Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Succumbed To Burnout.

Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Succumbed To Burnout.

Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist

Burnout is something that changed the way I work, relax, exercise, eat, drink… It has changed nearly every aspect of my life.

Burnout is becoming more common within the workplace. A new Gallup report mentioned that 2/3 of employees have felt burnt out.

That’s ridiculous. Not only that, it’s frightening.

For a lot of people, burnout is not at the forefront of their minds until they are in fact burnt out. This is why I am here, to help anyone that maybe walking (or sprinting) down the path to burnout.

Here my Five Things I wish I Knew Before Burning Out.

1) You Can’t Sprint A Marathon.

That’s right my friends. You absolutely cannot sprint a marathon.

Trust me I tried (figuratively… Not literally).

Goals, deadlines and targets is not a sprinting race. 

The more people I speak to, the more I realise the sense of urgency is taking over.

This is creating situations where people feel pressured to rush absolutely everything. Quantity over quality is now the reality for many people.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It also doesn’t equate success a lot of the time.

Setting goals, targets and deadlines can be achieved at a moderate (dare I say, calm) pace. You don’t have to be a bull at the gates. In fact, you’re more likely to be more successful when you, in fact, slow down! True story.

2) Slowing Down Is Not A Sign Of Weakness.

This is a follow on from You Can’t Sprint A Marathon, however, with a little twist.

I remember thinking that if I slowed down for whatever reason I would not be successful. I saw it as a weakness. How wrong I was.

This is common practice for a lot of high achievers and top performers.

Slowing down can feel counterproductive. However, slowing down doesn’t mean stopping. That’s the part a lot of people miss. I definitely did. For a lot of top performers and high achievers, they have the “all or nothing” mentality. So it can be seen as though slowing down is stopping. However, slowing down can give you a better perspective. It gives you the ability to refine your skills and re-think how to do things. It creates a space for reflection, bringing you closer to success.

3) Celebrate Your Wins.

This is HUGE for any high achievers or top performers. It’s okay to celebrate your wins. I remember NEVER and I mean NEVER celebrating my wins.

I didn’t take the time to reflect on how well I had done or how well I was doing. I was crazy, I just wanted to be doing more. It was as though I would tick the achievement off and move onto the next thing. Without a breath. Thinking back, that is an exhausting mindset.

This is not a good place to be. Celebrating your wins is really important. It provides space to not just BE successful but to FEEL successful. Very different. Otherwise, you end up feeling empty and chasing goals that have zero meaning or purpose.

4) “No Rest Days” Makes ZERO Sense.

“No rest day’s” and being proud of it grinds my gears. Probably because I believed this for a very long time and ended up severely burnout and disgruntled.

There are a lot of business owners and motivational speakers who talk about grinding every second of every minute of every single day to be successful.

This does not make sense. 
We are humans, not robots.

We need rest to not only regain physical strength but also to regain mental fortitude. We do not have a limitless pool of energy and resources that we can tap into without replenishing it.

That’s plain crazy to think that. Rest is just as important as the work you put in.

5) Listen To Your Body.

Our bodies will tell us when we’re not coping. All we have to do is listen.

Simple right? Not so simple if you have tunnel vision.

This is something a lot of high achievers and top performers learn the hard way.

Being fatigued, tired, grumpy or becoming sick is our bodies way of saying “hey, I would really like some rest please”. It’s not the signal to work harder.

Most people that end up burnt out, get those little reminders but choose to ignore them. Why? Because they can’t see the long term damage. They don’t see those little reminders as a sign that something much worse is on its way.

Not listening to those gentle reminders will lead you to full burnout.

My advice, listen to your body it does know best! If it’s telling you to take a step back and take a little rest, do it. If you need the afternoon off, take it. If you need to switch off your phone, do it! 

They are the Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Succumbed To Burnout.

I hope this helps all those top performers and high achievers. If you’re a manager that has someone in your team that has those traits, come up with an action plan to help them.

It may sound counterintuitive, however, doing so can prevent your top performer being signed off work or even worse, having to quit. If any of this rings true to you and you don’t know how to re-direct that mentality, let’s connect. Or check out my website for more blogs and videos.

Sharing is Caring: Organizational Knowledge Sharing

Sharing is Caring: Organizational Knowledge Sharing

James Kelley, Ph.D.

Does your organization have the conditions to share knowledge freely? Does the culture of innovation flow in your organization? What about group identity, it is strong?  This week’s BLOG focuses on the impact of Authentic Leadership on knowledge sharing in an organization.


The article is brought to you by, Edú-Valsania, Sergio; Moriano, Juan Antonio; Molero, Fernando, and the title is Authentic leadership and employee knowledge sharing behavior: Mediation of the innovation climate and workgroup identification in Leadership & Organizational Development (2016).


These authors explore the impact of an Authentic Leadership on creating the conditions for knowledge sharing in an organization. Additionally, they are curious whether Authentic Leadership is an important factor for knowledge sharing when an innovative climate and workgroup identity are present in the organization.


The authors had a great sample of 562 Spanish workers. This is a nice size sample. The Spanish sample is influenced by their culture differently than a typical English speaking sample. For example, Hispanic cultures are more collectivist in nature. Meaning they are more likely to feel pressure to fit in with the larger group and thus adjust the behavior to not be the square peg in a round hole. Whereas, in the U.S., they are more individualistic, and are taught that competition is more important than collaboration. Resulting in individuals focused on those closest to them. The reason that this is important is that it can have an unintended impact on the group identity and thus, mute the heighten the impact in this particular sample.

The authors did a simple multiple regression analysis, where they evaluate all the concepts at once to see how Authentic Leadership impacts innovation, group identity, and knowledge sharing. Essentially a series of ‘if-then’ statements.


The results are pretty straightforward. They find that if a leader is perceived as authentic, then knowledge sharing increases in the organization. When they factor in the impact of innovative climate, knowledge sharing is flowing at an even higher rate. In fact, an innovative climate is so important for knowledge sharing that it almost made the presence of Authentic Leadership not a factor for knowledge sharing to occur.

The impact of workgroup identity was less relevant in creating a knowledge sharing environment. It had an impact, but Authentic Leadership also plays an important part in the process of sharing information.


Well, rocket scientist, we need not! Sharing knowledge is a fundamental building block inside an organization that creates the conditions for growth, collaboration, and a healthy corporate culture. This study, at least in a Spanish context, indicates that employees’ perceptions of their leader’s matter. Specifically, whether the leader behaves in an authentic manner. In terms of knowledge sharing, the authentic the leader the more information is shared. The more innovative the climate, more information is shared, and the stronger the group identity, you guessed it, the more information is shared.


The idea of knowledge sharing is not new. Often we work in highly competitive environments where we feel that any bit of information you have is owned by you and is instantly put into a vault. You feel that it may give you a competitive advantage or make you indispensable. Thus, partaking in a form of knowledge hoarding. However, this is just stupid. This philosophy is coming from a weak and fragile perspective that is completely Machiavellian and shortsighted. many leaders ignore the concept of the wisdom of the crowds as a key mechanism for creating a healthy vibrant work environment.

So, what do you do with this bit of information?  As a leader, you can set the tone by encouraging sharing. I often say to one of my four kids, ‘sharing is caring’, so give it a go. Another way is to create more space for curiosity meetings. These are meetings where you or someone on your team share something they are curious about in the business or beyond. Could you create more space in the organization for having each person on your team go off an learn new skills that are transferable to others on the team? Finally, engage in any activities that allow the trust to build through the process of knowledge sharing.

Remember you spend on average 84,000 hours at work in a lifetime….that is a lot of time perhaps not being the best version of yourself.

To learn more great ways to become a better leader check out my book The Crucible’s Gift ( or stop by one of my stops on the forthcoming book tour: .

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Overcoming Insomnia Naturally: 4 Best Tips for 2019

Overcoming Insomnia Naturally: 4 Best Tips for 2019

Sleep coach, speaker and author of The Sleep Deep Method.

Insomnia and other sleep problems can affect any of us, and are becoming increasingly common among busy professionals.  Excluding those with an underlying medical condition, many of us simply need a better understanding of their individual sleep problem in order to find the right, natural method for overcoming it..  When you know what makes you tick, you can pick better from the vast amount of tips out there, many of which are quite general.

Tip 1 – Personalise rather than generalise

The key here is to figure out the root cause of your insomnia.  So not taking advice based on somebody else’s problem, but on the combination of factors that are personal to you.

Many people look up general tips, ignoring fundamental things like their personality type, their lifestyle, working hours and so on.  Even the tips I give you need to be personalised for your unique set of circumstances.

Tip 2 – Focus on your main ‘pillar of sleep’

There are four pillars of sleep, and when you know what they are, this gives much more context to the situation.  More than one pillar will be playing a role in your sleep problems, but begin by just picking what you believe to be your main one to focus on.  Knowing which of these four pillars to focus on first will lead you to the most relevant tools for your unique situation faster.  In short, you will feel the benefits of your efforts much sooner.

Watch the short video below to hear about the four pillars, and without thinking too much, go with your gut and focus on tips for the pillar that most resonates with you.

Tip 3 – Build non-negotiable good routines into your life

Depending on which pillar of sleep you are now focusing on, you will need to design yourself a good routine around that area. 

For example, if you are eating dinner late at night and falling asleep on the sofa before you get to bed, that’s a bad routine.  Start noticing what you are doing, and change it up for a good routine – like getting ready for bed before you find yourself falling asleep in the wrong place.

For more ideas, watch my short video below.

Tip 4 – Don’t give up

I’ve heard so may people say that they can’t beat their insomnia, and that’s just not the case.  It’s not that you can’t improve your sleep skills, it’s more likely that you haven’t found the right practical tools for you yet.

This is one of the reasons I put together a free guide, 28 Ways to Overcome Insomnia Naturally, which you can register for a free copy of here.

So think about why overcoming insomnia or sleep problems matters to you, and use that as motivation to keep trying.  You don’t have to accept bad sleep and under-productive daytimes.  Looking at your life through the four pillars of sleep, you can find the major issues for you, and work on turning those around so that ultimately, the better-rested you can enjoy life more.

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Owning your mornings…owning your days

Owning your mornings…owning your days

How many of us wake up each morning rushing? There always seems to be so much to get done before leaving the house. Often our mornings feel so short in time, we have just enough time to grab a coffee, get ready and rush out of the door to head to work, drop the kids to school or fulfil any other responsibilities we may have. Then there is the worry of traffic, the delayed trains or the overpacked tubes.

The feeling and sense of being time constrained can lead to stress, frustration and starting the day with a less than optimal mindset. You may have heard of the phrase “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”…I remember my mum used to say this to me when I was young. 

The times when we rise, and sleep can have a huge impact on the way our day progresses and how effective we can be. There is a great deal of research on this topic and many famous faces have been known to rise early to make the most of the quietude of the morning hours and sow the seeds for the day ahead. The benefits range from increased productivity, better sleep, reduction in procrastination all the way through to becoming more successful.

I recently finished reading “The 5am Club” by Robin Sharma and it has inspired me to write about this topic in greater detail. I have always been an early riser (not quite 5AM) where I like to take my time, to reflect, do my own thing before my time becomes part of the rest of the world. I take my time to have my breakfast, I meditate, and I really like to have a chilled-out morning routine so that I am not impacted by the uncontrolled events of the day; my routine has already placed me into a positive mindset before I leave home.

Studies are showing that an effective morning routine can result in the creation of a life where we thrive, flourish and grow.

From a personal perspective, my grandparents are in their late 80s and they wake early each day, they meditate, they exercise and eat a great diet. Research of the blue zones (Sardinia, Okinawa, Loma Linda, Nicoya Peninsula and Ikaria), where the most centenaries live have found that they have routines which support their lifestyle and great health. One of the practices adopted is rising early.

The effective morning routine is more than simply rising early, there are steps which can be taken to sow the seeds for a day which is positive, productive and prepared. Here are some examples of things which can be done during these special morning hours:

  1. Meditating & Intention Setting – giving the mind, body and soul the gap to become still and self-connect
  2. Reflecting – appreciating the things in life and identifying with the things you’re grateful for
  3. Journaling – writing your thoughts, ideas, dreams and desires
  4. Exercising – kick-starting the mind and body though aerobic exercise and stretching
  5. Nourishing the body and mind – consuming wholesome and nutritious foods and drinks to boost the mind and body
  6. Reading – absorbing new knowledge or reading an inspirational book to grow the mind
  7. Doing something you love – using the time to do something you love, from watching the sunrise to listening to a piece of music
  8. Noticing the small things – in quietude, the outside sounds become more prominent, notice the singing of the birds, the smell of the air to the sound of your breath

Rising at 5am can seem like a daunting thing to do, there are baby steps which can be taken to support you in creating a morning routine.

Sleeping and waking routing

Creating a routine which will support early rising involves, going to bed slightly earlier than usual and setting the alarm to wake slightly earlier than usual. As you get comfortable and used to the new routine, start to wake-up earlier.

Plan things the night before

There may be some activities which you can prepare and plan the night before, for example, preparing clothes, making lunches and getting ingredients ready for breakfast. If you plan to exercise in the morning, have your clothes and shoes ready to go. Set the alarm clock.

What motivates you

Set your mind on why you want to do this and how it will benefit your life. Once you know the “why” this will motivate and inspire you to take action.

Be patient with yourself

Creating a new life pattern is trial and error, so if at first you do not stick to the routine, use the next day as another opportunity. By preserving and seeing the benefits first hand, we will work towards this goal of rising early. Monica Mahi Mathijs is the CEO and Founder of Our Stillness and Firefly Today. She is also a seasoned change agent, working on various projects across industries.

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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