In today’s fast paced, ever changing, information-overloaded world, the days can take a toll. The coach is no exception to this pace. The following tips can apply to all of us. They are tips to help all of us take time to deal more effectively with the stress of the “daily grind”! But, these are especially relevant for high achiever coaches who tend to ignore their days off, rarely find time for personal reflection, and make priorities for everyone but family and friends.
Apply these to your own life but you might also help your clients apply these to their lives. Your family, clients, and your soul will thank you for caring for them.
So, how do you survive stress? Easy, R-E-L-A-X! (It’s really an acrostic…let’s unpack it!)
R – Rest
There is perhaps no better antidote for the stressful lifestyle than rest. The average adult needs AT LEAST eight hours of sleep a night. Very few of us get that much! High Achievers are notorious for not taking care of themselves. Rest is critical.
There are many ways to rest, power naps, spiritual retreats, vacations. But, perhaps the best tool for rest is honoring the day off. Weekends are usually NOT days off for the high achievers. High achievers must find time for Sabbath! Help your high achievers (and yourself) to guard their day off. These are not times to run errands, write columns, or make phone calls or do chores. These are days off; no working allowed. I know it sounds impossible; and, you’ll thank me if you implement it!
E – Escape
High achievers, like the rest of us, also need time away. These “escapes” are important for recharging and rejuvenating. These can be extended vacations, study times, prayer retreats, or any number of other times away. Like the “day off”, vacation time also is often ignored. The high achiever needs time to refresh, to rethink, to dream and to renew.
Extended time away might be a one-day spiritual retreat. These might be a two or three week vacation. Remember that you want your mind, body, and soul refreshed and renewed. Encourage your high achievers to do the same!
L – Laugh
There is no better energizer than a release of endorphins through a good belly laugh. Laughter really is the “best medicine” keeping our perspectives healthy. Clinical studies have shown laughter to be an effective tool for keeping focused, for bringing energy and insights, and for aiding learning. High achievers are sometimes immune to laughter. The stress of caring for the needs of clients and work weigh heavy on the mind of coaches and clients alike.
About once a month, I give myself a “mental health” day. I watch comedic movies, listen to stand up comics, and visit humor sites on the Internet. It’s amazing how a time of laughter can help me re-adjust my attitude and my outlook on life. Help your high achievers to spend some time caring for mental and spiritual self with some good laughs!
A – Alter Routines
Doing the same things, the same ways, day after day leads to boredom, lack of energy, even depression. By altering routines, we can see new perspectives, re-energize our work lives, and enjoy life to the fullest. Altering routines can be as simple as brushing our teeth with the opposite hand or driving to work on a different route. This may mean getting up early to study or sleeping late some morning.
The things that we do over and over become mindless task masters and make our work boring and our thoughts stale. As coaches, we are expected to listen well, to think well, to guide well. We can’t do this well when we are stale or bored. We want to be fully engaging with the client. Encourage your high achievers to change up his or her schedule to experience renewal in their creative spirit as well.
X – eXercise
High achievers (along with the rest of us) are not taking care of our physical selves. Perhaps the most ignored part of our daily routines is physical exertion. The average adult needs forty-five minutes of exercise at least three times a week. Rarely does this happen in the life of the high achievers. We must do better; so quit reading this and get on the treadmill or go for a walk or a bike ride.
As we get our bodies in motion, our souls, minds, and bodies become healthier. We are able to tackle work issues with more enthusiasm; we are able to attend to high work demands with energy. Make a commitment today to begin a diet and fitness routine that will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Help yourself and your clients to RELAX. They will thank you; your inner self will too!
Bo Prosser, ACC