How about starting your own business? Even becoming your own boss full time? It’s a way to bring back the passion to your life which should, in turn, help to banish the blues.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that we’ve covered the Monday blues before, but Blue Monday is like a regular Monday on speed. How will you be showing the demons who’s boss on January 16th?

You may not have noticed, because it’s hardly been mentioned at all, but it is now a new year. As such, everybody’s making resolutions and planning on becoming better people. We’re not that into making tough resolutions that make January a more unpleasant month than it already is. However, we definitely agree with making little changes that make life way more awesome. So, whatever positive change you’re making this month, we’ve probably got a class that can help you.

Change No. 1: Have a go at Veganuary

Veganuary is a thing now. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and involves eating vegan in January. It’s healthy, and it’s also good for the environment. If you can stand to be away from the bacon for a full weeks, you might find you can do it forever. There are HowNow teachers who can guide you through the process of cooking a whole host of delicious, vegan recipes, so you’ll never run out of inspiration.

Change No. 2: Get Fit

It’s not the most original, but after several weeks eating nothing but sausages in bacon and quality street, and washing it all down with wine (just me?) lots of people use the momentum of a new year to improve their fitness. It can be really hard to drag yourself to the gym, so imagine if you could exercise with a trainer in the comfort of your own home. As it so happens, we can totally help you to do that.

Change No. 3: More ‘me’ time

Modern life, guys, am I right? We’re forever running around, commuting for hours, getting work emails at all times of the day and night… It’s a juggling act, and it shouldn’t be. One of the easiest ways to start the new year feeling less stressed is to set aside some time every day that’s just for you. For example, you could try meditation. Close the door for a while, switch off your phone, and focus on yourself. Bliss.

Change No. 4: Learn a new language

Maybe you can’t wait to do some travelling in 2017. You might want to try living in a new country. Maybe you just want a new challenge, or to earn some bragging rights. These are all perfectly valid reasons to start learning a new language. The easiest way to start is to talk to people in the language you’re learning, and we know a whole load of awesome folks who can help with that.

Change No. 5: Be my own boss

Picture the scene: You have to go to work. You get out of bed, get dressed, and walk ten paces to your sofa. Because that is your office. Because you work for yourself. It’s the dream but, when you’re running around at the beck and call of your boss, it can feel totally unattainable. Maybe 2017 will be the year that changes. Start learning how to put your plans into action today, and thank us later. Maybe you want to turn your passion into profit and teach your own classes – we could even help you with that.

Change No. 6: Take more pictures

Maybe you’re about to start a new phase in your life and you want to remember everything. Maybe you got a flashy new camera for Christmas and you need to know how to use it. The best way to make sure you’re creating memories in 2017 is to start now. And a great place to start is by making sure you know what you’re doing.

Change No. 7: Learn to cook

Are you sick of microwave meals and cereal dinners? Do you feel like you might be getting judged by the people who run your local takeaway? It’s time to learn how to cook. Whether you’ve got delicate baking or hearty meals in mind, there are professionals out there who can talk you through the whole process in your own kitchen. Just remember to send us some when you’re done.

Change No. 8: Manage my money better

Oh, money. Some people think it makes the world go round and, whether or not you agree with that sentiment, most people would probably agree that there’s never enough of it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by bills, it might be time to get somebody else to help you. You could chat about budgets and how to manage your cash better. Just remember to send us some when you’re done. (LOL, JK. Unless you’re feeling generous.)

So, what changes, if any, are you planning on making in 2017? Whatever they are, remember to keep it positive rather than punishing. The new year is a great opportunity to do new things, but no man (or anyone else, for that matter) is an island – if you need help, let someone else step in and lend a hand. It just so happens we know a few.

We’ve all been there. You’re working on a creative project and suddenly inspiration runs dry. Or maybe you have every intention of starting a creative project but all that’s happening is that you keep flicking through Instagram to see what everyone else is up to. Once you’ve ground to a halt it can be difficult to get going again. Fortunately for you, we’ve come up with a list of ways you can get out of the rut and get the wheels turning again:

Try something different

Sometimes you just have to mix things up. If you get stuck while writing a novel, life drawing might be just the break you need. If you’re an arty type already you might be able to find a new lease of creative energy by trying cross stitching or knitting. Basically, you might benefit by doing something outside of your comfort zone for a bit.

Blow away the cobwebs

You might need to put whatever you’re doing down and get away for a while. An increase in endorphins and some time spent outside could be just what the doctor ordered. Whether you hit the gym, or try an at-home workout, a good workout could be enough to blow away the cobwebs and give you your creative groove back.

Widen your perspective

Yes. Your problems with your creative work are difficult. But there’s nothing like hearing about other peoples’ issues to put your problems into perspective. Getting involved with charity work or even just reading the news can help. Once you’ve had time to reflect your next sentence might not seem like the giant hurdle it once did.

Chill out

We’ve got so much going on these days. The chances are you’re jumping from work to commuting to trying to finish your own creative stuff, and it’s no wonder that sometimes you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. A quick session of meditation that teaches you how to be tension-free could be just what the creativity doctor ordered.

Have a drink

Ernest Hemingway famously said ‘write drunk, edit sober’, and we think it’s perfectly reasonable to extrapolate this to all kinds of creative people. We’re not actively encouraging hardcore alcoholism, but a glass of wine might help to lower your inhibitions and stop you getting caught up in worrying about the quality of what you’re doing, which is one of the biggest things that can put a person off. 

creativity

Ultimately, getting over a creative block is really just a case of giving yourself a break. If you stop work altogether and try not to think about it you might find yourself unable to concentrate on anything else. Therefore it’s a good idea to think about something totally different for a while. You might even find something else to focus on at HowNow.

Mondays are the worst. If you’re dreading going back to work it can easily be the most miserable day of any week. On top of that, the dread can actually start setting in any time from about Sunday morning onwards. That means that it’s not just one bad day – it’s a shadow cast over what should be the best part of the week. So how can you change the pattern of Monday dread? We have a few suggestions.

Set a good alarm

Firstly, if dragging yourself out of bed is particularly difficult on Mondays, make sure you’re doing it to something great. Whether your jam is the Top 40, grime, or the cheesiest showtunes around, start the day off right. You can make pretty much anything your alarm tone these days. It’ll be easier to avoid snoozing twenty times which will, in turn, help you to feel a bit more awake. Plus it’s a spirit-lifter first thing which’ll set you on a more positive track.

Have a great breakfast

So, you’ve woken up to some great tunes. Now what? We suggest rewarding yourself for being great at life by having your absolute favourite breakfast. You might make it at home or buy it on the way in, but it all still counts. If you’re a hardcore fry-up fan this might not be for every day, but if it puts a smile on your face first thing on Mondays, we say go for it. Plus, you won’t find yourself getting hangry in that mid-morning meeting, either, so your boss’ll thank you.

Work through a list

Make a list of everything you have to do on Mondays and work through it systematically. It’ll be a visual indicator of the progress you’re making, which is a good thing to keep track of. On a slightly less professional note, it will also give you an idea of how much work you have left to do before you can call it a day.

Have something to look forward to

If you struggle to make it through Mondays it can be a great idea to give yourself something to look forward to. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, or want to book in a relaxing meditation session. You might even want to learn a new language so that you can take a trip abroad in a few months. HowNow is full of great options to give yourself something to look forward to of an evening after a long day.

Consider making a more permanent change

If you have a case of the Mondays every single Monday, could it be time to think about doing something different? Maybe you have a passion that you’ve always wanted to make Money from but could never think of how to do that. By signing up to be an expert for HowNow you’ll be able to set your own hours and earn as much or as little as you like. It could be a great stepping stone to a fulfilling freelance career.

Mondays

Mondays can easily be the worst day of the week, but they don’t have to be. By making a few little changes you can easily find yourself looking forward to the start of every new week. What little changes will you make to help you change your outlook?

Burnout is something that pretty much everybody has to deal with. Whether you can’t face another evening writing that novel you’ve been secretly working on in your spare time, or whether you’re drowning in paperwork at your day job with no end in sight. It’s basically just your brain telling you to give it a rest for a while (we’re not doctors, but we’re pretty sure that’s a good way to describe it) and it’s something you definitely need to listen to. We’ve put together a few tips for how to cope when your brain is simply refusing to co-operate any more.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Burnout happens to everybody, and telling yourself that you’re a failure isn’t going to help. Letting other people tell you that you’re not working hard enough is also going to do more harm than good so try to remove yourself from those, well, arseholes.

Change tack

If you’re feeling the beginnings of burnout, try something that’s still productive, but different. You might be writing a report, but you could try recording yourself talking instead of actually typing, and then transcribe it later. If you’re doing research, find an artsy way to present your notes. If you start to look at your task in a different way it can help you to figure out whatever has you stuck.

Try meditating

We don’t necessarily mean you have to go out of your way to sit on the floor with a group of people you don’t know and start chanting. However, grabbing a moment to clear your mind and take some deep breaths can actually act a little bit like pressing a ‘reset’ button on burnout. Apps like Headspace are really helpful if you need somebody to talk you through it.

Have a night off

Another way of ‘resetting’ your brain when you’re trying to work through a problem is to go away and have a laugh. It sounds simple, and it is, which makes it great. If you can get away from what you’re doing for an evening, rally a few friends (or a bottle of wine and something good on Netflix – no judgement) and just have a good time, you’ll probably find you’re feeling more refreshed and ready to work in the morning (depending on exactly how much wine ended up being involved).

burnout

Of course, these tips are all worth trying, but they don’t replace the more long-term solution of facing up to how much work you have to do and deciding if it’s actually possible. If it’s not, and it’s something you’re doing by choice outside of your normal working hours you need to be realistic about what you can handle, and have a reshuffle if necessary. If you’re struggling to keep up at work, sit your boss down and talk about how to make things more manageable.

But definitely also have a night off and a glass of wine. Because that’s just fun.