3 steps to starting the new year with more energy

3 steps to starting the new year with more energy

3 steps to starting the new year with more energy

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woman starting the new year with more energy following Katarina Stoltz's top tips

How can we start the new year with more energy after yet another strange year of living through a global pandemic and difficult experiences?

“But you didn’t land in hospital”. “It could have been much worse”. “Imagine how it would have been if you were a single mum and had more children”.

The external voices of comparison were louder than my own inner voice of acceptance. I know that friends meant well and were just trying to cheer me up, but I didn’t need cheerleaders, nor did I need to hear about how it could have been worse.

I had caught the virus which I had tried to avoid for 1,5 years. I wasn’t well. The only thing I needed (except from my husband bringing me lots of tea and Pho Bo soup) was to hear these words:

“I hear you.”

“It sucks.”

Of course 2021 could have been worse. Knowing that doesn’t make our experiences less difficult.

It’s that time again when I look back and reflect on the past year. Normally I would celebrate the extraordinary things I learned, my successes and accomplishments. But it has been another strange year and I have decided to end it differently.

Not because there hasn’t been a lot of learnings and successes, but because I see the necessity more than ever to honour the uncomfortable emotions and the things that didn’t go as planned.

The not-so-flattering emotions are as worthy of acknowledgement and deserve to be felt just as much as all the socially accepted ones.

Do you agree?

We can, of course, look back on the past year and only focus on the successes and try to forget the unpleasant and messy truths. In our “quick-fix” culture there is a lot of money-making that happens around bypassing the truth.

We can choose to say, “I’m fine, I survived”, “Soon it’s a new year with new opportunities”, and smile.

I’m convinced that when we focus on the good things in life, all the goodness grows, but when we only do that and don’t take ownership of our hardships, it can lead to exhaustion.

Let’s not rush things. That’s what we do all day long. When something feels uncomfortable, we tend to ignore it and move on.

In a culture where we praise positive emotions like happiness and fulfilment more than the negative ones like sadness and anger, it takes a lot of courage to say, “I’m not fine”.

We don’t want anyone to see that we’re broken, that we can’t hold everything together. Our naked truth. So, we show up at dinner parties and on social media with all our mess hidden behind a fake smile. We post photos of our children and fancy holidays to say “look, I’m fine!”

What is it we’re not showing?

What are we afraid would happen if we showed the messy truth?

I have learned that the single most important behaviour for bringing more energy into our lives is:

Don’t bypass heavy emotions, but also don’t obsess about them.

What is not examined and expressed usually grows.

It grows inside of us until the day when we have difficulty breathing and our bodies are hard like metal. All the holding together requires A LOT of energy.

I know because I have been there.

In the past I was an expert in putting on a suit of armour to present an imaginary persona.

I was an expert in adding things to my to-do list just to show I was as productive and busy as everyone else, even when I was depleted. I have seen lately how many of my clients do the same.

No doubt that we are constantly triggered to DO MORE when we hear phrases like “create the future you”, reinvent yourself”, “change your life” and “find your purpose”.

Before I look at my successes and learnings this year, I will make a list of the things that didn’t go as planned. I’m inviting you to do the same. Meet a friend or a whole group of friends and share your list.

Ask them to just listen. No advice giving. No cheerleading. No fixing. Just listen.

This is the most valuable gift you can give to someone.

Here is mine (the official version ;))

Things that didn’t go as planned:

  1. I postponed the launch of my website twice.
  2. I miscalculated and was confronted with a huge tax bill at the end of the year.
  3. My au pair unexpectedly packed her bag and left while I was in the shower in the middle of the pandemic when I was vulnerable and needed help the most.
  4. I got sick with Covid even though I was vaccinated, washed my hands, wore a mask, maintained distance, and cancelled most social events this year.
  5. My daughter, who was called “very sociable” at the age of 3 and always had many friends, was suddenly having problems with friends at school.
  6. Someone had a car accident with my car.
  7. I didn’t manage to work out like I wanted to.
  8. I wasn’t as patient as I thought I would be while home-schooling my daughter.
  9. I had two different virtual assistants resign within a period of 3 months.
  10. I had promised to take Fridays off and not work with more than 12 clients a week, and didn’t keep either promise.

When you have made your list, go through each point and ask yourself how each thing made you feel. Give yourself permission to feel disappointed, angry or sad.

The key is to feel the feelings but not obsess over what happened.

3 steps to starting the new year with more energy:

  1. Acknowledge.
  2. Let go.
  3. Move on.

I don’t know about you, but this process makes me feel human.

It’s okay not to feel okay at times.

It’s okay not to hold everything together.

It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself even though there are people who have it worse than you.

One week after I had recovered from Covid, I was getting ready to drive my daughter to school. I was still internally battling how I had been too reactive with my family while I was sick.

As if my daughter could read my mind, she turned to me and said: Mum, you know why I love you? Because you are you.

I looked back at my 9-year-old, who already holds so much wisdom, and I was speechless.

Imagine if everyone was thinking like her, then the world would be a better place.

Wishing you all a relaxing ending of 2021.

And remember…

It’s all okay.

Love, 

 

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Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping ambitious professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to The Time To Thrive Blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!

How to rest without guilt

How to rest without guilt

How to rest without guilt

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Woman who has learnt to rest without guilt reading in a hammock on a beach in the sun 
I told my neighbour I was back from a 4-week holiday, and she looked at me with surprise and asked ‘how is that for your clients’? I checked in with my inner judge, but it turned out she had nothing to say today. Silence. It was as if I wanted to hear that harsh Swedish voice who usually says, ‘Isn’t that selfish’? But it was like she had finally left me in peace, like that kid who tries to bully someone who doesn’t care.

BREAKTHROUGH 1: It seems that after 8 years of taking a month-long holiday every summer, I’m finally not feeling guilty about it.

I bicycled with my bestie to a Pilates class on the beach in southern Sweden this summer. When one of the other participants heard that I was staying in Yngsjö, a couple of kilometres away, she asked if I had biked the whole way. I checked in with my inner judge, but it turned out she had nothing to say. Silence. After an uncomfortable pause, I realized I could simply answer her: ‘No, I’m too lazy to bike such a long way in the morning, I drove to my friend’s house and then took the bike the last bit.’

BREAKTHROUGH 2: The word ‘lazy’ has been equal to ‘stupid’ and ‘worthless’ my whole life. This was the first time EVER I used the word without shame. I wasn’t proud, but I wasn’t feeling stupid or worthless. I felt free.

How do you feel when you hear the word ‘lazy’?

During my years as superwoman, I froze every time I heard this word. Grrrr. Anything but lazy! I’m strong and not the type who needs a lot of sleep and rest!

When was the last time you rested without feeling guilty?

I still have a hard time giving myself permission to rest sometimes, but I’ve set up my life so that I don’t end up too stressed.

Taking a 4-week summer holiday helps.

Saying NO to things—like taking the bike instead of the car just to prove that I’m not lazy, helps.

Saying NO to the ‘harder, better, faster, stronger culture’ helps.

Saying YES to my well-being helps.

What about you?

I’d love to hear in the comments how this resonated with you.

If you’re curious to find ways to say YES to your well-being and NO to other people’s expectations, coaching is an excellent tool. I have coached hundreds of women and men to prioritize their well-being and get clarity on what’s stopping them from living in more alignment with what they truly want.

If you, or someone you know would benefit from coaching, please book a call with me here: https://calendly.com/katarinastoltz

Love, 

 

Share this:

Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping ambitious professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to The Time To Thrive Blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!

How to Find Time For Your Relationship

How to Find Time For Your Relationship

How to Find Time For Your Relationship

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Romantic couple sitting together representing the need to find time for your relationship 

I look at the sea from the little sand dune where we’re hiding from the sun under a tree. Bright spots shine like diamonds on the water’s surface. No loud music, no plastic pop-it toys. Just him and me and some other tourists at a far distance.

No easy distractions: meal planning, social media or ‘I forgot to send that email’. No daughter screaming “MAMA!!” from the other end of our apartment while I’m in the shower.

I’ve decided to make time for my romantic relationship. Not just a date night. I’m talking one week of uninterrupted time – where I embrace both silence and long conversations. A proper break from to-do lists and never-ending parent logistics.

No matter how much I work on it, I still sometimes fall into the busyness trap. You know when you stay so busy that the truth of your hurting or your fear can never catch up?

Can you relate?

Yesterday I read in Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, about the most dangerous betrayal in relationships: ‘I’m talking about betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship.’

Devote time. For me that is not ‘I’m home most evenings a week’ kind of devotion. It’s about really making an effort to carve out time for engagement.

Being in atypical relationships my whole life: long distance, musician on tour, bartender with night shifts, and then deciding to marry someone who travels a few months a year – I’m used to being alone. It has become my natural state of being. It’s been a choice AND an escape.

As someone who grew up with the myth ‘I can do it all alone’, it’s been easy to fool myself that this lifestyle was making me happy. The price I paid for it – loneliness.

Today, I know how much connection matters.

Today, I know I can’t do it all alone.

Today, I devote time. I put effort into my romantic relationship. I show up. I dare to be vulnerable. I still catch myself disappearing into my ‘self-development bubble’ and I disconnect. Books. Trainings. Writing. But, more often than before, I put down my book when I see that my husband has something to share with me.

The ‘opportunities for engagement’ have become my way forward. This is how I work on trust and connection.

I’m curious about you, what have you discovered makes a big difference in your relationship?

If you are struggling to make the time to engage in relationships, let’s talk. I invite you to book a free coaching consultation with me here: https://calendly.com/katarinastoltz

Love,

Katarina Stoltz Signature

 

 

 

Share this:

Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping ambitious professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to The Time To Thrive Blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!

Give yourself permission to rest: 7 ways to quiet your thoughts

Give yourself permission to rest: 7 ways to quiet your thoughts

Give yourself permission to rest: 7 ways to quiet your thoughts

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Woman giving herself permission to rest and do some journalling

It was late in the evening. My upper back was aching, and I was stress eating another cracker with cream cheese. My eyes were tired—from wearing my contact lenses too long I told myself, but the truth was, I had been staring into a screen for more than 12 hours. I just need to check my email, just have to see if my daughter handed in all her homework, ahhh I forgot to answer a message on WhatsApp, a colleague wanted some business advise and oh yes there was that bill to pay and, and, and…

Sounds familiar?

Are you someone who is constantly stressing about not doing enough? Thinking there’s always more you need to do? Feeling anxious because there is never an end to your to-do list?

You force yourself to keep going, even if your intuition tells you that what you are doing is not good for you, ignoring all the physical signals that you need rest.

You are not alone.

In the book Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski, which I’m currently reading, they call it “Human Giver Syndrome.”

If you are like me and have grown up to believe that hard work is what it takes to be successful, no wonder we push ourselves over our limits.

That belief almost ruined my health 14 years ago while on duty 24/7 for a big international news agency.

After experiencing corporate burnout, I made radical changes to my life. I started studying again, and eventually created my own business.

But as with all deep-rooted beliefs, they don’t just disappear.

When a client I worked with told me a couple of weeks ago that she punishes herself when she is being lazy, I felt grateful that I had learned my lesson and was gentler with myself.

And then a few days later I caught myself doing exactly the same! There it was, that sneaky old belief whispering:

If you just worked a bit harder you would be in a different stage of your business. Look at such and such person, they stay up and work late at night and still manage to do their job well, be a good wife and mum AND get up before the kids to meditate!

At the beginning of the second lockdown, I felt like a melting candle. It didn’t matter that I was resting on the weekends, I was still tired.

I fell into the productivity trap again. For a couple of weeks, I was in go-go-go mode and my focus was only external.

I paused and reflected and stopped living as if I was on fire. I stuck a Post-it note on my computer: DARE TO REST.

I used to think exhaustion only belonged in the corporate world. Not many people talk about the risk of burning out as an entrepreneur and as a parent. And I don’t hear it coming up much among all the advice the wellness industry offers us.

What about the idea that we’re also suffering from wellness burnout? Start a morning routine, meditate every day, practice yoga, eat healthy…and, and, and…

Can you resonate?

I mean, it doesn’t matter how many green smoothies you drink and how many affirmations you tell yourself, if you still believe that you are only worthy of rest if you have been really, really productive, it won’t help!

“You don’t need to earn your rest.” – Danielle la Porte

Take a moment to let that sink in: You don’t need to earn your rest.

I know you’re thinking, yes, yes it all sounds good in theory, but I still need to get my work done. I can rest on the weekends or when I’m on holiday. Or when I retire.

But what if there is another way?

What if you can have success without burning out?

Imagine a world where resting is as valued as productivity.

Imagine a world where we celebrate our failures as much as our successes.

That’s the world I want to live in!

I’m on a mission to help you see yourself as worthy independently of your productivity.

What if rest IS being productive?

What if slowing down will lead you to a fuller life?

What if being who you are and doing what you do is enough?

What if we all stopped proving to ourselves how much we can do and gave ourselves permission to choose what brings us joy and ease?

Let’s start to nourish our nervous system and erase that bullshit idea that doing nothing means being lazy, shall we?

As I know you want some practical tips on how to do this, here are some things that helped me in the past:

  • Focus on the thoughts you truly believe. Whenever you hear yourself thinking: it’s a waste of time laying on the sofa or just taking a walk, pause and ask yourself: Is that really true? What is it I really need right now?
  • Include rest in your plans. If you are a planner and like to fill your calendar with activities, make sure you also plan time for rest (not only on weekends and holidays).
  • Dare to say NO to people or activities that don’t lift you up. Notice if your energy drops depending on who you were with or what you did.
  • Cancel social media on your phone. Let your eyes rest from screens in the evenings. Let yourself get a break from knowing what everyone else is up to.
  • Do an activity every week where you work with your hands. If you have kids, draw with them, play with Lego. Play an instrument. Cook a special meal.
  • Find a relaxation exercise that quiets the chatter in your head. Choose a meditation on Insight Timer (try out Taylor Sommerville!) or some relaxing music to end your day with.
  • Start journaling. When our minds are busy thinking all day and we have difficulty stopping, it’s really helpful to write down our thoughts. It doesn’t have to become a novel, just write down what’s in your head. A good way to start is using my tracking journal ‘Time To Thrive’. Download it here.

I hope some of these ideas will help you feel a little bit more rested. But maybe they’re like the green smoothies and affirmations. They might not be enough. Sometimes you need to identify the underlying reason why you don’t allow yourself to rest, first.

There are times in your life when you need to find a companion who will help you figure out and confront the barriers that stand between you and your well-being.

Coaching and Therapy both changed my life.

If you are struggling with exhaustion and find it difficult to give yourself permission to rest, let’s work together. Check out different ways I can help you: https://katarina-stoltz.com/work-with-me/.

“Katarina gave me a lot of new insights into why I was thinking and feeling as I was. I really enjoyed her coaching exercises, which helped me change some of the destructive thoughts I was having. After the coaching sessions I became clearer in my communication and I learned to listen to myself again. I moved out of a toxic relationship, my son started in a new, great school and I started a new job where I feel much happier and valued! Katarina is the best cheerleader you could possibly hope for! But she’s not only that—she guides and supports in a warm and loving way, all the while keeping you accountable to yourself… Thank you, Katarina”! – Lorna

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Love,

 

Share this:

Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping ambitious professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to The Time To Thrive Blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!

Learnings From an Extraordinary Year – A Life Coach’s Experience

Learnings From an Extraordinary Year – A Life Coach’s Experience

Learnings From an Extraordinary Year – A Life Coach’s Experience

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Woman with sparkler representing a life coach reflecting on the learnings of the past year

Feeling calm and present, I pour raspberry tea into my favorite cup. I have just devoted a couple of hours to my annual ritual – bringing my year to a close and celebrating the extraordinary things I’ve learned.

When I drink my tea it not only warms my body after a walk in the cold, it also warms my heart because it reminds me of Michaela Boehm who has the same Iittala cup that I do. Michaela is my embodiment teacher, who I have seen drinking tea many times over Zoom, in 2020. One key reminder this year was – it’s the small things that matter!

Today, I will share my personal journey from 2020, then, invite you to answer some powerful questions to help you to mindfully complete your year.

My Personal Journey

“I was disappointed when you didn’t keep your promise”.

“I don’t agree that you can spoil your child with too much love”.

This year I used my voice to speak up and say the truth more often. I didn’t swallow my feelings in a joke or a fake smile. It was a year when I skipped small talk and went straight to the essence of how my heart was doing.

Are you happy this challenging year is over?

Taking time to look back I realise the word “challenging” doesn’t speak to me here. I see it more as an extraordinary year, a year when the world gave me the opportunity to become more present than ever. A year when I was forced to home retreat, look the reality in the eye and stop procrastinating on what really matters.

Before, when something was problematic in my marriage, I would sometimes think “I won’t bring that up now, it will pass in a few days” or “my business is working well enough, it’s not necessary to do that right now” if I stumbled on technical difficulties.

All the things I occasionally procrastinated on before, I was forced to deal with right away.

When my father called from Sweden and shared that he had all the Covid-19 symptoms, I could not distract myself from my worry, since I wasn’t in the middle of a training or on holiday somewhere. (Thankfully, it turned out later he didn’t have Corona)

When my best friend, who lives in Stockholm, shared with me what her reality working in the intensive care unit looked like, I was not on my way out to have dinner with friends. I was sitting on my sofa and could take the time to fully face the sadness.

When we embrace the suffering with Love, let the facades fall, slough away the illusion… we come into alignment with the heart space

Danielle LaPorte 

My 2020 Learnings

Ten things I learned that helped me build my resilience this year. I hope these learnings are useful to you too. 

 

    1. Accept that life is beautiful AND messy. Feeling good all the time is not the number one thing about being well. It’s bypassing being a REAL human being. The more I learned to love my mess and share it with my close ones, the more connected I felt.

     

    1. Areas in our lives that are already problematic are highlighted when we can’t distract ourselves. When I stopped procrastinating and started dealing with things as they arose, I carried less resentment.

     

    1. Change happens during hard times. This year was a perfect opportunity to look at what actually matters. Health became a number one priority and I started to work out regularly, eat less meat and drink more water.

     

    1. Remind yourself that hard times are temporary. During the most difficult times this year this reminder was very helpful.

     

    1. Engage with your body every day to turn down the noise in your head. I signed up for an embodiment training with Michaela Boehm and learned the non-linear movement method. With ten other beautiful women, we learned ways to shift from go to flow and some useful exercises for emotional release.

     

    1. Instead of reading the news, focus on communicating with your loved ones. I decided early on that checking the news just two to three times a week is enough. I used the time I gained to practice gentle communication. In the evenings we did a family sharing on the highs and lows of each of our days.

     

    1. Use difficult times to BOND! Giving my daughter extra hugs and calling my aging parents and my close friends more often, made me feel very nourished.

     

    1. Align your need to help with your own resources. During the first weeks of the pandemic, I got carried away with all the online offers I saw from others. I thought I needed to offer MORE than I already did. When I realised that I needed to focus on my own and my family’s health first, before I could support more people, I felt much calmer.

     

    1. Other people’s aggressive behaviour has nothing to do with us. When my daughter was overly aggressive towards me or when a person hit my car with his fist on the street, the reminder “not to take it personally” helped me to not react with judgment.

     

    1. Find your working tribe and get support. This year I joined two masterminds, started therapy supervision, joined a membership community and learned selling from the heart, joined a story school where I found my wild voice and hired a virtual assistant. Being self-employed can be lonely sometimes and with the lockdown, even more, but reaching out for support helped me stay sane and expand my business at the same time!

     

The Most Important Thing I Learned This Year

I used to hate uncertainty and planned my life in rigid detail. I still see my Danielle LaPorte calendar as my little bible, but with so many things being changed and cancelled this year, I had to let go of controlling the future. The outcome was that I experienced being much more present. My most important thing I learned this year was:

When I embrace the unknown future with love, I connect with my needs in the now.

 Silhouette of a woman reflecting whilst watching the sunset over the dark hills.

 

Create Your Own List

What were your biggest learnings this year?

Here is a list of questions to work on so that you can complete your year and identify your own learnings. You can do it alone or why not do it with a friend?

Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself to Achieve Completion

Looking back on 2020 how have you coped with the challenges?

What was positive about this year?

What was the hardest part about this year?

Which situations drained you and how did you cope with them?

What were you most proud of?

Which activities made you feel really alive?

What would you tell someone who had this year in front of them?

What do you want to leave behind you?

What do you want to bring with you into 2021?

Answering these questions will enable you to make space in your life for new creations in 2021. As long as we are stuck in old habits that don’t serve us any longer, or are stuck in resentments or regrets, we don’t move forward.

Some Book Tips..

I read three books this year, which each helped me in different ways:

  1. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle “We don’t need more selfless women. What we need right now is more women who have detoxed themselves so completely from the world’s expectations that they are full of nothing but themselves.” 
  1. Transitions, by William Bridges “Transition means something is going on inwardly. You have reached a point where it’s time to let go of an idea or an assumption, a self-image or a dream. It means you are moving from one chapter of your story to the next.” 
  1. The Choice, by Edith Eva Eger “You can live in the prison of the past, or you can let the past be the springboard that helps you reach the life you want now.” 

Moving Forward

If you need support with feeling your feelings, practice gentle communication and creating your life with intention, book a free 30-minute consultation with me: https://calendly.com/katarinastoltz

 

Stay healthy!

 

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Hi, I’m Katarina, a Life Coach and Psychotherapist helping women who choose to create big shifts in their lives – personal or professional. Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to live a fulfilled life. Passionate about helping you discover your unique talents and supporting you to create extraordinary relationships with others, as well as with yourself. I also share my wisdom for how to deal with challenges that come your way.

Join my journey!