Productive Or Slowly Killing Yourself?

Productive Or Slowly Killing Yourself?

Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist

Can stress ever FEEL like a positive? 

Stress impacts the body negatively, but are there times when it can be perceived as a positive? 

Can we trick our minds?

Let’s break down how stress can be perceived as a positive. 

Think about a time when you have had to reach a deadline or a target. Maybe you felt that push, that drive, that rush. Maybe all of a sudden everything became clear, you could focus and nothing got in your way.

Now, doesn’t that sound like a positive? It’s helping you to get you to your goal!

Seems like a positive, right?

It’s like tapping into an unimaginable amount of energy that gives you superhuman power. 

How could that be a negative? 

Let me walk you through my experience.

I’ve never been addicted to any substance or anything like that. However, I loved the rush, that mental clarity, that overwhelming feeling of achievement. 

Twelve hour days? Pfft. Sleep? Why sleep when I have goals to achieve? Rest day? Who needs one when I can be Wonder Woman and get everything done in one fell swoop. 

In the short-term, it felt fantastic. 

The downside is it was addictive. And like all addictions, they usually turn into huge problems. And this was no different for me. 

When I flipped that switch to fight or flight and lived off that adrenaline to be productive, that’s when I got myself into trouble.

That mentality led me to a chronic illness. My health took the toll for this seemingly positive addiction. 

That’s when a short-term success turned into a long-term problem. 

Was it quick? Absolutely not. Was I confused about why all of a sudden my body started to betray me? Absolutely.  

So the seemingly positive, non-detrimental stress turned into my nightmare. 

I’m not an anomaly. I’m not this randomly unfortunate person who got sick from my love of adrenaline.

No. There are so many people out there that live like that. They don’t recognize how stress can lead to bigger issues. Or even know that they are stressed.

Chronic illness from stress is becoming one of the number one killers of our time.

Take a moment. Have a ponder. Are you currently riding that adrenaline wave? Does a rest day mean nothing to you? Do you find yourself unable to truly relax because there is always something to do? 

If that is you, take a moment. This feeling does not last. I can attest to that. 

Take a close look at the cracks that could be starting to show. Is risking your health worth chasing that never-ending stream of goals? 

Recognizing this isn’t easy. Admitting this is even harder.

If you or someone you know is living life like this share this article with them or feel free to reach out here for more information.

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2019 Year To Clear What Is Holding Us Back

2019 Year To Clear What Is Holding Us Back

With all our best intentions and hopes, why is it so hard to keep up and succeed with the New Year’s resolutions?

After all, we wish the good things: eating less to lose weight, quitting smoking, drinking less, exercise more to look better, meditate to ditch stress…what is holding us back from achieving all of this?

 Why do most all these efforts fall short after setting them up?

The reason is you. You are the obstacle to your goals, to your New Year’s resolutions.

How? Why?

When was the last time you gave yourself a chance to slow down, simplify, and care for yourself? When was the last time you listened to your body and gave it the mental or physical break it required, nourished it with the food it needed and treated it with the adequate recharging hours of sleep?

Before the new to come, you must acknowledge the old, accept it and then understand why you need to clear it and let it go in order the needed new change could settle in.

Why are we so afraid to let go?

Because old habits, patterns, and routines are safe, effortless and there is no failure! Our drive to attain and succeed comes at a great cost to the soul and such pressure. We are malnourished, if not starved when it comes to compassionate self-acceptance, awareness, and care. We yearn for simplicity but struggle to find it. We ache for balance but can’t sustain it.

It is impossible to keep up with all of it, with all the pressure and demands we put upon ourselves, all at once with the ambition to get it all first time around, let alone clear the things and thoughts that have caused us to feel so overwhelmed in the first place.

Most social and cultural New Year’s resolutions traditions  do not make room for us to feel the e-motions that come up when we clear, and they make us feel bad when we fail (yes, I’m using the word ‘fail’ here to show its positive and meaningful significance in the evolution of the change).

So how to acknowledge the deepest hunger, need and success of these resolutions?

  • Accept yourself, make friends with yourself and fall in love with who you are: acknowledge and accept every wrinkle, pigmentation and stretch mark, face with confidence and respect those love handles and any extra weight….start feeling comfortable with what you see,
  • Take into account the fight-or-flight response,  any time you face your challenges and crave for changes
  • Recognise what energy your thoughts and emotions carry? Learn to apply this energy to serve you – learn to choose what thoughts and emotions to hang onto

Now, if you still want to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions?

PUT YOURSELF FIRST: you won’t lose weight until you recognise what you are hungry for? What you are eating for? Is it the stress, emptiness, unfulfillment, not feeling enough?

Recognise, understand and clear what makes you feel unsettled and causes stress?

Clearing is an inside job that begins and ends within you. It is not something you “do” or squeeze into your life with a fixed timeframe: (you want a bikini body for the week of holidays in August, don’t jump on the fad diet in July but start applying healthy lifestyle from today!)

It’s a lifestyle– a journey – that doesn’talways make sense, or go in a straight line for the victory. It is not”getting rid of” but letting go of the things and thoughts that get in the way of realizing our true nature and best life. It is a journey to creating our new mindset, our best happiest self. The journey of going slower and lasting longer. Becoming more aware that slow but consistent is the secret to effortless success with our New Year’s resolutions 

WELCOME to 2019! A Year to Clear What Is Holding Us Back; To Do Less And Be More. A Year To Invest In You, To Nourish You and Be You

Aneta Grabiec, 

The Wellness Designer xx

Aneta is a Wellness Coach, Nutritional Therapist, Food RelationshipExpert, Yoga Therapist, Raw Chocolate Lover, author of “The Health Book ofChocolate”. She also runs wellness retreats, workshops and 1 to 1 coaching allaround the world, to get in touch with her or find out more, visit

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5 ways lack of quality sleep affects your career progression

5 ways lack of quality sleep affects your career progression

Beatrix A Schmidt – Sleep Coach, Speaker and Author of The Sleep Deep Method.

Sleeping well at night has many benefits from healthy body weight, emotional stability to increased intellectual capacity as well as daytime productivity. All of these will impact your ability to build a great career.

But more often than not, the conversations I have with people quickly turns to sleep issues and in particular insomnia and how it affects our everyday lives including our working hours.

When you look at what it takes to function to your best during the day, of course quality hours of sleep is on the top of that list for sure. But yet, so many of us struggle to achieve and maintain this kind of sleep at night, compromising on our ability to complete all the things we want to during the day.

So if you are serious about being good at your job, and progress in your career, daytime productivity is absolutely vital. For most of the clients that I work with, one of the reasons daytime productivity is so important is that it helps with their career progression.

When you don’t sleep so well at night and wake up tired in the mornings, almost dragging yourself out of bed to get going, your chances of excelling at your job or career will be impacted for sure.

Let’s look at the 5 ways your sleep affects your career progression:

1. Decreased confidence

Waking up tired in the morning after a not so great night’s sleep affects your self-confidence. I am sure you can remember the last time this happened to you. When we are tired, we are less likely to be able to handle all the challenges that arise during the day and approach them with confidence.

Of course, this is no surprise because when you don’t sleep well, your energy levels will deplete much faster. Any additional challenges, perhaps even unexpected ones, that are thrown into the mix can cause more issues than if you had lots of energy and your mind was clear, resulting in feeling inadequate as the day progresses.

2. Decision making

Lack of quality sleep at night impacts our ability to make decisions fast and accurately. Tiredness and sleepiness are one of the main causes of mistakes that happen during the day linking back to incorrect decision making at the time.

If you remember the last time you had to make a decision at work on a day the you were tired, I am sure you will also remember how much longer it took to come to a conclusion and finally decide on the best way forward.

3. Intellectual capacity

A tired mind is not able to take in as much information as a rested one, that is a well known fact. No matter how much you are trying to boost up your brainpower by quick fixes such as coffee, your intellectual capacity will be on a roller coaster ride for sure.

This is one of the most significant affect to your career progression. The more tired you are, the less you are able to handle which then jeopardises any promotions in your career. I have seen examples of this and the great thing is that you are able to turn this around fairly fast by learning the skills that you require to sleep well at night.

4. Team work

Excessive tiredness almost always leads to misunderstandings and lack of effective communication within a team. Tiredness raises emotions, mostly negative ones, which will mean that you can misunderstand situations and react to things more emotionally.

This is not rocket science of course but often causes teams to be in conflict. When you and your team is in conflict and tired or sleepy, the way you are able to support each other decreases significantly. Which in turn impacts everyone’s career progression at the end of the day.

5. Lack of focus

I touched on this a little under the third point above but lack of focus is definitely something that will have an impact on you career. We live in a world where the amount of distractions are increasing. So even your fully rested colleagues will struggle to keep the focus on one task at a time.

When you are tired, your mind is more likely to want to keep looking for distractions because focus requires a level of stillness that can bring on tiredness. I am sure you can remember a time when you had to read a report just after lunch and you were literally falling asleep reading
because your mind was just not able to fully engage with the task at hand.

But the good news is that all these effects can be remedied through learning to sleep well at night again. You see, providing you don’t have an actual sleep disorder or a medical condition that directly stops you to sleep well, learning to master the different skills to sleep well is indeed very possible.

If you want to find out how I help professionals to overcome insomnia or other sleep issues, connect with me vie LinkedIn or send me a message via my website directly.

Remember, sleeping well at night is a skill that you can develop too.

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Why Being Type A is The BEST and the WORST: Stress in the Workplace

Why Being Type A is The BEST and the WORST: Stress in the Workplace

Katie Maycock – Anxiety Specialist 


“So, you’re a Type A Professional? Of course!

  1. You live for your job and you love the adrenaline rush that you get from being busy.
  2. You feel more productive the more work you have.
  3. You experience another level of mental clarity that comes from the hundred and one things you put on your plate.

Feel amazing, right? I hear you!

I was exactly the same. Waking up at 4 am to do work on a side business, heading to the gym by 5:30 am, jumping on the train at 7 am to get to my 9-to-5, doing a whole day worth of work in the morning and then coming home at 7 pm to prep for the next day.

Some people might not get that. They can’t relate. If you’re a Type A individual, that’s the norm.

Why? Simple. If you are a Type A person, you love feeling busy.

This is achieved through that feeling of running towards success coupled with the ever-persistent pressure of running away from failure.

It’s like a drug. It feels good. It’s truly addictive.

I remember I loved the feeling. I felt indestructible. I felt as though I thrived on my hamster wheel.

What a lot of Type A people don’t realize is that they are living in this constant Fight or Flight existence.

This response is a physical reaction that happens when we perceive harmful events, attacks, or threats to our survival. We have retooled our minds to transition encounters with sabretooth tigers into meetings with our bosses, deadlines and overall success.

Unfortunately, this transition has led us to re-frame stress into an absolute positive.

A successful Woolly Mammoth hunt is approximately equal to getting a raise!

The stress that is gained from surviving a Woolly Mammoth confrontation is now translated into our everyday work life.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I personally agree with turning a negative into a positive, but the real problem happens when the body can no longer keep up with that kind of workload.

We weren’t designed to have this kind of stress/anxiety for eight-plus hours a day, five to six days per week. It’s as if we’re getting ready to hold a spear to a prehistoric animal all day, every day.

Granted, that’s more Woolly Mammoth meat for your family and sports cars, but it’s taking its toll.

Living like that in the short term is fine but living like that long term is detrimental to your health.

Doing this month/s on end will take a toll on the body.

For many Type A individuals, they can live in this high stress/anxiety state for years, so when they start showing signs of illness they never believe it’s because they are stressed or anxious. More often than not, Type A people won’t even realize they are stressed or anxious until these health issues arise.

Our bodies are designed to make sure we can adapt, but with stress and anxiety, we consistently release stress hormones that have a massive impact on us.

These hormones can affect the way we digest food and metabolize sugars while lowering our immune response, playing havoc on our inflammatory response and messing with our sex hormones (and that’s just the short list!)

This is exactly what happened to me. I could spend months, if not years, riding that adrenaline wave, living off minimal sleep, feeling as though nothing could go wrong. Then my body caught up.

In my mid 20’s my health completely plummeted. I started having digestive issues, which lead to my joints swelling and by the end of it my hormones were completely wrecked. I had cold sores every second week and I was beyond exhausted.

This was the lesson I had to learn. Living like this was a choice.

These health issues didn’t happen overnight. It took years for them to manifest and it took me another three years to recognize the detrimental effects stress and anxiety had on me.

Stress and anxiety, to this day, were linked to the vast majority of my health issues and I had to own that.

I had to make better decisions on how I worked and what “rest” really meant to me. I had to choose to take stress and anxiety seriously. I stopped viewing my stress and anxiety as a positive, but as the cause of many different ailments in my life.

This is a lesson a lot of us need to learn. We need to evaluate our “busy” lifestyle and see if there are factors there causing health issues.

Take a break and ask yourself, is your health worth it?”

The Importance Of A Morning Routine!

The Importance Of A Morning Routine!

Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist

The Importance Of A Morning Routine!

Mornings should be filled with relaxation, meditation, exercise and gently easing into the day. Sounds nice right? This is what every single morning looks like for the average person…

Yeah right! For a lot of people, it’s sleeping in as late as they can without being late for work. Getting kids ready for school. Waking up reading text messages, replying to emails, guzzling down coffee. Sound familiar?

Not only is this creating a foundation for stress and anxiety. It is ruining productivity for the day.

Having a morning routine is essential to start your day. It helps sets the tone for the day and can reduce stress dramatically.

Having a morning routine can:

1. Increase productivity
2. Reduce stress
3. Increase organisation
4. Increase mental clarity
5. Improve digestion

Those are just a few benefits from having a morning routine!

You might be thinking, I want all of those benefits! But how?

I have developed a strong and foolproof morning routine!

1. The routine starts the night before. Go to bed at a reasonable time to get seven to nine hours of sleep. In the morning, you’re going to give yourself at least an hour and fifteen minutes.

2. When you wake up, DON’T check your phone. For the first few minutes, just simply lay there and properly wake up. Stretch, gently get moving. (If your phone is your alarm clock that is fine, turn it off and put it away).

3. For the first thirty to sixty minutes DON’T check emails, messages, social media, news.. ANYTHING that is going to bombard you with information. Trust me, those emails and messages will be there when you’re ready to check them. I want you to start to think about your brain as having a limited amount of storage.

According to a study done in 2011, we are now taking in five times the amount of information then we were in just 1986.

This is leaving our brains at a mental deficit with increasing stress, reduction in productivity and less able to make effective decisions.

4. Spend at least 10 minutes meditating. Technology has made this simple! You can download a really good app called Headspace. Headspace is designed for guided meditation and really good for people who have never meditated.

5. Drink water! Sounds simple and it is. Here’s the thing, during the night you lose a lot of fluid. Drinking a glass of water helps to re-hydrate you and as an added bonus helps to start your digestive tract.

6. Start getting ready for your day. Whether that’s having a coffee and breakfast or simply showering. At this stage, you should have at least 45 minutes to get ready for work.

7. If you want to have a superstar day, incorporate some exercise in the morning. Whether it’s a 10-20 minute HIIT, walk or gym session. This can increase focus, metabolism, energy and so many more reasons.

This routine seems simple, but a lot of people struggle putting it into practice. We are habitual. To set yourself up for a successful morning, start off slowly. Start with going to bed earlier. And slowly incorporate the other points.

Within a few weeks you’ll be waking up refreshed and less stressed!


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Are you suffering from ‘Text Neck”?

Are you suffering from ‘Text Neck”?

Hold on a minute…next time you look at your phone just check your posture. You might find that you are putting an extra 27 kg of stress on your neck muscles and cervical vertebra.

New research has revealed that a 60-degree downward tilt of the head exerts 27kg of stress on the neck.   A mere 15-degree downward tilt of the head already exerts 12kg of stress on the neck.  You can almost compare it to hanging two and a half 5 litre water bottles from your neck!


What is ‘Text Neck’?

‘Text Neck’ is a new tech-induced neck syndrome.  It is used to describe sustained and repetitive stress on the neck as a result of sustained watching or texting on hand held devices over a long period of time.


What are the symptoms?

The symptoms can include the following;  neck stiffness and decreased ability to move and pain that can range from a general ache to a sharp pain in a specific spot.  The pain may radiate down to the arm or stay localised to the neck region.  The shoulder and upper back muscles could be tight and painful.  Often, tension type headaches can also be due to a ‘Text Neck’ syndrome.


How to avoid or manage a ‘Text Neck’?
  • Be aware of your posture at all times

Make sure your neck is not tilted forward while using your device.  Roll back your shoulders, straighten your spine, re-align your head so that your ears are in line with your shoulders and reposition your device so that it is at eye level.


  • Take frequent breaks

Move every 20 minutes. Stand up, stretch, take a deep breath and reset your posture.


  • Exercise

Moderate exercise helps to strengthen muscles that help with good posture.  It also relieves stress and tension that builds up in your body.


  • Seek medical advice and treatment

If your neck pain does not resolve in a few days, see a doctor and obtain a referral for treatment such as physiotherapy.  In most cases conservative treatment and management is all that is needed to resolve the pain.  The therapist will look at the causative factors, help you to change habits, do physical treatment to relieve the muscle spasm and pain and give you tools to help manage the condition.


  • Don’t delay management

It is better to get you neck pain and stiffness resolved sooner than later.


Physiotherapists at The Chiron Clinic Dubai.

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