Zoom Fatigue is real – launching walking coaching

 

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

– Friedrich Nietzsche 

When the pandemic forced many of us to move our businesses and work online, I must admit I found it a relief and a huge time saver. As a coach I didn’t have to worry about booking rooms or travel to sessions. But I do miss REAL meetings and conversations as do many of my clients.

So, as we all need exercise, fresh air and human connections (in a covid-safe way of course!) I’ve started offering walking coaching sessions.

If you live in Stockholm, book a 50 minute coaching walk on Kungsholmen. So you can work on your life- or career goals and get some fresh air all at once.

Contact me below to book a session or learn more!

 

 

Nominate a leader for the Executive Coaching Program


Are you leading your organization through change?

Do you want to become a more resilient, self-aware, and effective leader?

Or do you work with a super talent who would flourish with dedicated personal development support?

I’m offering up one spot on my Executive Coaching Program for free

The program includes an EQ-i 2.0® assessment and report + individual coaching. Apply in the link below. (Value € 1,950)

As an ICF-certified coach and certified EQ-i 2.0 practitioner I help leaders around the world develop a sharp vision, lead with authenticity, and create sustainable teams. With my 15+ years of corporate-and NGO leadership experience I support AND challenge leaders to raise their game.

Why is EQ critical to the success of today’s leaders?

Emotional intelligence skills are critical for problem solving, leading yourself and others as well as for building resilience.

The World Economic Forum has ranked Emotional Intelligence as one of the top 10 skills needed for the fourth industrial revolution.

And a recent Harvard Business Review article, “The EI Advantage,” states: “Corporate cultures that lack EI are becoming a major liability as business environments change.”

This year has certainly shown us the importance of adapting the change. Reflecting on my own 2020 there have definitely been a few big ones – starting my own business, leaving the corporate world, launching my Achievement Detox Program and going all digital with webinars and workshops.

Take this opportunity to nominate yourself of someone who wants to raise their game in 2021.

Best of luck!

Application

Program start Jan 2021. Winner announced by 15th Jan 2021. All coaching via Microsoft Teams. Appointments booked on kontakt@emmavallin.se, 24 hour cancellation policy.

Is your ambition putting you at risk for burn-out?

The stress-vulnerability model is often used to understand the causes of mental health issues and burn-out.

As you can guess, two dimensions are involved: “Vulnerability” refers to our basic sensitivities and is determined by our genetics as well as life experiences. “Stressors” refers to the situations or challenges faced in our lives.

Many employers are focusing more time and money on preventing negative stress instead of treating already burnt out co-workers. Great for the individual and the bottom line!

However stress prevention is often focused on the situational stressors, such as workload with very little attention given to understanding individual vulnerabilities.

A study from 2019 published in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research found that ambition or “being passionate about doing well” is a strong vulnerability factor for burn-out. Key themes for situational stressors were “teamwork,” “manager,” and “work and personal circumstances.”

In summary the study shows that a discrepancy between individual vulnerability (ambition) and situational stressors can lead to burn-out. Therefore, burnout prevention needs to target the individual’s vulnerabilities as well.

Through my own Achievement Detox and coaching of high performers, I have learnt a couple of things when it comes to ambition and burn-out:

    1. Like any overused strengths your ambition or achievement superpower can damage your health, relationships and even your results.
    2. Learning to control your need to achieve does not mean turning your ambition off, you’re simply using it in a smarter way
    3. By taking your achiever hat off once in a while and letting other unique personality traits such as your creativity or kindness shine, you become a more interesting and productive person.

Do you or your team want to work smarter to prevent burn-out? Book a webinar, workshop, or coaching session with me.

Source: Vulnerability and Stressors for Burnout, September 2019. The Canadian journal of nursing research 

Nervous and exciting Dry Run of my new Webinar

Had a dry run of my new webinar; Achievement Detox last night. A couple of amazing friends were my guinea pigs and gave me really useful feedback!

All went well except a couple of technical hiccups.

Next week is the first session with a larger audience! Fingers crossed MicrosoftTeams works better for me then.

So far the webinar is only in Swedish but I’m introducing an English version after the summer.

If you or your company are interested in achievement addiction and need inspiration for your work with creating a sustainable work culture – do let me know. Happy to tailor workshops or webinars to your needs.

Are you a frog in boiling water?

You’ve probably heard the boiling frog story from at least one overpaid management consultant. You know the story where one frog is put into cold water that is slowly brought to a boil, therefore stays in the water and dies. The other frog is thrown into boiling water, jumps out and lives.

The wrong job can certainly be like water slowly heating up. We feel more drained, out of place and demotivated over time but if we’re not uncomfortable enough, we don’t make the change. Grass is never greener, we tell ourselves.

Recent times have thrown many of us into boiling water. Even those of us not directly affected by the Corona virus have had our daily lives turned upside down.  We’ve seen industries fall apart over night and might be questioning the relevance and value of our jobs. (Is it too late to train as a nurse?)

However painful, scary and challenging a sudden change is it can also give you incredible clarity and an insight into what matters. Extreme circumstances can help you make some bold moves.

To continue on the frog metaphor; a sudden pain can help you leap (Nerd Face on Apple iOS 13.3) out of a negative situation and discover a completely new venture, approach, or career.

Are your uncomfortable enough to make the change?

I help clients match career options with their values and needs and offer tools like network mapping. Give me a shout if you think career coaching might be useful for you. First session is free.

An unexpected cure for ‘Hurry Sickness’

Are you the kind of person who cleans the bathroom while brushing your teeth? Move from one check-out line to another when shopping? Sit at the back of the room during work presentations so that you can finish that budget sheet? Chances are you’re suffering from ‘hurry sickness’.

People with ‘hurry sickness’ are multitasking masters, they think, walk and speak fast

What Is Hurry Sickness?

Two American cardiologist first came up with the term when they found a correlation between typical type A behavior and heart disease. People with ‘hurry sickness’ are multitasking masters, they think, speak and even walk fast and get very impatient with anyone or anything wasting their time. Sounds familiar? You’re not alone – a London Business School study found that 95 percent of the managers in a study suffer from the condition.

Is it really that bad for you?

Being busy is often seen as a virtue but when it becomes a constant time urgency you lose your ability to stop and think, and as a result become less effective. You lose sight of the “big picture,” and risk alienating people around you. Not to mention the physiological and mental health risks that come with constant stress.

Quitting the hurry game is really about finding a dimmer for your ‘get-shit-done’ superpower

 

Why is it so hard to quit the hurry game?

From an early age we are rewarded for doing, achieving and winning. In high paced industries and corporate environments, it’s often a prerequisite for success, as many of us can relate to. Getting lots done is a kind of superpower that has likely made you pretty successful in your career. So why doesn’t it take you further or make you happier? Think of it as running a marathon at sprint pace. It might give you a lead early on in your life or career, but it certainly won’t make you either successful or indeed, alive as the race goes on. It’s less about quitting the hurry game and more about finding a dimmer for your ‘get-shit-done’ superpower. You need to learn how to dial up and down your hurriedness. Of course, it’s great to be able to switch it on for that big deadline or when you’re trying to get 2 small children out the door. But the default setting in your life needs to be less rushed and you need to learn how to dim the light completely.

The unexpected cure – being pregnant!

I’m a classic hurry sick person who have spent my life chasing efficiencies and trying to do things faster and better. From doing my Kegel exercises in the lift to conference calls in the gym. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first child that I learnt how to live slow. I suffered from severe pelvic girdle pain and could hardly walk. From being someone who would always walk /run up the tube escalator, I suddenly missed my bus every day for being to slow. I even found myself being overtaken by seniors in the slowest lane in the swimming pool. I have often thought it was natures cruel way to cure me from my hurry sickness before having children. I have to admit the relief was temporary, as a mother of 2 children under 3 years of age I often find myself multitasking in the most ridiculous ways. But I am now a sober hurry addict and I can dial up and down my busyness and speed. I finally have a dimmer!

Other ways to cure hurry sickness

If pregnancy with pelvic girdle pain doesn’t sound temping or just isn’t in the cards for you, here are some tips on how to fight hurry sickness:

    1. Practice doing one everyday thing slowly – it could be the dishes or walking to work. How does that make you feel?
    2. Question the value of your urgency – What difference will it make if you answer that email tonight? How important is it in the grand scheme of thing?
    3. Write down the flip side of your hurrying. What are you missing out on when you rush around? What effects on your health do you see? Who are you hurting?
    4. Trick the system with breathing right. When you’re feeling particularly flushed, take some deep breaths (inhale for 3 counts, exhale for 5). This activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the break system) and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.

Let’s make 2020 a slow year!

SPA 2 ways

My partner and I went to a SPA last weekend. It was a birthday gift from my mom and sister, which also included their babysitting services. A big deal since it was the first night away from both kids and potentially the first full night of sleep for me in over a year!

Most toddler parents know that there is a pre/post children dimension to most things in life (going to the shops, showering, eating, getting dressed, doing number 2…). But the difference when it comes to a spa experience only really became clear after listening to the following conversation in the changing room:

The spa weekend girls:

Spa girl 1: I love your bikini!

Spa girl 2: Really? Thanks. It took me an hour to choose. The stress…

Spa girl 3: Should we bring the clay masques into the spa? We might feel like using them at once.

Spa girl 1: Oh, I don’t know. We have no idea how we’ll feel while in there. Oooh, this doesn’t feel good at all! Can’t we just chill and see how we feel?

The parents:

My mom texted that one of the boys was up all night and one of them is now throwing up.

My partner: My tummy feels funny as well.

Me: Can we pretend we didn’t get the message yet and stay in the pool for a while?

My partner: Your bikini is torn.

Me: You should be happy I almost had time to finish shaving my legs.


I listen with fascination to the girls and admire their full toilet bags. I quickly put on my randomly selected clothes as the vomiting situation at home is deteriorating. I grab a handful of free body lotion on my way out and slap it onto my forehead as if to say: you should be happy you have time for anxiety and even time to chat about it! 

Different worlds indeed.

And despite the vomiting bonanza I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Pavlov’s thoughts on my bike

My bike was stolen yesterday.

It’s definitely not the first time; I think I had 3 bikes stolen during my time in London and God knows how many in Uppsala! Unfortunately I had locked the bike in the front wheel only. Rocky mistake according to my partner who said I might as well have put up a sign for the thieves.

The thief kindly left my front wheel behind

The irony is that the bike was stolen outside the venue of my psychotherapist course, on the exact day of the Pavlovian Theory lecture. You know the guy who discovered dogs could be conditioned to drool at the sound of a bell.

The thief kindly left my front wheel

We discussed how a victim who suffered an assault could develop a phobia of for example balloons if balloons were present at the time of the assault. Classic conditioning. But apparently I cannot learn that a poorly locked up bike in an urban environment is likely to be stolen. I assume the level of pain involved could be a factor but we didn’t get that far in the lecture.

I’m only on day 4 of the course and I hope it becomes clearer!

If I finally learnt how to lock my bike up remains to be seen.

The art of a stress-free life

There’s something in the old saying, to stop and smell the roses. Noticing and enjoying the simple and beautiful things in life. But to be able to smell those flowers, you must plant and nurture them. You must take charge of your life – which in itself can be excruciatingly stressful.

So how can you get rid of negative stress?

We know that talented, driven and self-critical people are high risk for stress-related exhaustion disorders. But killing your ambition is difficult. Redirecting it however, setting different goals, can be life-changing. Use that drive and your performance personality to form and achieve new goals. Feel-good goals. It can be to laugh out loud every day, meet a new inspirational person every month or meditate once a week. Then go out there and deliver -like only you can!

There’s no vaccine for life crisis and unforeseen drama. You can however control how you handle setbacks. Choose to be kind to yourself. Try to see every obstacle as fertiliser for your roses; without shit in your life, there will be no personal development :).

To stop living a stressful life can be as difficult as becoming debt free or getting rid of an addiction. It requires conscious actions and sometimes you need help. Maybe book a couple of sessions with a coach. Hint hint me!

Yoga – it can help with everything from chronic pain to depression and PMS

1. Yoga and the heart. Yoga can make blood vessels relax and thereby reduce blood pressure while increasing blood flow to the heart.

2. Yoga can cure chronic pain in the back and neck. When practising yoga, the muscles first tighten, and then they relax when you breathe in and out. As the muscles relax, the pain begins to release.

3. Yoga and the brain. In a recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and performed at 133 older adults, those practicing yoga 30 minutes twice a week showed a better cognitive function than those who did not yoga.

4. Diabetes. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 30 men with type 2 diabetes who practiced yoga for six months showed a significant decrease in their blood sugar levels.

5. Yoga to reduce stress. Practising yoga regularly can reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and especially in women at risk for mental illnesses.

6. Depression. A study in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, showed that regular yoga practise reduced levels of anxiety in women with post partum depression. 

7. Yoga to fight PMSD. This time of the month you might feel like savasana is the only pose for you, but other positions may also relieve PMS symptoms.

From an article in yoga world

The powerful forest

The health benefits of spending time in nature has long been known. I recently read an article explaining why.

Nature has a way of strengthening our immune system, therefore reducing the risk of diseases such as diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease. When we spend time in nature, the body enters a rest and digest mode, which is the opposite of the fight or flight mode we encounter when exposed to stress.

The researchers behind the article explain that there are chemical and biological substances in natural environments which can, among other things, bring down blood pressure, boost the immune system and reduce depression.

Nature is like a multivitamin that supplies us with all kinds of nutrition.

The article was published in Frontiers in Psychology

Do an Intoku today

Intoku is Japanese and roughly translates to; something good done in secret. A good deed carried out without seeking recognition or appreciation.

In times of blurred lines between what’s real and our filtered social media lives, this Japanese concept feels incredibly refreshing.

And isn’t it telling that there is no equivalent word in many Western languages?

What good do you do when no one is watching? Something you don’t share on Instagram?

Here’s a challenge. Do something for someone else today without telling anyone about it. The genuine good feeling you’ll get from helping someone is much more valuable than the appreciation you would get if you tell the world about it. When you remove the need for validation and the motive behind your action, only a pure, real feeling of happiness is left.

Be normal or be yourself

As we constantly project a polished, normal and successful life and are exposed to others’ equally amazing lives in our feeds, we risk forgetting who we really are.

Does the courage to be different come with age? Does the confidence to be original develop over time, with different experiences? Or do we need self-esteem to be ourselves?

As we constantly compare ourselves with others, do we risk diluting our beautifully weird and amazing personalities?

The world is more boring, less creative and dare to say; a worse place, the more normal we try to be.

Kipling on self leadership

‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same…’

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!