#GiveAway: 2018’s Diaries

Don’t you feel like it’s Christmas already?!

Me too!

And to celebrate that vibe I am giving away two 2018’s diaries on my Instagram account!

 

To participate, here is what you need to do:
➡️ follow my IG account (@worklifefitness.co.uk)
➡️ subscribe to my e-mail list
➡️ comment on this giveaway’s IG original post & tag an IG friend

I will announce the two winners on the Sunday before my flight to Lisbon (10th Dec.). Please note that this give away is only available to those living in the European Union! GoodLuck!

💋

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A Human-Centred Approach to the Fear of Not Being Good Enough at Work

It’s a Friday evening and the building is pretty much empty already. I have been designing, rearranging, and rethinking models so my data can speak and tell an interesting story. As a result, I am still here, sitting in front of the computer, hoping that soon I can call it a day.

 

 

Sometimes I fear that I don’t go as fast as successful researchers seem to go and my heart sinks when I see all their apparent productivity and achievements: a publication here, a conference there, a report here, and a BBC interview over there. In that moment, I compare myself to others and soon a spiral of negativity and self-doubt takes control over me. My heart starts to race, my mind jumps from thought to thought, and my body becomes like a heavy stone. Why can’t I go faster? What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I be more like them? Am I good enough? And if not, when will I be?

The question marks go on and on, until I mindfully note how pointless it is to compare myself, my work and my lifestyle to anybody else. It’s true that I could go faster, if I stopped listening to my colleagues’ human needs, if I didn’t care about the message my students actually take home, if I had the guts to walk over other people, and specially if I went back to that moment in time in which work was making me physically and psychologically ill.

I can’t say exactly how long it takes me to stop the negativity spiral, but when I finally step aside and observe the roots of my own self-threatening thoughts, I realise that I am just happy with the way I am, and that it is ok to have different principles and priorities. This is where my mindfulness practise and training have helped me to cope through work and life, because it allows me to connect with myself and see everything in a different perspective. Over the years, I can surely tell that it takes me less and less time to stop the negative thinking and to tune my mind into a more positive state.

Therefore, watching it all in perspective, to go faster would mean that I would have to change who I am. I would have to walk over my colleagues in every opportunity I get, I would have to act based on an alfa personality type that doesn’t fit with my true self, and I would have to become numb and indifferent to people’s issues at work. So the important question now is ‘Do I really want to go faster?’ and ‘Do I really want to choose faster results over what is a right way of living for me?’.

The answer is a sounding ‘no’. I rather prefer to be myself, which I am more and more comfortable with, than to act like someone that I am not. And as soon as I grasp this, the fear of not being as good as other researchers goes away; it becomes smaller and smaller, until it fades away. Maybe I do indeed take more time, maybe I don’t get as much opportunities, and maybe I won’t publish, but at the end of the day I want to feel like a functional human being and I am certain that I don’t want to go back to that stage in which I have no aspirations besides living in my office.

Healthy Lunches for Work: Mushroom & Cherry Tomato Wrap

Wraps are a great option whenever you are in a rush or simply lazy to cook. This week I needed something on the go, so I prepared an easy but incredibly delicious wrap. Here is what you are going to need:

  • wholemeal tortilla
  • laminated mushrooms
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mayonnaise
  • watercress, spinach, and rocket leaves
  • curry powder (optional)
  • garlic olive oil (or any other olive oil you like)

You can buy all these ingredients at Aldi’s store and I totally recommend you to do so. Ingredients, specially vegetables, are of great quality. Plus, you can find a variety of healthy food options in their stores. For instances, the mayonnaise I use is a great alternative and it only contains 10 calories per table spoon.

Preparation & How To

Make sure you wash the mushrooms, the tomatoes and your green leaves. You can do this while you warm up a pan. Cut your cherry tomatoes in halves and set them aside with your mushrooms.

Put the tortilla wrap in the pan and flip it several times, so it can get toasty in both sides. Remove it when it is good enough for you. Next put some olive oil in the pan and add the mushrooms and the cherry tomatoes. Mix them altogether so they can absorb the olive oil. If you like like spicy food, I recommend you to add a little bit of curry powder. If you do so, make sure you mix everything again.

While the mushrooms and tomatoes are cooking, you can now put a table spoon of mayonnaise on your wrap and spread it evenly. Then add a layer of green leaves.

By now your mushrooms and tomatoes are probably already done and you can turn the heat off. I like my food warm, so I add immediately the mixture to my wrap, but you can wait a few minutes and let it cool down, if you prefer. After adding a layer of mushrooms and tomatoes to your wrap, you can then fold it as you like most.

The 3 Myths Behind Work-Life Balance

There are essentially three big myths that can also be pointed out as the three big reasons why so many work-life balance attempts and interventions fail. I remember the first time I came across this topic: it was in a work psychology lecture, while I was doing my masters. I was glad to see that such concept was actually something that we were already taking care of in the workplace but I also had the feeling that there was still much to do, because even though we all dream about managing work and life successfully the truth is that the majority of us struggle to make it happen.

I was one of those people for almost my entire life. Curiously enough I think I reached a point in which I either had to change my lifestyle or I simply could not keep teaching my students about stress and work-life balance, because I felt like such an impostor and a failure myself. Moreover, I actually started thinking that it was impossible to have work-life balance, and in fact that is partially true. Work-life balance makes us think that there must be an optimal point between work and life, a point which must be universal and the same for everyone. That’s exactly when our management efforts start to make us feel worse instead of inspiring us to integrate two of the most important dimensions of our human existence.

Let me explain it in more detail: thinking there is an “ideal” that we must achieve sets us immediately for failure. There is no ideal balance between work and life, because each one of us are different and each one of us has different aspirations. We can’t simply apply a mathematical equation to calculate how much work-life balance we have or how much we are missing, especially when our own aspirations change through time and the context we are in at the moment. To make it clearer, let me give you what seems to be the three big myths behind work-life balance:

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