Are you more tired than ever? Feel like stopping the bus for a while so you can catch your breath? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. Research shows that burnout is up by 30% and mental health issues are being dubbed the second pandemic. People are dealing with chronic fatigue and, many, post-traumatic stress too. In addition, working women have an average of five hours less downtime per week than men. Research is suggesting that working mothers are at serious risk of burning out. I’ve written about this before.

Last week, I did a talk for SAICA’s Women in Leadership Conference called “Breathe… What Successful Women Know About Downtime and How to Claim Yours.” Following the talk, we got a flurry of bookings, and the feedback has been overwhelming that it was just what people needed:

“You are absolutely brilliant. I’ve gained so many practical insights SAICA should work with you more.”

“Just what I needed. Thank you for giving me hope! It is possible to find balance, breathe and be successful.”

“Wow! I had such a moment of revelation. Thank you! I would really have liked a longer session with you.”

Would it make sense for the women in your team to receive the same benefit? If yes, contact Collette and she can send you more information and pricing. In the meantime, let’s take some Key Steps together this week and…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’

  1. Realise the danger of your behaviour. I admit that I was a slow learner in this department. I used to think of myself as limitless and thought that downtime, timeout, stopping to breathe, etc. was for other people – not me. I nearly learnt the hard way. I’m glad I didn’t and will be happy to work with you to shorten your learning curve. The first thing you can do is realise the damage of your behaviour and the detrimental effects of never giving yourself permission to really slow down and breathe… EVERY DAY! Click here to take the survey and see common symptoms of overdrive and share what you have experienced the last 6 months – it is a completely anonymous survey.
  2. Identify why you sabotage yourself. If you think you don’t… think again, we all do! And we often do it rather unconsciously. Last week, I shared an article published by the Financial Mail where they interviewed me regarding how we can go From Self-Sabotage to Superpower: Harnessing Emotion with Self-Awareness. Self-awareness is the gateway to emotional intelligence. The only way you can really unlock the door to your success is by identifying what stops you and actively working on shifting the deeply rooted limiting  belief.
  3. Stop being part of the problem. This is easier said than done. Getting to the root of why you sabotage yourself and understanding the positive intent of the limiting belief is an essential first step. It is only then, once we have shined the light inside the prison of our mind, that we can begin to empower and educate the limiting belief while honouring it’s positive intent. For example, you need to look for evidence that you can have down time AND still care for your family. In fact, look for evidence of times where you did care for yourself and your family was better off for it. When you take downtime, you are more creative and innovative – the research supports this time and time again! When you breathe properly – 4, 7, 8 is a great technique and one I mention in From Self-Sabotage to Superpower: Harnessing Emotion with Self-Awareness – it assists in regulating blood pressure, reducing cortisol and stimulating endorphins in just 3 to 5 breaths! That’s a no brainer…
  4. Make breathing and caring for yourself a priority. Practising self-care is not lazy. It’s wise. You cannot give what you don’t have. Evidence shows that successful women have realised that downtime is really about “sharpening the saw” and the sharper the saw is, the more effective and productive you can be. Slowing down, in essence, enables you go faster in a more effective, healthier and happier way. It is important that you create your recipe for relaxing, resting, restoring and recreating. Sleeping and putting your feet up is only one aspect of rest. I am honestly not faring well in this department. Mila still wakes up a couple of times a night and keeps me on my toes throughout the day. But what I am good at is having tried-and-tested outlets for my stress… therapy, monthly massage and body talk are some key essentials. I also read a romance novel for at least 10 min every night before I sleep, I take regular supplements, exercise at least three times per week, eat healthy, use DoTERRA’s ADAPTIV oil in my humidifier, limit my exposure to the news, laugh with Mila multiple times a day, find deep fulfilment in my work and strength in my family. These are just some examples of what works for me every day. What works for you? I’d love to hear your ideas.   

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’



NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development and transformation. She is a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner. She is also one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – it’s the Oscar of the speaking business.

Sharon’s PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that has been published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of Henley Business School and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. Sharon has become known for her practical approach, useful tools and genuinely caring manner. She is really looking forward to working with you and taking Key Steps to ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’