The world is stressful, no doubt about it! There is always something that tries to get our attention away from what truly matters. In 2016 I went on sick leave with stress and anxiety and was off duty for 1½ years. Then again, in 2019, I was forced to take another sick leave due to a serious illness I’m still recovering from. In retrospect, I think the stress and anxiety from 2016 were a red flag, warning, and heads-up for the illness in 2019. I clearly see how the two are linked now.
When I finally was at a place where I felt I had enough energy to start mapping out what now had become Bøglund Lightworker Institute, I had one very clear demand!
I will no longer jeopardise my own mental health and physical health during my work and helping others. Actually, I don’t want to jeopardise my mental and physical health in any area of my life.
Like many other things, when outside circumstances are not necessarily in my control, I find a way to work around them to make it work. I’ve designed Bøglund Lightworkers to be a healthy work environment for me and my health concerns.
When I thrive, I have much more to offer others (you) and help my Lightworkers way more effectively.
In this article, I will share 5 Things I Have Learned About Stress-Free Living after being diagnosed with stress and an anxiety disorder in 2016 and getting severely ill in 2019.
Lesson #1 – Prioritise Your Own Health First.
As I mentioned before, I have designed Bøglund Lightworkers to support me and my health before anything else. I am totally unapologetic because I know the only things that stand between me and achieving my goals are my health.
Think about it;
Not enough money ➡ find new income streams.
I always recommend my clients have at least 7 independent income streams, so if one doesn’t work anymore or lose your job, it’s not the end of the world because you still have 6 other income streams working for you. It gives you peace to find a replacement for the 7th. The only way to have 7 independent income streams and not go down with stress and outburn is through passive income streams – investments, stocks, royalties, etc.
People being unsupportive ➡ replace them with people who actually do support you.
Lack of opportunities ➡ think outside of the box and go after what you want.
Not the right city/place ➡ travel or take the meeting online.
Covid-19 ➡ Do it online.
Political/racial/religious issues ➡ don’t let others fear-based minds and actions hold you back, yet choose your battles carefully. Sometimes it’s better to wait to call someone out on their ignorance when you actually have a voice and people who support you.
Lost your job ➡ get a new one or build your own business. You’ll be surprised how many Lightworkers, I have seen, who decided running their own show was a better fit than getting a regular job. Most of them work freelance as consultants or coaches within something they are super passionate about, and they have never been happier.
I don’t believe in complete blockages! If you really want something, you can get it if you’re willing to do what it takes. One of my superpowers is to knock down what seems like blocks and turn them into opportunities for success.
I haven’t met the block I couldn’t kick down… except health!
Our health is our greatest weakness if we don’t take care of ourselves, yet our health is also our greatest strength if we do take care of ourselves. If we prioritise our health mentally, emotionally, and physically, nothing really holds us back except our own limiting beliefs.
You can do ANYTHING if your mental, emotional, and physical health is in check.
If your health is off the rack, so will anything else in your life.
Lesson #2 – You Don’t Owe Anything to Anyone.
Lightworkers are inclined to have People Pleasing behaviour. We want everyone to like us, and if they don’t, we start doubting ourselves. So Lightworkers are sometimes willing to go to extremes just to make sure everyone likes them… often by making sure that everyone is happy. Lightworkers tends to base their own happiness on how happy everyone else is. They can’t enjoy life if someone isn’t happy. Lightworkers are really good at turning everyone and anything into their own personal fix-up projects. Of course, as you can imagine, it’s not healthy by any means.
Our People Pleasing tendencies are often the main reason why Lightworkers burns out. We are spreading ourselves too thin.
We need to practice a little, yet an important word “No!” We need to learn to say no without explaining or justifying ourselves.
It’s not your job to fix someone or something! The only one you’re responsible for is yourself.
Lesson #3 – Take a Break for Social Media and Online Communities.
This was a major thing for me. Before I got sick in 2016, I was posting 3 times a day; spending about 16 hours á week on creating content for social media while writing articles to my website, emails, books, online courses, and the list goes on and on.
Instead of having control over my use of social media, I got sucked into a social media addiction.
I was checking my Instagram every 2 minutes to see how many likes my latest post had got. I was obsessed with making sure each post had a high engagement rate, and I started doubting myself and my work when the engagement rate was low.
I had never cared much for taking selfies and posting my personal life online. I’m a very private person. But I was insecure about my work and what I was doing, so I turned to social media to get validated in how great my work was.
Ouch! Was that a public confession?!
Well, I am calling people out who are posting selfies and their personal life on social media all the time. The constant chase for likes, comments and followers, and the constant use of filters and facetune are tell-tell signs that someone is insecure and on the outlook for validation to feel better about themselves. So when I’m calling others out like that, it’s only fair to admit that I had done it too.
I think we all are insecure about something deep down! However, I do not believe it’s healthy to seek validation online (or public, for that matter) by any means.
Another reason to take a break from social media and online communities is the constant flow of information and content that reach us every day.
It’s INFORMATION OVERLOAD!
It’s too much for anyone!
The only one to control the amount of information and content heading your way is you. Our brains are not wired to absorb so much information all day long!
The third reason to take a break is that the rhetoric can be very negative and uncomfortable at places such as Facebook, Twitter, the comment feed on news sites, online communities and forums, etc.
Some people just seem to vomit their opinions out on social media and online communities. No way those people would say those things in person. But because they’re sitting safely behind a screen, can stay anonymous, and probably have too much time on hand and feel miserable themselves, then they:
While we shouldn’t give them any attention, the negative can be very contagious. Especially if the negative text was sent to you in your DMs or comment feed, those negative texts could mess with your head and your self-esteem. It’s hurtful and not okay. It’s just easier to be a jerk online!
Instagram is my favourite social media platform because it’s overall positive, and people is nice. You’re also more in charge of what you’re going to see in your feed. Instagram will not show you every time your uncle writes his opinion to a politician he dislikes, Facebook does that, and Twitter does that.
Stay away from all that negative bullshit going on online and on social media. You don’t need it!
Lesson #4 – Delegate the Things You Don’t Have To Do.
Lightworkers has a really hard time asking for help, let alone accepting help. I always hated group work in school because I always ended up doing all the work anyway. And I was annoyed with the rest of the group gaming Fifa and Counterstrike or being on Facebook all the time. It was first as an adult; I realised that being the A+ student I was, a brainiac and a perfectionist maybe, was why it didn’t work.
Today, I am delegating and outsourcing all the time. When I need something to be done, I find someone passionate and give them to do the job.
I’m also a HUGE fan of automation software.
I’m not posting so much on social media anymore, but I like to use Later to auto-schedule my posts when I do.
I use IFTTT to automate across different platforms. I also use IFTTT to organise some of my playlists on Spotify automatically.
Later, ConverKit, and IFTTT are some of my favourites, and some of them I use almost daily. I also use Zapier to automate across platforms. Zapier works best for work-related stuff, where IFTTT works for lifestyle stuff.
It’s not just software that can make your life less stressful. Have you noticed how many different kinds of subscription services had been launched during COVID-19 and lockdown? Try to Google “[what you need help with/or don’t want to do] + subscription” – I’m pretty sure you’ll find at least one service to cover what you need.
Lesson #5 – Computer-Free Weekends.
Computer-Free Weekends was a concept I implemented back in 2012-13, I think. The idea is pretty much to keep my computer closed from Friday afternoon to Monday morning to prevent me from working during the weekend. That includes my iPad as well.
But with the iPad, it can be a bit tricky because I like to read books on the Kindle app. I also have my 5 Years Journal in a Google Sheet document on my iPad, where I’m jotting my “3 things I’m grateful for today” and a few words about the day. In the 5 Years Journal, I keep track of all the random psychic information I receive throughout the day. The random psychic information often happens out of nowhere and give absolutely no sense whatsoever at the moment. By typing it into the 5 Years Journal, I can surrender it and move on with my life. A year later, when I returned to the date, the psychic information had likely manifested into reality or at least made more sense. I L-O-V-E the feeling when random psychic information finally falls into its place and make sense.
It was a sidetrack!
Computer-Free Weekends! The idea is to not work during the weekend. It’s also a way to take a break from being bombarded with random information from the internet, emails, and overall, be reachable all time. Your brain needs a break from the internet and emails.
I would love to put social media into the mix too, but most of us are accessing social media from our phones. I don’t think anyone under the age of 60 can keep their phone turned off for an entire weekend.
I simply don’t think it’s realistic to take phone-free weekends.
I know I couldn’t!
I run almost everything from my iPhone. I have Google Home speakers in every room in my home and a Chromecast in my television to voice-control my home. But also because of the automation routines in the Google Home app. My Spotify playlists are playing all day long due to the automations in the Google Home app and changing the playlist 4 times á day. I also use voice control to put items on my shopping list, which also is on my phone, ready when I’m out shopping.
Then we have
- Banking apps
- NemID (digital security for private and sensitive information)
- MinSundhed (the official health app in Denmark that also holds our Coronapasport)
- Google Calendar
- Menstruation tracking app (no unwanted surprises… especially when wearing white clothes 🙈)
- Medicinkortet (to request renewal of prescription medicine)
I know you have similar apps on your phone.
I’m pretty damn sure there exists an app for everything 😆 I mean – I even have an app that tells me when I need to change the filter in my water jug, so I don’t have to remember it myself 🤷♀️ DELEGATION, remember! 🤣🤣🤣
I’m someone who is walking my talk, so as long I use apps on my phone for pretty much everything in my life, it would be wrong of me to tell you to stay off your phone every weekend. I don’t say one thing and do another.
However, what you can do is to have Social Media Free Weekends! So you can have your phone turn on, but stay off social media… and your email app.
That is at least what I try to do at my Computer-Free Weekends. Computer off,
Social Media off,
and email off.
If you are visiting online forums and communities, those should also be off.
You can get your news by the news apps’ breaking news function that will send you notifications when something happens. I also like the “Top 5 Stories of the Day” function in the news app. As long you just read the notification and do not open the app, you should be fine.
Of course, it’s not always possible to have a Computer-Free Weekend if I’m behind with deadlines. But I’m trying really hard to keep my weekends off.
Here you have it.
Let me know in the comments below what you have learned about Stress-Free living.