EE 008: The Proper Care and Feeding of the EXECUpreneur: Steps 10, 11 & 12
In this blog post, we will wrap up the 12 Steps with a little pillow talk and a whole lot of straight talk. For what kind of EXECUpreneur Change Agent would I be if I didn’t call you to the mat?
Keep reading to learn my power pack of 7 ways to stack the sleep deck in your favor, along with a little gut check. Literally and figuratively.
Be sure to email me for a copy of my cheatsheet “The EXECUpreneur’s EDGE 12-Step Program for a Body & Mind That Just Won’t Quit!” This concise visual will help prioritize your actions to get the results you desire from your body and your brain…Keep this fact in mind, your brain is your #1 ally in business. Seriously, she is. Be sure to show her the love!!
Step #10: Tame Your Stress Response
This step focuses on our constant companion. It weaves in and out of our lives like it’s been invited.
What is this companion of which I speak? It’s Stress.
Stress runs our lives, for the most part.
Stress isn’t just unpleasant, it is deadly. Stress wreaks havoc on our biochemistry.
Stress releases cortisol. What was once a “running from something trying to eat you” event has now turned into an “all day, day after day” event.
Cortisol inactivates insulin. Despite the fact that the body is marinating in the stuff (insulin), it is not enough.
Here’s the scene…the pancreas sees a bunch of excess glucose in the blood. I’m sure it says something like this, “didn’t I just clean up this mess? I tell ya…a pancreas’ job is never done.”
So back to work it goes…pumping out insulin.
There’s another massive bolus of insulin produced which again is rendered inactive by still more cortisol…this is one vicious cycle. It is a biochemical battlefield. One which you lose every time.
Tame your stress by incorporating a mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness is an ancient practice for becoming aware of our thoughts and being still. Being still is incredibly difficult for people like me who move 90 to nothing all day long…I’m just wired that way. Even when I’m writing for hours at a time, my mind is running like the Roadrunner! Meep, meep!
Until I really embraced a mindfulness practice, I never felt at peace. Step #10 has been a life changer and has helped me focus on the big things and stop sweating the small.
Step #11: Optimize Sleep
This elusive creature is often spoken of and rarely seen by the modern American man and woman, let alone the driven EXECUpreneur. It is critical to mental and physical health. And without it you can fuhgeddabout that boundless energy end-goal, just getting through the day will eventually be your goal, if not only desire in life!
What is this creature to which I refer? It is sleep, and we cannot live without it.
We all know that sleep is required to replenish our energy for the next day. But did you know that sleep also has a profound effect on your weight set point? Inadequate sleep quantity AND quality can sabotage your fat loss efforts despite doing everything else “right”…it is that important.
The sleeping pill-induced kind doesn’t make the cut for energy nor for fat loss. Sleep isn’t just a passive thing. So knocking you out (so to speak) does not get the job done. There is a ton of biochemistry going on behind closed eyelids. It’s a critical daily need for being truly well: mentally, physically and emotionally.
You must prioritize your sleep. Every aspect of your well-being depends on it.
My top 7 ways to stack the sleep deck in your favor:
- Set a sleep schedule and follow it every day.
- Develop a soothing bedtime ritual…a minimum of 30 minutes in length.
- Remove all digital screens from the bedroom.
- Increase exposure to daylight while minimizing artificial light.
- During the 6 hours prior to bed, avoid caffeine and during the 4 hours prior, avoid alcohol.
- Do not nap if you’re having difficulty sleeping. If you sleep just fine, a nap may be okay for you.
- Exercise every day…at least move your body every day, and put some oomph into it.
Step #12: Don’t “Go It Alone”
As mentioned in Step #1: the default setting for the human is procrastination. That said, it’s imperative to embody Step #1 (Take Immediate Action). Ensuring it is the correct action is critical.
Not too little and not too much.
Having a skilled advisor in the mix is a way to compress the learning curve, stave off quitting, and to break through mental barriers you didn’t even know were keeping you back.
This is where #12 shines…
“Don’t go it alone!”
I’m as independent as they come… it is a core value. I teach clients how to be independent as well. I want you to be independent of the hype. From taking Conventional Wisdom at surface value.
Key word here, independence. From fake food. From drugs. From limiting beliefs. From e’rything that does NOT serve you well.
Everywhere you turn, you will be confronted with some form of marketing trying to influence you to buy into a life of dependence marketed as “convenience”. Every. Where. You. Go.
You have to build up an immunity. You do this through education and flexing your habit muscle. I offer my clients an opt-out of the future, so many Americans are destined to have. When you’re ready to commit to incorporating the 12 Steps, I’ll be here for you. Reach out to me via LinkedIN, email, or whatever other means of communication you and I choose to connect.
Now for that bonus topic I wanted to discuss with you…I want you to trust your gut.
Literally and figuratively, learning to trust your gut is an integral part of attaining and maintaining the energy to level up your life. Your gut is home to your second brain. This “brain” is the massive network of allies called the microbiome. You may be familiar with this term, but just in case you are not, here’s a quick rundown.
The microbiome is a vast collection of tiny microbes ⎯ bacteria, bacteriophage (things that eat bacteria), fungi, protozoa, yeast and viruses, amongst other things ⎯ that are housed within our digestive system from the entry to the exit. Along the way these microbes have jobs to do. They are the worker bees of the system.
When one of these guys goes awry, the communication amongst the hive is disrupted. This disruption can be temporary or stretch into a longer-term problem. The Gut/Brain connection is being explored by some of the best scientists around, and we learn more and more every day.
The microbiome has a specific balance that when maintained, leads to better mental and physical performance. When balance is disturbed (dysbiosis), the fallout is far-reaching. For example, serotonin (one of your happy chemicals) is predominantly found in the gut. Upwards of 90% of it, in fact. When your microbiome is experiencing dysbiosis, it is less hospitable to this happiness supporting chemical.
What you have learned in the EXECUpreneur’s EDGE will take you a great way toward healing and repopulating your microbiome.
I walked you through the steps necessary to set the stage for your microbiome to repopulate and balance itself in The Proper Care and Feeding of the EXECUpreneur. Support your gut and it will take great care of your overall health, mental and emotional. I assure you, your microbiome’s innate intelligence trumps anything our medical system, or new-fangled nutraceutical company can whip up in a lab.