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The Tough Track

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How—and why—an average guy became an ultramarathoner

By Jeff Wise

It’s a pitch-black winter night and Troy Espiritu is in the middle of a forest somewhere in western Georgia. Espiritu, a compact, wiry man with close-cropped hair, jogs along the wilderness trail with a steady, dogged pace, his face a mask of exhaustion. He’s been on the run since yesterday morning, nearly 20 hours ago, and he’s utterly spent. Shivering uncontrollably from the cold, he notices that the trees on the margins of his headlamp beam seem to be falling on him. I’m hallucinating, he realizes. He’s already run the equivalent of three consecutive marathons, and he’s got a fourth left to go. If he can keep pace, he’ll cross the 100-mile mark just as the sun rises.

Ultramarathons like this one are among the most grueling competitions ever devised, defying conventional notions of what the human body can do. But Espiritu is tough: He’s completed four 100-mile races. And what’s even more remarkable is that just five years ago, he was an ordinary guy who couldn’t jog more than two miles at a stretch.

At age 35, Espiritu, a podiatrist, was raising a family and managing a growing medical practice. “We had a 4-year-old, 2-year-old twins, and a newborn, with no family nearby to help,” he says in his genteel Southern accent. The thought of taking on another challenge, not to mention a superhuman one, would seem inadvisable at the least. But as Espiritu was to discover, pushing yourself in one area can have positive ripple effects in other domains.

Espiritu’s transformation started with a few words from a friend. At the time, Espiritu was jogging a mile and a half each weekend to keep fit. At church, a member of the congregation mentioned that he’d noticed Espiritu out running. “There’s a group of us that meets every Saturday morning,” the man told him. “You ought to come out.”

With his fellow runners’ encouragement, he achieved longer and longer distances. After a few months, he was able to make it to three miles—though, he says, “I was sore for about a week after.” What kept him coming back was the group bonhomie. “It’s like hanging out in the bar and having a beer,” he says. “It’s guy time.”

Within a few months, some of his running buddies started training for a marathon, and suggested he join them. Espiritu agreed. “I love putting a plan together, and working at that plan, and checking things off on the calendar,” he says. “I’m a very goal-oriented person.”

Espiritu’s wife, Mary Denise, wasn’t surprised at the turn her husband’s hobby was taking. “I knew that eventually he’d start running marathons,” she says. “That’s just the way he is. I don’t want to say he’s obsessive, but when he does something, he does it 120 percent.”

As Espiritu notched up marathon after marathon, he learned about races that were longer still—the so-called ultramarathons, which can range from 32 miles to more than 100. At first, such distances seemed absurd, but Espiritu kept thinking about it, and realized that if he could run 26.2, then 32 wouldn’t be that much harder. And once he’d done his first 32-miler, 40 didn’t seem out of reach.

To prepare his body, Espiritu gradually inured himself to the hardships of extreme distance. He would come home each Friday evening after working all day long, eat dinner with his family, put his kids to bed, and then start running at 10 p.m. He’d return at 6 a.m., shower, coach his kids’ soccer game, and keep going all day. “With practice, it definitely got easier to handle,” he says. “I can function now on less sleep than I did before.”

Early on in his all-night runs, Espiritu passes the time with mental games, such as spending 10 minutes thinking about each of his children. But by the later stages, he’s so exhausted that he’s frequently hallucinating or falling asleep on his feet. “The way I handle it is to break things up into very small, manageable pieces,” he says. “The idea of running 100 miles is incomprehensible, even for me, sometimes. My only goal is to get to the next aid station. That’s it.”

In an ironic twist, Espiritu is a podiatrist engaging in a hobby that nearly guarantees multiple foot ailments. Espiritu has had heel spurs and stress fractures—conditions he says make him a much better and more sympathetic doctor, especially to the running aficionados who now seek him out to get his first-hand expertise.

Espiritu understands that his pastime can be hard for others, including exercise buffs, to fathom. “Patients ask me all the time, ‘Why would you do that?’ The short response is, ‘Because I can.’ I’ve learned I can do it, so why not do it? If you knew that you could run 10 miles, why would you want to run just two?”

His wife teases him by saying, “Your heart is in great shape, but you should get your head checked.” She’s not the only one to suggest he might be a little bit crazy. “Let’s face it, running 100 miles is abnormal. Statistically, probably less than 1 percent of the population can do that,” says psychologist Jonathan Abramowitz, who specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders. But, he says, Espiritu’s behavior is very different from this illness—the struggle to contain or prevent thoughts about an outcome that a patient wants to avoid.

Rather, says Abramowitz, Espiritu is unusual in the degree to which he becomes attached to positive goals. “Some people have an all-or-none personality. They feel that they either have to do something perfectly or it’s 100 percent crap. When that mind-set causes distress, that’s a problem. But if it’s not getting in the way of your life, then I wouldn’t say you have a disorder.”

Beyond his love for long-term planning and execution, it’s likely that Espiritu is driven by the many mood boosters hidden in the training process: “Achievements give us a temporary feeling of elation,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, a social psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, and author of The How of Happiness. “But it’s the pursuit of goals rather than the achievement that creates happiness. When people run long distance, they often get into an engaged state of concentration called flow. They are truly in the present moment, and the present is all we have.”

For her part, Mary Denise says that her husband’s extreme regimen has actually been a boon for their home life. “When our children were small, he took up golf for a little while, and that just wasn’t working. He’d leave at 9am on Sunday morning and come home at 2pm,” she says. “This is healthier for him, and we get to have him around more. He can run all night and still spend the next day with the kids.” Mary Denise has become an avid runner herself—the two sometimes hire a babysitter so they can train together. She even paced her husband for a full 25 miles during one of his ultramarathons—a bonding experience that they will always remember.

John Cobis, a high school teacher and fellow ultramarathoner who has trained with Espiritu, affirms that Espiritu is, in fact, as balanced as he appears to be. “Troy doesn’t miss a beat with his children. He runs a thriving medical practice and his patients love him,” Cobis says.

For all the pain, both mental and physical, that long-distance running has caused him, Espiritu considers it an irreplaceable part of who he is. It’s made him more even-keeled: “I’m an avid LSU football fan,” he says, “and before, when I would watch a game on TV that wasn’t going well, I would scream and yell. The dogs would be all nervous and running around, and Mary Denise would take the kids and say, ‘You know what? We’re going to leave the house for a little while.’ Now, when my team’s losing, my attitude is: ‘Ah, no big deal.’”

Right now Espiritu is in the process of buying property and hiring an architect and a contractor to build a new medical building. “I’ve been meeting with banks and architects, civic designers and engineers, real estate agents,” he says. “It’s an elaborate process. A couple of years ago, I would have said, ‘I just can’t do it all.’ And now it’s like, ‘If I can find time to run 90 miles a week and have four kids and run a practice, surely I can do this.’”

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Source: www.psychologytoday.com

Living Without Limits

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The starting point of great success and achievement has always been the same. It is to dream big dreams. There is nothing more important, and nothing that works faster to allow you to cast off your limitations, than to begin dreaming and fantasizing about the wonderful things you can become, have, and do.

When you begin to dream big dreams, your levels of self-esteem and self-confidence go up immediately. You feel more powerful about yourself and your ability to deal with what happens to you. The reason so many people accomplish so little is because they never let themselves lean back and imagine the kind of life that is possible for them.

A powerful principle that you can use to dream big dreams and live without limits is contained in what Elihu Goldratt calls the “Theory of Constraints.” This is one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern thinking. What Goldratt has found is that in every process, in accomplishing any goal, there is a bottleneck or choke cord that serves as a constraint on the process. This constraint then sets the speed at which you achieve any particular goal. But if you concentrate all of your creative energies and attention on alleviating the constraint, you can speed up the process faster than by doing any other single thing.

Let me give you an example. Let us say that you want to double your income. What is the critical constraint or the limiting factor that holds you back? Well, you know that your income is a direct reward for the quality and quantity of the services you render to your world. Whatever field you are in, if you want to double your income, you simply have to double the quality and quantity of what you do for that income. Or you have to change what you are doing to make it worth twice as much. But you must always ask yourself, “What is the critical constraint that holds me back or sets the speed on how fast I double my income?”

A friend of mine is one of the highest-paid commission professionals in the United States. One of his goals was to double his income over three to five years.

He applied the 80/20 rule to his client base. He found that 20% of his clients contributed 80% of his profits. And that the amount of time he spent on a high-profit client was pretty much the same as the amount of time he spent on a low-profit client.

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Career Perspectives

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A coaching client approaches you with the following question: “’I'm thinking of changing my career and starting my own business, but my wife is worried. What can I do?” As his coach, what would you suggest? Zahava Starak, LCI Master Coach, answers…
 
As a coach faced with this question I would not be surprised if you took a deep breath before answering as you will need to approach this subject from two perspectives. You will be looking at the client’s stated desire to change careers and you will also be looking at the marital relationship and the role that the client’s partner plays in any final decision. In fact at this stage it might be advisable to ask the client a few questions to determine the stability of the marriage so as to validate your ability to work with this client.
 
If your client’s answers indicate that the marriage is strong and is merely needing some guidance in weathering a potential life cycle then you are on familiar territory and can proceed. However, if you feel that the marriage is shaky and that this talk of a career change may end this relationship, then your ethical responsibility is to refer the client to a relationship counsellor.
 
Once your competency to handle this situation is established you can explain to your client that you are certainly able to work with them in taking steps towards attaining their career goals, but it is recommended that their partner also be present for some of the coaching sessions as it will be beneficial for the client to have the support of their partner in the career decision they are hoping to make.
 
Let us take a case perspective in exploring this question. The client is David, a man in his early forties who has been employed as a sales rep for an IT firm for most of his working life. For the last five years he has been studying part time to become an IT technician so as to branch out and work on repairing and installing computer programs.
 
He now has his qualifications and has been looking for work and has not been able to find anything that excites him. He has therefore decided that he wants to quit his job and start his own business, and perhaps buy a franchise. Penny, David’s wife, is concerned that David will not be able to take the ups and downs of working for himself. She is also concerned that David will not be able to make enough money to pay his contribution to the household expenses. Penny works three days a week as an accountant. They have three teenage boys aged 14, 16 and 18.
 
Penny and David present as a solid couple. They have worked well together as a team to buy their house and to raise the children. Up until now they have easily agreed on any major decisions. Penny is more than happy to work with David to find a solution that works for both of them.
 
The angle you (the coach) can take with this couple is to encourage them to look at this challenge as an opportunity to enrich their relationship and move unto a new stage. Before attempting to work their problem you can explore their values and visions and see how in sync they are in these two areas. David and Penny can be presented with a list of values that they can take home and individually address and then discuss together.
 
Values are the base upon which we build our belief systems and when we live and work with people who share the same values we are better able to deal with the obstacles that life presents. As a result of this exercise it is evident that David and Penny share similar values. High on both their lists are family, commitment and loyalty. Penny also highly values stability. These values have anchored them as a couple and the other values that they share such as excitement, adventure and fun have enabled them to share many good times.
 
When asked to discuss their vision – both Penny and David have little to say. They have not really thought past paying off the family home and seeing the three boys through high school. They however can see the benefit of having a vision as a couple as well as their own personal vision which blends in and may complement the bigger picture. You can now spend some time with David and Penny asking them various questions to help them gain a focus on where their relationship is heading.
 
Questions are adapted to address the relationship such as: What do you want this relationship to look like? What do you see for yourself in this relationship in the future? Is what you are doing helping you attain what you want for yourself in this relationship? This process can be quite involved as you will be addressing all facets of David and Penny’s life together and separately. Areas to be covered include: their finances; social life; fitness and wellness; family; and inevitably career.
 
By answering these questions and then by encouraging David and Penny to complete a collage (in which they both sit down and on a large piece of paper paste pictures of how they want their relationship and their own individual lives to look like), the couple will be more focused on where they are heading. They will then be able to discuss how David’s personal vision to own an IT repair franchise can fit in with the relationship’s bigger picture.
 
Penny with her financial expertise may be able to realistically explore the viability of owning a business and if the proposition is viable she and David could work out a time table as to when David could quit his full time job and start the business. David could consider taking a small business course in the meantime which could alleviate some of Penny’s concerns.
 
At this stage Penny and David are working together on taking the first steps to actualise David’s vision – as it is now established that it fits in with the bigger picture of the relationship. You now can start working with David and perhaps even Penny on how to make David’s dream a reality. Some of the groundwork has already been covered by the work that this couple did earlier. It is still a good idea to clarify David’s goals, review their feasibility by perhaps implementing a benefit and drawback grid and then look at the options available and the way forward.
 
David and Penny’s relationship has been enhanced by this coaching experience and they have visualised a future that they both want and can both work towards together.
 
Author: Zahava Starak

An Insight into Group Development

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A group is a collection of individuals whose association is founded on commonalities of interest, norms and values. Membership in the group may be by chance, by choice or by circumstances. In this article, we provide you with an insight into Tuckman’s 5 group development stages.
 
Assumptions of Group Development
 
There are four major assumptions underpinning all models of group development. The first assumption is that groups develop in regular and observable patterns allowing for predictions of future group behaviour. Understanding the group’s developmental status may inform group facilitators/moderators about the maturity of the group member’s interaction, while clarifying the path needing to be taken to encourage greater levels of growth and development as a group for members to benefit.
 
The second assumption asserts that the same developmental features of the group will be evident across all groups that develop in a normative fashion. For example, most models assume that conflict emerges in the second stage of group development so this is to be expected in any group taken when emersed in the second stage of group development. However, while a general assumption, it is also understood that there is variation to this standard norm.
 
For example, conflict may also emerge in the later stages of group development after sufficient safety and trust have been established due to differences of opinion or other as a consequence of any number of mitigating variables (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
The third assumption is that later stages of group development are dependent on the successful negotiation of earlier stages. However, it is also important to note that development in certain groups may not always be graduated, whereby they may not follow a normal progression through proposed stages.
 
The fourth assumption of most models is that over time groups will manifest increased interactional complexity, but may also on occasion revert back to earlier stages of development (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
Group Developmental Stages
 
The most popular model of group development is from Tuckman (1965). This model suggests that group development occurs in five stages. These stages are titled: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Each of these stages are explained in more detail below
 
Stage 1 – Forming
 
In the Forming stage, personal relations are characterised by dependence. Group members rely on safe, patterned behaviour and look to the group leader for guidance and direction. Dependency on the group leader is high while the group member’s focus will primarily be on issues of dependency and inclusion.
 
The members may also be experiencing anxiety, ambivalence and uncertainty about the group. This is because group members have a desire for acceptance by the group and a need to know that the group is safe. Group members will set about gathering impressions and data about the similarities and differences among members of the group and start forming preferences for future sub grouping.
 
The common behaviour at this stage of the group seems to be to keep things simple and to avoid controversy. Serious topics and feelings are generally avoided although members may engage in tentative self disclosure and sharing. The major task at this stage is concerned with orientating members to the tasks and each other. So discussion will often centre around defining the scope of the task, how to approach it, and similar concerns.
 
The role of the facilitator at this stage is to be educative and clarify the group’s purpose and the facilitator’s role and to offer guidance for the operation of the group and member participation. Strategically the leader allows for regulation of interpersonal distance but invites trust while assisting each member to identify personal goals and identify commonalities between each other (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
To grow from this stage to the next, each member must relinquish the comfort of non-threatening topics and instead, risk the possibility of conflict (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
Stage 2 – Storming
 
The next stage, storming, is characterised by competition and conflict in the personal relations being developed between group members and the group leader. As the group members attempt to organise for the task, conflict inevitably result. Individuals have to bend their feelings, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs to suit those of the group organisation. This requires a process of listening to and understanding differences between members.
 
Because of “fear of exposure” or “fear of failure,” there will usually be an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment. Questions will arise about who is going to be responsible for what, what the rules are, what the reward system is, and what is the criteria for evaluation. These reflect conflicts over leadership, structure, power, and authority.
 
There may be wide swings in members’ behaviour based on emerging issues of competition and hostilities. Because of the discomfort generated during this stage, some members may remain completely silent while others attempt to dominate. Many theories of group development hold that these types of conflicts and tensions over authority and status are essential for the emergence of genuine cohesion and cooperation. In order to progress to the next stage, group members must move from a “testing and proving” mentality to a problem-solving mentality.
 
The facilitator’s role at this stage is to reaffirm the group’s purpose and members’ common goals. Group rules and expectations are reinfused and the leader encourages group cohesion and interpersonal learning among the members. The facilitator elicits the expression of negative affect and assists members to identify and resolve conflict.
 
Behaviour that is incongruent with the group’s goals is confronted if necessary. The leader should avoid labelling individuals in terms of specific roles or rigidly identifying with members subgroups.   The most important trait in helping groups to move on to the next stage seems to be in each member’s ability to listen and understand, accept and respect the multifaceted nature of varying personalities and perspectives within the group (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
Stage 3 – Norming
 
In Tuckman’s norming stage, interpersonal relations are characterised by cohesion. This is because group members have reached a consensus of group dynamics and norms that allows for both the commonalities and unique individual qualities of each group member. As such, group members are engaged in active acknowledgment of all members’ contributions, in community building and maintenance of group norms, and in solving any group issues that arise.
 
Members are also more willing to change their preconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented by other members, and they actively ask questions of one another creating friction and conflict. Leadership is shared, and cliques dissolve. When members begin to know and identify with one another, the level of trust in their personal relationships contributes to the development of group cohesion. It is during this stage of development (assuming the group gets this far) that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts.
 
The major task of stage three is the information flow between group members. Information flow is where they share feelings and ideas, solicit and give feedback to one another, and explore actions related to the task, all in the context of demonstrated trust between group members. As a consequence, creativity is high. Interactions are characterised by openness and sharing of information on both a personal and task level. Members feel good about being part of an effective group.
 
At this stage, the group facilitator’s interventions aim to maintain a balance between support and confrontation. The primary role is to facilitate the working process around feedback, promoting insight and encouraging problem solving in an ongoing manner. A derailment of the group process during this stage may suggest that the group members are revisiting a previous developmental issue (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
Stage 4 – Performing
 
The performing stage is not always reached by all groups. If group members are able to evolve to stage four, their capacity, range, and depth of personal interaction expands to a constructive and vibrant interdependence. In this stage, people can work independently, in subgroups, or as a total unit with equal facility. Their roles and authorities dynamically adjust to the changing needs of the group and individuals at the time.
 
Stage four is marked by interdependence in personal relationships, acceptance of individual differences and problem solving in the realm of task functions. It is at this stage the group should be most productive. Individual members have become self-assuring, and the need for group approval is in the past. All members feel accepted and an authentic sense of belonging so they do not have to focus time and energy on to these needs anymore.
 
Members are both highly task oriented and highly people oriented. There is unity, group identity is complete, group morale is high, and group loyalty is intense as the group has reached maturity. The task function becomes genuine problem solving, leading toward optimal solutions and optimum group development. There is support for experimentation in solving problems and an emphasis on achievement.
 
The overall goal is productivity through problem solving and work. At this stage of performing, the group facilitator focuses more on letting the group run itself whereby the leader focuses mainly on facilitating member to member empathy and assist the members to acknowledge and amplify individual differences (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
Stage 5 – Adjourning/Termination
 
Tuckman’s final stage, adjourning, involves the termination of task behaviours and disengagement from the group relationships. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition of participation and achievements and an opportunity for members to say personal goodbyes.
 
Concluding a group can create some apprehension or a minor crisis. With ending in sight, the group may experience upheaval, sadness, anxiety and anger. The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control to giving up inclusion in the group. The members may experience the ending as a profound relationship loss especially if the group has become a significant source of emotional support.
 
Defensive efforts of denial will alternate with periods of productive work. The most effective interventions at this stage are those that facilitate task termination and the disengagement process. The role of the group leader at this stage is to assist members to express their feelings about adjourning the group process while also attending to any unfinished business prior to the conclusion of the group.
 
The group facilitator may also facilitate a systematic review and evaluation of the group progress and encourage planning for a post group period. The leader must also facilitate opportunities for group members to express proper goodbyes (Bernard, Burlingame, Flores, Greene et al., 2008).
 
References: Bernard, H., Burlingame, G., Flores, P., Greene, L., Joyce, A. et al., (2008). Clinical practice guidelines for group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 58, 455-542
 
Source: www.mentalhealthacademy.com.au

Tips to Boost Your Energy Levels

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A coaching client approaches you with the following question: “I often feel tired and stressed come lunch time. What can I do to prevent this and finish the afternoon on a high?” As his coach, what would you suggest? Zahava Starak, LCI Master Coach, answers…
 
A good question since most of us who work in modern environments and often juggle roles of homemaker and worker can identify with this concern. It is important to consider the relationship between a person and their environment – both home and work – because an environment which is regarded as an ongoing frustrator can create a situation of chronic stress.
 
Although we are only exploring a specific time frame in which stress is a problem to the client it is still a good idea for the coach to take a holistic perspective and encourage their client to examine their lifestyle and see how aspects of it could be contributing to their lunch time fatigue.
 
A very useful way of identifying important factors in your client’s stress is called self-monitoring. This involves your client doing some careful self-observation and recording information in a notebook that can be easily carried and used. Whenever your client feels their distress level is rising, or when they have strong or prolonged bad feelings they can record the information. Information recorded covers: 

  1. Details of the situation including where you were, what you were doing and with whom;
  2. What were you thinking about the situation;
  3. How you felt physically e.g. relaxed or tense;
  4. How you felt emotionally;
  5. What you did and how it turned out.

For example, one entry in the stress log might look like this:

  1. Situation: at home in the morning, rushing to go to work, while the wife and kids have breakfast. 
  2. Self-talk: “I’m going to be late again: the boss will be sarcastic about it again and I’ll have trouble coping.
  3. Physical feelings: getting tenser by the minute, my daily headache is starting already;
  4. Emotional feelings: worried frustrated, fed up
  5. Behaviour: snapped at the kids and went off to work feeling guilty.

Once you know what the stressors are you can take action to bring about change. We are now in a preventive stage and your client can make adjustments in their physical environment, change their thinking patterns and introduce relaxation strategies. With these in place they have a good chance of combating the midday slump.
 
A change in the physical environment may be nothing more than adjusting the lighting or their chair the work space, or at home it may be a simple matter of painting the kitchen a brighter (or duller) colour and rearranging the furniture so that they don’t trip on books. With awareness of what contributes to their stress your client can take steps to change events.
 
For example referring back to the above situation, our client in this case can have everything that they need for work ready the night before – they can set their alarm fifteen minutes earlier and they can then have time to start the day with a relaxing breakfast with their family. This will contribute to eliminating their negative self talk, the headache and the guilt for being short tempered with the children. Chances are that with a less stressful start to the day they may avoid being stressed and tired by the afternoon.
 
If our client has observed that their self talk is a major contributor to their rising stress through the day, with your assistance they can learn how to change their negative self talk to more positive, healthy talk. For example your client (in this case a working mom) stressed while cooking the evening meal before she heads to work may think to herself: “He (her husband) never helps me at all. I have to do everything around the house. I’m always the responsible one.”
 
This black and white thinking can be changed to “I often do cook more meals – but he does do the cooking on the weekends and helps with the housework and garden.” This is a less emotive thought and can reduce the tension around this issue resulting in less stress.
 
To further help relieve the build-up of stress during the day you can introduce your client to physical exercises, relaxation exercises and visualisation and meditative exercises. If your client spends most of their days at a desk, phone or computer they can do periodic exercises with their hands.
 
For example they can massage them inside and out with their thumbs and fingers and then gently bend their wrists back and forth or just make a fist and open the hand a few times. They can make sure that they get up at least once an hour, even if it is just to move around the workstation and stretch so as to rebalance their body. Eye exercises can help relax tired ‘computer eyes’.
 
When on a break instead of a coffee – either at the office or at home – your client can initiate some deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. And to help your client stay balanced they can be encouraged to practice meditation and yoga postures whenever they feel distressed.
 
Additional information on stress can be found in the following articles: “Developing a Balanced Lifestyle” and “Helping a Client Combat Stress
 
To summarise the process so far the coach is identifying the client’s stressors and is introducing ways to eliminate them or to cope better with them.
 
One more step can be added – another preventive one that builds on all the strategies so far. Your client can be introduced to a self care plan. Such a plan ensures that your client has a good diet, gets enough sound sleep, exercises regularly, leads a balanced life, enjoys themselves frequently, avoids negative self talk and is on the path they want to be.
 
There is no guarantee that they won’t slump in exhaustion in the afternoon stressed by the day’s events – but chances are this will be the exception to the rule as they will have strategies to prevent this occurrence and coping skills to help reduce the effects from those unavoidable stressors.
 
Author: Zahava Starak