The past weeks have seen more dramatic changes than many of us have ever experienced in our lifetime and has left us trying to make sense of the new world. To help support its members, SCL is introducing a Weekly Wellbeing blog to provide insights and inspiration about how to be kinder to yourself and to support the wellbeing of others. #SCLweeklywellbeing
The Weekly Wellbeing blog has been specially created for SCL by Nick Watson and Gary Waters.
Unlike most Legal Technology entrepreneurs, Nick Watson comes from a development background with a history of developing large, bespoke projects for a variety of industries including the Law. Launching in April 2016, Nick co-founded Ruby Datum, a user experience-driven, pioneering Virtual Data Room company. He also has a passion for wellbeing and is working towards a vision of a more mindful legal industry.
Gary Waters is a respected coach and entrepreneur. Gary’s background includes building a #1 ranking hospitality business in one of the UK’s most competitive tourism markets in the South West of England. Gary decided to sell that business so that he could channel all his energy and focus into his passion, which is helping people through coaching. Gary specialises in helping clients develop an Empowered Mindset, which enables them to navigate life’s challenges on their own terms. He’s passionate about helping people create a life of purpose and fulfilment through Personal Coaching, Business Coaching and Consulting programmes.
Week 1 - Morning Routine
Day 1 - Wake up early, have a routine
This week is all about the morning routine, which is something that the most fulfilled, highest performing professionals have in common. If you take at least an hour in the morning to train the mind, body and soul you will move towards success whilst incorporating peace, clarity and freedom. You can download a sample morning routine here
- Mind - when you wake up in the morning, your brain is in a theta / low alpha range, meaning you're more susceptible to absorb information. This is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself intellectually.
- Body - exercise reduces the body's level of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). It also stimulates the production of endorphins, leading to mood elevation and natural pain relief.
- Soul - by developing an ability to become more present and in-tune with your mind and body, your soul benefits from freedom, calm and peace.
ACTION: Set an alarm for 5/6am tomorrow, get up slowly, enjoy the space around you and take your time to really appreciate everything you have in your life.
If you struggle to sleep the night before, make sure you still rise early - you'll struggle throughout the first day with tiredness but will start benefiting the following day.
Day 2 - Mind
- When you wake up early, you're without the distractions of external stimuli such as noise. No technology, no meetings, no expectations. When you wake up, your brains are still in a theta state, meaning knowledge can easily be absorbed.
- Firstly, stay away from your phone. Use a separate alarm clock if you have to, the distractions can be too irresistible - even when dismissing your alarm!
- Make sure you stay hydrated, particularly when waking up. Drink a big glass of water and pour yourself a hot drink (avoid caffeine just for now) to go with a book. Sit down and read something that challenges you intellectually, but not something that stresses you out.
- Whilst you eat a healthy breakfast and tasty drink (caffeine is ok now), make a journal. This is your self reflection time, your private time, just you and a pen and paper. Contemplate and reflect on anything that may be bothering you. Is something triggering you? Could you be more mindful in areas? Are any repetitive thoughts arising? Also take the opportunity to commend yourself, noting down what went well yesterday - what made you smile? Keep this personal - this is for you, and only you. A perfect opportunity to be honest with yourself and engage with a deeper part of your mind.
Day 3 - Body
- After you've woken up, hydrated, read something new, eaten well and updated your journal, it's time to focus on your body. This is your chance to incorporate as high-intensity exercise as possible, for at least 10 minutes (although try to aim for 20-30). Get dressed in your usual exercise gear as what you wear can have a strong impact on your mindset.
- By focusing on your body, you reduce the body's level of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and simultaneously stimulate a release of endorphins to make you feel good, energised and ready for the day ahead.
- This can be any form of exercise, providing it gets your heart rate going - Gary prefers weights whereas Nick likes to do push-ups to failure, a few sit-ups and sprints up and down the steps next to his house.
- After exercise, it's time for a cold shower! This sounds crazy, but the benefits are well proven. This is the acme of the daily routine for many and you will benefit from a stimulated immune system, increased alertness, stimulation of anti-depression hormones, an accelerated metabolism, tighter skin, improved circulation and reduced hair loss.
- Flip the switch to it's coldest setting and focus on staying calm whilst practicing deep breathing for as long as you can. When we first started, we could only manage about 30 seconds - on some days, we can now spend several minutes peacefully under the cold shower.
Once all is done, get dressed for the day. The correct clothes trigger a succinct mindset.
Day 4 - Soul
- Wake up slow, become present and bring your attention to your senses. Appreciate the textures around you, the smells - become fully immersed in your environment and appreciate what you have around you, a privilege many are unable to benefit from.
- Reflect on what you are most grateful in life (even the "bad" experiences you've been able to grow from). Make a list if necessary, but most importantly visualise the experience such gratitude creates. This is good to combine with meditation, something we will talk about in detail more in a future article (as well as exploring the benefits of gratitude some more).
- For now, take the time to feel your body, scan from head to toe and observe the different sensations. Breathe naturally and pay attention to your chest expanding and contracting. Do this for 5-10 minutes. If your mind wanders, that's completely fine - just bring the attention back to your body.
ACTION: Based on the tips of mind, body and soul this week - put together a morning routine that works best for you. Try it for 3 weeks and watch as it transforms your life.
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