Back To All Stories
Chelsea Pottenger mugshot

More ideas from Chelsea Pottenger's Month of Mindfulness

International Wellbeing Expert Chelsea Pottenger's free virtual events

Chelsea Pottenger mugshot


"Self-care isn’t selfishness; it’s self-preservation.” – Chelsea Pottenger

Only 24% of employees feel strongly that their organisation cares about their wellbeing, according to a 2022 Gallup survey of 15,000 U.S. staff. It's the lowest result for nearly 10 years, and business leaders in Australia should pay heed.

After all, Gallup says teams which feel the organisation cares about their wellbeing achieve:

  • higher customer engagement
  • profitability
  • productivity
  • lower turnover
  • and have fewer safety incidents, in workplaces where this can be an issue.

International wellbeing expert Chelsea Pottenger is on a mission for businesses to prioritise their employees' wellbeing and mental health. On May 31, 2022 she will release her first book The Mindful High Performer, with tools and ideas that help build resilience and be at their best, mentally and physically.

It's a great time to take a look back at some of Chelsea's gold nugget insights from last year's events.


Wellbeing Tip: Get off the phone when in bed.

For example, how does being on your phone before bed affect your sleep?

In our 2021 workshops with Chelsea Pottenger, participants heard how the accredited mindfulness and meditation coach deliberately went on her phone while in bed, then tracked her sleep. Here's what she discovered, plus some other insights from her other Month of Mindfulness workshops on better sleep, the benefits of meditation, winding down after work, and energising your mornings..


Quality not quantity affected

After switching her phone off, the founder and Managing Director of EQ Minds fell asleep easily and slept her usual 7.5 hours. However, only 50 minutes were spent in deep sleep. The quality of her sleep was impacted. “All week I was waking up tired and exhausted,” shared the international wellness speaker.


Lack of sleep affects cognition

Sleep experts recommend 1.5 hours of deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep within 7-9 hours total. If you get less than five hours sleep a night, you’re 300% more likely to catch a cold. Sleep deprivation also leaves you cognitively impaired and unable to retain information.

“People are not very good at predicting how poorly they’re doing when they’ve under-slept,” says Dr Matt Walker, author of Why We Sleep.


More tips for better sleep

So, what are Chelsea’s tips to getting a good night’s rest?

·       Jump off the screens half an hour before your bedtime.

·       Turn off half the lights at 8 p.m.

·       Avoid powerful overhead lights. Invest in a warm bedside lamp.

·       Read a paperback; nothing too heavy.

·       Install blockout curtains, or wear a sleep mask.

·       If you suffer insomnia: Write in a journal, listen to a sleep story or guided meditation, count backwards from 1000. If you are still awake after 20-30 mins get up and do something relaxing, then return to bed.


Develop your own routine

Chelsea’s personal sleep routine also includes taking magnesium, practising meditation, having a hot shower, stretching, and talking to her partner in bed. She wears an "Oura" ring to track her sleep.

Brains like regulation and routine, says Chelsea. Darkness prompts the pineal gland to start producing melatonin; it naturally occurs at 9 pm for “larks” and 10.30 pm for “night owls”. A pre-sleep routine is one of the best things you can do for your brain, and thus, your wellbeing.


CHELSEA'S SESSION ON MEDITATION

Successful people are often discovered to mediate says Chelsea. They include Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Holly Ransom, Tim Ferriss, Emma Watson, Russell Brand, Jerry Seinfeld, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There are scientifically proven benefits of meditation. They include reducing brain fog, improving memory, reducing stress, and increasing our ability to regulate our emotions and think rationally when it’s needed most. 


Stay even if the mind wanders

Chelsea says many people have tried meditation but lose heart. "‘I tried meditation, I just have too many thoughts’ is a common lament," she says.

So, she says, take your brain to the gym! Train your brain like you would train your body….in small amounts that increase over time.  

“If you meditate and your mind wanders off and you bring it back (even for one microsecond), then that’s like one bicep curl,” says Chelsea.


Start with one minute of meditation

First, check your posture by downloading a helpful chart from EQ Minds.

Then, build up week by week:

·       In week 1 = practice 1 minute.

·       In week 2 = practice 3 minutes.

·       In week 3 = practice 5 minutes.

·       In week 5 = practice 10 minutes.

Remember, says Chelsea, everyone has thoughts during meditation. Just bring it back to the breath. Anytime is a good time to meditate. Start small, in short, sharp practice. To learn how to start and keep meditating, go to EQ Minds.  


CHELSEA'S TIPS FOR STRESS SUPPORT

The stress of lockdowns, high workloads, uncertainty, isolation, loneliness, homeschooling, and relationships can be overwhelming.

In her Month of Mindfulness, Chelsea began Session Two during the week of R U Ok? Day by urging us to look out for our friends, colleagues, and family. 

·       What are they saying?

Are they confused and/or moody? Are they unable to switch off? Are they lonely or concerned they’re a burden to people? Do they lack self-esteem?

·       What are they doing?

Mood swings, withdrawing, isolating, less interested in their appearance, change in sleep

·       What’s going on in their life? 

Relationship, health or financial issues, constant stress, or experiencing the loss of someone/something

“The quicker you can pick up the signs and symptoms the quicker they can recover,” she says. A list of professional organisations is available here.

Chelsea’s 3 steps to help you move from overwhelm:

Step 1: Recognise

·       Acknowledge the stress – comfort eating, skin issues, sleep issues, drinking….

·       Write it down – what’s causing it. Write a list.

Step 2 – Get some space

·       Do a self-care technique: deep breathing, meditating, listen to music, gym, chores, take a break, walk outside, get into nature, call a friend.

Step 3 – Shift from overwhelm to problem solving

·       Look at what’s on the list – then focus on what you can control.

·       Prioritise – what’s the most important to your success today – go into action on that one thing.

By focusing on what you can control you will have more energy and more resilience.


CHELSEA'S TIP TO FINISH EACH WORK DAY 

Lockdowns and remote work blur the line between work and home life. To transition, take a “micro shower for your brain”, says Chelsea. It helps to wash the day off, if you like.

1.      Master diaphragmatic breathing: Inhale for four seconds through your nose, hold for two, exhale out of your mouth for eight. This helps to calm you down.

2.      Think about belly breathing. When you inhale your tummy goes out, when you breathe out the tummy goes back in.

3.      Repeat in your mind – “Release, Release, Release.”

4.      Imagine your body releasing tension. For example, you might relax the jaw, and have your feet grounded.

It works like a line in the sand to delineate between work and home at the end of each workday.


CHELSEA'S SESSION ON 9 TIPS TO OPTIMISE YOUR MORNING ENERGY

“The most beautiful thing about being a human being is that every single morning we get to start fresh.” - Chelsea Pottenger.

Tip #1 Don’t reach for the phone first thing

Chelsea says a brain awakening from sleep is very impressionable. Looking at the news or emails on our phone can trigger our fight-or-flight response, leading to the release of stress hormones.

Tip: Instead of checking your phone, list five things you're grateful for. By doing this each morning the part of your brain responsible for empathy and compassion (the right supramarginal gyrus in the cerebral cortex) starts getting stronger. Oxytocin and dopamine increase, and being pleasurable, they'll prompt us to find more things to be grateful for.

Tip #2 Make Your Bed

Making your bed is something your mother taught you. It’s also the serious topic of a famous address given to University of Texas graduates in 2014 by Navy Admiral William H. McRaven.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

Tip #3 Brush your teeth with your opposite hand

Chelsea says this tip, from the book “The End of Mental Illness” by Dr Daniel G. Amen, does many things including helping to stimulate the part of the brain where dexterity sits, and bringing you into the moment.


Tip #4 Drink a tall glass of water when first wake up

We all sweat while we sleep so Chelsea recommends drinking a large glass of water first thing.

Tip #5 Take a probiotic and prebiotic

Chelsea says research shows our gut health is the second brain, and it has a direct impact on our brain. Gut bacteria manufacture about 90% of the body's supply of serotonin, the key hormone that stabilises our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness.

Tip #6 Exercise and Tip #7 Have a cold shower

Exercise is well-documented as a good morning energy booster. But change up your shower afterwards. Chelsea spends 2.5 minutes in a warm shower but finishes it with a 30 second blast of cold water. She says research shows people who take cold showers are 21% less likely to call in sick at work. It also increases our alertness.

Tip #8 Do some meditation

Spend part of your morning doing a meditation. Chelsea says there is much research showing it’s good for the brain. We become less stressed and more in the moment. Meditation courses can be found at EQ Minds.

Tip #9 Write down your to-do list

 Take a moment to write down your goals for the day. Ask yourself ‘What is the most important thing for work and my mental and physical health today?’


SUMMARY

Energising your morning doesn't mean cramming it with new activities. Chelsea recommends choosing one thing you can stick to over the next few mornings. Whether it’s thinking of things to be grateful for, drinking more water, brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand or not checking for phone for 10-15 minutes in the morning, you’ll feel more energised and less depleted.

As Chelsea says: How you start the day is how you are going to show up for the rest of the day. 


If you'd like to increase your professional development why not consider a Growth Faculty leadership pass? 12 months of unlimited access to 30 live virtual events with the world's brightest minds - PLUS, you get access to year-round leadership content On Demand with videos, podcasts and book summaries with 14 day replay access to all virtual masterclasses.

Join a community of knowledge seekers who are inspired by the best. Access $7500+ value for just $498 AUD. See who's up next.

LATEST FROM THE GROWTH FACULTY

Keep Informed
Stay Inspired


           



© 2022 The Growth Faculty

Where Brilliant Ideas Inspire Leadership



Privacy Policy    Terms of Service