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When things are tough and not turning out the way you had hoped, it’s good to be able to reach out and find the support you need from your colleagues, your friends and those you love.

 But what happens when you are the lynchpin, the one who normally holds everything together for everyone else?  Who do you reach out to?

 Whatever your role, there will always be those times when you are the one shouldering the responsibility, and being human sometimes that can feel hard and lonely.

 Dealing with too much stress for too long is not pretty, and can lead to poor decisions, exhaustion, burnout and mental health problems. For many of us it can result in ‘busy brain syndrome’, where our normal is to feel constantly tired, under pressure, and either unable to sleep or sleeping badly, never waking refreshed.

 Take a look at some of our political leaders around the world who have been in office for a while – they appear to visibly age.

 That’s why even if you’re not the President in the White House it’s important to have the right strategies in place, not just to survive but to now what to do to thrive.

 We are living in extraordinary times – with economic uncertainty, low business confidence and mood, which are contributing not unsurprisingly to a higher level of stress, anxiety and depression.

 Brain fitness is much more than just better brain health; it’s about the awareness of how your brain operates, and knowing how to effectively respond to our daily stressors and challenges. It’s more than mental toughness; it’s mental capability.

 So what can you be doing to optimise your brain for continuing best performance; to better manage the demands of difficult people, complex tasks and challenging circumstances?

 Working with a mentor either one to one or in a group setting can be enormously beneficial to set up great habits, establish restorative rituals and discover what works best for your unique brain.

 To help you get started, there are three things to do:

 1.     Check that you are operating in a brain safe manner; maintaining your cognitive edge with enough quality sleep and implementing regular brain breaks

2.     Focus on your top priorities and action techniques to master distractions.

3.     Develop the habit of scheduling regular thinking space to reflect on what needs to be done from a personal and/or organisational perspective.

 Creating a brain safe environment matters, because a brain that feels safe, maintains access to our executive thinking skills of planning, organising, and decision-making. A brain that feels safe is also more open to new ideas, to possibility thinking and is adaptive to change. It builds productivity, efficiency and happiness.

  • What would make the biggest difference to ensure every day is a brain safe day at your place of work?
  • What if your work culture was to adopt a new policy of brain safety at work?
  • Do you have someone to call on and work with to create a brain safe environment?

 I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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