3 Steps For Getting Into The Flow

By Roz Jones

Let’s talk about getting into the flow. You know what I’m talking about, that special state of mind we reach sometimes – quite by accident – where work starts to flow effortlessly and we get an insane amount of it done in a short period of time. It’s a great feeling and something well worth trying to get into more regularly. Here’s how to do just that. 

Step 1 – Get Prepared 

Start by getting yourself prepared. It’s hard to get into the flow when you’re constantly having to get up to grab more supplies or grab a file. And it’s not just the stuff away from your desk. You don’t want a train of thought to be interrupted so you can go find a figure or a document on your computer. 

Prepare as much as you can. Make sure you have all things and information you may need at your fingertips. Of course that isn’t always possible, as new ideas and things pop up while you’re working, but do your best to eliminate having to stop and look when you’re in the flow. 

Step 2 – Get Comfy 

Next it’s time to get comfortable. That means finding a comfortable chair and desk to work at, but also create a setting that’s conducive to flow. What motivates and inspires you? Is it music, scent, pictures of your family, or the calendar with the project outline posted on it? Use whatever it takes to transport yourself into the flow state. 

Step 3 – Get Your Head In The Game 

Last but not least, you need to get your head in the game. Getting into the flow is mostly mental. Yes, the outside stuff we talked about helps, but you can sabotage all the preparation in the world if you go in with a bad attitude. 

Instead, spend a few minutes visualizing what it feels like to be in the flow. Then think about why it is important to get this work done. Who will it benefit? What impact will it have on you, your job, your family? Find some internal motivation to make you want to get this done. That’s when you’re ready to get to work and get into the flow. 

Give this three step process a try and use it anytime you want to get more done in less time. As an added bonus, you’ll find you’ll have more fun doing your work and you’re gaining a lot of pride for a job well done in a timely manner. And let’s not forget that this leaves you plenty of time leftover for the important stuff – spending time with your loved ones and relaxing with one of your favorite hobbies.

It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called Circleof….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.

Interested in making your own contribution to the Caregiver Cafe? There are guest blog spots open for October, November, and December. Email assistrozjones@gmail.com for more info!

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on staying healthy as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Is “Mental” Health Really Just In The Mind?

By Roz Jones

Imagine you are asked to describe what depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder are. Would you say “mental health problems” or similar? Most would, and there is a general perception that these problems are purely based in the mind. There is still something of an attitude that people with mental health and anxiety problems should be able to “snap out of it” or get over it, just like that. Yet many mental illnesses actually have physical reasons. 

For example, clinical depression. A much-misused term, depression is now used to describe someone feeling a bit low. However, if someone has full, clinical depression, they will experience long periods of horrifically low mood, low motivation, and a general feeling of emptiness. A cruel illness, but one that is described as being mental, and a regular target for the “pull yourself out of it!” brigade. 

Yet, depression does have a physical basis. Depression is caused by a lower-than-average amount of serotonin in the body. Also known as the “feel good” hormone, serotonin controls the mood, personality, and feelings of an individual. If serotonin levels are low, the individual will experience depressive, low thoughts. This is a physical problem with mental evidence, but it is physical nonetheless – antidepressants work on increasing serotonin levels, and tend to have a decent success rate. 

Furthermore, preliminary scans have shown those with obsessive compulsive disorder have enlarged lobes at the front of the brain. These lobes control our worry and anxiety mechanism, and when enlarged, the anxiety goes into overdrive – resulting in what we know as OCD.  

So these mental illnesses are, more often than not, physical in basis after all – and one can no more “shake off” or “get over” a hormone imbalance than one can “shake off” a broken leg!

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Why It’s Hard to Say “No” as a Caregiver pt 2

By Roz Jones

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something you wished that you’d said ‘no’ to instead? Chances are you’ve done that not just once, but several times in your life, and likely regretted it every time. This is particularly difficult as a caregiver, when we know that our loved ones are relying on us. Why is it so terribly hard to say ‘no’ when deep down, you know that it’s the right thing to do?

As it turns out, a lot of those answers come from the past and our upbringing. Thankfully, it’s never too late to rewrite the past. Let’s take a look at several more reasons people say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no.’

“I want to prove my worth.”

Poor self-esteem drives this statement. Frequently we set out to prove ourselves by becoming indispensable. Unfortunately, all that it shows when you say ‘yes’ to everything, is that people can easily take advantage of you. No one thinks highly of someone who says ‘yes’ all the time. 

“If I say ‘no,’ I’m selfish.”

This one comes straight out of childhood where we are taught to be agreeable from the time we’re small. In reality, it’s very healthy to put your own needs first. After all, how can you take care of anyone else, if you’ve compromised not only our time but your energy and quite possibly your health to take care of everyone else first? You are at your best as a caregiver, and in general, when you put on your own oxygen mask first before helping someone else.

There are many more excuses for saying ‘yes.’ What you need to realize is that whenever you feel put out, angry, or resentful about doing something, a ‘yes’ in that situation is just that – an excuse. That’s when you need to examine your motives, and then ask yourself – is that truly the person you want to be? Chances are, it’s time for a change.

Check out the first part of this discussion here, and visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on setting boundaries as a caregiver and to check out my upcoming book!

The Only Thing Standing Between Success And Failure Is Mental Toughness

By Roz Jones

I once watched a TED talk about what separates ‘A’ students from ‘B’ students and generally why some students perform better than others. Angela Duckworth said that it’s not the talented, or intelligent that make it, it’s those students that persevered, it’s those students that tell themselves that no matter what they will succeed. She called this grit! I would like to think that this is what mental toughness is. Mental toughness is deciding to succeed against all odds, it’s what will push you when your back is against the wall and things do not seem to be working well for you. Mental toughness is what stands in between success and failure. 

The beautiful thing about life is that it does not have favorites. Challenges happen to us all and for some people, those challenges are a reason to give up and for others, they are reasons to go forward. When choosing the path of success, you are guaranteed obstacles but it is only your mental fortitude that will get you through those times. The way we think about things often makes a difference. When you have mental toughness, you condition your mind to only see success. Not that failure is non-existent but that you are focused because you know exactly what you want.

One of the definite signs that someone lacks mental toughness is a lack of focus and direction. When anything happens, you run with it and when things do not go your way you panic. Mentally tough people are focused and can put things into perspective, just because you run into some hard times it’s not a reason to throw in the towel. The mind is where the battle is, once you tell yourself that you can overcome, you certainly will, but once you think of yourself as a failure that’s exactly what you will be. Without mental toughness, any setback ceases to be seen as an opportunity for growth and progress but as a hindrance that stops you from going for the things that you want.

Success is an issue of mind over matter. It does not choose where you come from or who you are, it is all lodged in the mind. A tough mind possesses strong self-belief. Most people do not believe in themselves; they believe everything else just not themselves. You can achieve anything as long as you believe that you can. Success is for believers, people who believe in themselves and what they can do. 

After every cloud, there is a silver lining. We have heard this quite too many times. The hardest thing though is that during the storm when the clouds are gathering you cannot see any better. When you go through tough times as an individual, everything you have heard or know goes out the window and all your focus is on fixing the problem. The challenge is that when the storm drags on, naturally we give up. This is not true for people with mental toughness. They understand that tough times do not last. This is the true attribute needed to make it in life. Knowing that no matter how much the troubling times, a day will come when that silver lining will appear. Mental toughness begets perseverance and patience, understanding that ‘not now’, does not equate to ‘not ever’. A day will come and all the work and the sacrifice will come in handy.

Mental toughness is truly the separator between success and failure. It all rises and falls on our thought patterns and the things we believe to be true about ourselves. Without mental toughness when the rigorous tempests of life come, we throw in the towel on issues that could have led us to a better tomorrow. Your success or failure in life depends on you as an individual, you become what you think. When your mind is strong, you think positively, you think like a winner, but with a weak mind, you can flee at the first sight of trouble.

Sometimes You Must Suffer To Grow

By Roz Jones

Almost everyone loves a comfortable life and some will do anything and everything in their power to get it. It is for such reasons that we bribe our way out of some challenges and take shortcuts if the route to where we want to go seems long and presents countless obstacles. But what happens when we become too comfortable and don’t face challenges? Not make people comfortable in their failures and struggles but hey, they say a smooth sea does not make a skilled sailor and we will find out why.

It is not without a reason that people are being encouraged to get out of their comfort zones. As previously highlighted, as humans we long for a life of comfort, and who can blame us? Challenges can drain life and energy out of a person. We want peace, certainty, safety, and all the good things we can get. However, when we get too comfortable, we become content with who we are and what we have and, growth is slowed down or there is none at all. There is even the possibility of growing backward. 

There are various reasons why we suffer including our own choices and those of others. Whatever the reason, you get to grow in some or all of the following ways;

Suffering pushes you out of your comfort zone – it leaves you no choice but to do something to change your life. Some people are doing well in life because they vowed to themselves that they will not continue living in the poverty they grew up in. Maybe it is even safe to conclude that if some people had suffered enough, they would be leading better lives than they do now. This includes choices in relationships, academic performance, career choices, and job selection among other things. People tend to relax when they know or think they still have more options other than to get out of their comfort zones and do their best. Sometimes it is only when we have suffered that we become more willing to consider other options rather than stick to what we have always wanted.

Makes you stronger – most people who have gone through various kinds of suffering are stronger than those who have known comfort all their lives and just a few ‘nice life problems’. As you go from one challenge to another, you get to realize that crying and anxiety are a waste of time and energy. No matter what you are going through, a solution will come sooner or later. Spending time drowning in your sorrows only takes away more from you because you cannot think straight, you have all your energies focused on the problem which makes you less productive or desperation gets you going out of your way to find a solution. It is often people who have gone through the worst who are often there for others and are able to remain sane even where there is seemingly no hope.

Improves decision making – sometimes we suffer because of the poor decisions we or others make. Suffering the consequences puts us in a position where we try by all means to avoid going through the same things or causing others to experience the same. For example, some have suffered because of their parent’s or their own poor financial choices while others have spent their childhood in a home that lacked love and affected them in a way. The experiences can be the reason they decide to handle finances differently and aim to provide a better home for their children.

Broadens your understanding – suffering improves your thinking capacity helps you see life in a way you never would have seen it if all you had known was comfort. You get to understand your place in life and how you can be useful in your journey. In other terms, you learn to see beyond your space and interests.