Hello, I’m Louise Thompson – your new MasterCoach and Wellbeing Strategist I personally cannot wait to welcome you into the Wellbeing Warriors Life Coaching Academy. I’m the author of High Energy Happiness (Penguin Random House) Newspaper columnist (New Zealand Herald) and TV and Radio guest expert on all things wellbeing (TV One, TVNZ, RadioLive, Newtalk ZB, BBC World) and I absolutely LOVE what I do for a living today. I got here however, via a serious health crisis – which could have been totally avoided if I had paid better attention to my wellbeing! After enjoying epic levels of success (yay!) – and equally epic levels of burnout (boo!) – in the corporate world I learned first-hand, and very much the hard way, what happens when we do not prioritise our health and wellbeing effectively. My life looked fine on the surface – but underneath – I was frazzled, anxious, and really exhausted. I mean reaaaaaaaally exhausted – in the end my health was so badly compromised I was bedridden for four months and unable to work for over a year.
I learned that the key to health and happiness is not more of the tsunami of conflicting and confusing health and wellbeing tips out there in the magazines – but much more deep understanding what makes us truly tick inside. Once we understand how to motivate ourselves with ease, not willpower, taking care of our wellbeing (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) becomes a really easy, hassle-free, fast, natural integration into daily life. Effortless wellbeing only takes a few minutes a day, once you know how. I’ve coached thousands of smart, busy, curious women for over a decade, and been honoured to support more personal transformations that I can count. I truly LOVE what I do. Working with me one on one starts at $5,000 and my waitlist is loooooooong – which is why I created the Wellbeing Warriors Coaching Academy. In the Wellbeing Warriors Coaching Academy you get access to the very best of my tools and resources (and me!) delivered in a supportive format that means you can implement – fast. Life Coaching absolutely changed the fabric of my life, health and happiness and I know it can for you too: I truly believe every woman, regardless of location and budget, deserves access to these resources and insight into what really makes her tick, what gets her unstuck, and what makes her shine.
Best Book Bids podcast brings you Louise Thompson, a master coach and wellbeing strategist that helps smart, busy women genuinely move the needle on their mental and physical wellbeing, transforming good intentions into consistent healthy habits. She’s the author of High Energy Happiness, a newspaper columnist, former New Zealand Herald and TV and radio guest expert on all things.
Ben Louise, thanks for being on the show. Oh, thank you so much for having me. No worries. Now, your story is quite unique. You always weren’t the healthy wellbeing person that you teach others to be. Can you go back and tell us your story, how you started in this field and became sick? Yeah, sure.
So I’d like to think that I, I I trod the path that I don’t want anyone else to go down, and that’s why I now do what I do. But I did I did what I think probably a lot of people do in busy corporate jobs. I used to work in, [00:01:00] I’ll call big media, so newspapers and had a great career in London and then in Auckland working for national newspapers.
Worked hard, played harder and had an amazing time. But over the course of, ugh, 15 years or so just gradually started to completely burn myself out. A point where I actually ended up bedridden for four months and I couldn’t work for over a year. And it was a pretty sobering, terrifying thing to happen.
But what was more terrifying about it was that it wasn’t an illness that I’d caught, I hadn’t got, some sort of, cancer or some sort of horrifying illness. I was bedridden. But the fact was this I, it was so severe I’d done it to myself with a [00:02:00] million tiny choices over the years to prioritize.
Work and drinking and more work and so on, over tiny choices that would’ve improved my mental health and my physical health. And I’d essentially done it to myself. And I know I’m not alone in that. And since, I’ve written my books and so on, so many people get in touch today. I’ve read your story and oh my God, I can see so much of myself in that.
Because it’s so easily done when you’re in those sorts of environments, or not even in those sorts of environments. I’ve worked with loads of stay at home mums who are doing it all to a super high level. Those sort of perfectionist tendencies. You don’t have to be in corporate to have them, you can be in any kind of job, career circumstance, but the physical and mental outcomes can be really pretty serious.
Yeah, so essentially you had your foot on the gas with work hours, [00:03:00] diet, stress, alcohol, socializing. I’m just guessing by the way, and foot to the floor, career, money, lifestyle social things. And then one day the body just packs it up and say, Hey I’m officially burnt out and I’m gonna put a physical rescue.
How did you start to get better? What was the process and thoughts behind that? What did you do? How did you get better? It was this really strange one really, because I think, and this is again, what I hear from people when they read the book or they read about my story, they’re like, oh my God, this is me.
They keep going to the doctor. , obviously you don’t suddenly get bedridden with chronic fatigue syndrome. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of years to get yourself to that point. And over that period of time you’re starting to think, oh I’m, oh, I’m really struggling to get up in the morning.
Or I’m really wise and I can’t sleep. Or I absolutely need coffee in order to be able to function. Or I feel a bit dizzy when I stand up, or I’ve got a [00:04:00] headache quite often these days. Or there’s all these little things which over time start increasing. And you go to the doctor and you say, not quite feeling myself, I feel really run down.
I’m getting every bug that’s going. And essentially it took years for me to get that ill, but I went to the doctor’s. I can’t tell you how many times. And they would do blood tests and everything would be normal. And so I’d just have another true flat white and , and rock on with my life until the point where I absolutely couldn’t, when I ended up bedridden, like my blood pressure was 80 over 49.
Which, even the day he was like you shouldn’t even be moving around. This is, not, okay. My hair was falling out in just, I was so unwell, but all the blood tests were showing that I was normal. And that is the frustration. If you get chronic fatigue syndrome, severe [00:05:00] adrenal fatigue, which is what I had, it doesn’t show in the standard way that we do blood tests.
So it’s a it’s a real frustration because, something’s not right. But quite often and I hear from, you my clients so on, they just get offered antidepressants and told to crack on really. And it is depressing having no energy , but it’s not depression, it’s a very depressing circumstance, , but it’s not come from depression.
It’s come from a problem with essentially the way that your body is managing energy. And so getting better was very tricky because it’s very hard to get a diagnosis. And it was very hard because your collapse, I was collapsed in bed, but yet still the medical profession was saying can’t find anything. Technically, there’s nothing wrong with you. Are you sure It’s not all in your mind? And you’re like I’m normally like, I live a big full like what? This is not all in my head. There’s something [00:06:00] seriously wrong. And so for me starting to get better was I came across cuz you start reaching out everywhere, natural medicine, all of it because of the desperation.
And I came across the work of a doctor called Dr. James Wilson who is an incredible doctor in the states. And he coined the term adrenal fatigue many years ago cause he was seeing lots of high achievers essentially burning out and testing negative for everything and not getting any support. And he has a comprehensive 140 question questionnaire.
of all these little symptoms when you add them together, the big picture is you’ve got complete adrenal exhaustion. And I did this questionnaire and I got some, pretty much the highest score anyone’s ever got. And started following his work and getting these supplements that he provides. And I was so sick, Michael, you won’t believe this.
They come in three jars, right? I was so ill, I [00:07:00] couldn’t have the energy to open. And you take ’em three times a day, open and close the jars. I was, I couldn’t, it was, I couldn’t even hold my own head up and sit upright. I was just completely horizontal all the time. I couldn’t hold my, when I resigned from my job, the CEO came to my house and I resigned from the sofa.
They were so good. We’ll keep the job open, whatever you want. And I was like, no, I don’t think I can come back. I couldn’t even have my head upright on my neck. It’s. It is a catastrophic level of tiredness. It’s very hard to really describe, and so getting better was a, finding the work, Dr.
James Wilson, who’s incredible. And then secondly, at the same time as I was doing my big corporate career, I also had launched my own yoga business. And I was training to be a life coach cuz I already had a psych degree and I was really interested or whatever. So I would be in corporate all day [00:08:00] and then I’d drive home and then I’d quickly get changed into my Lululemons and then at six o’clock I’d be teaching 36 people yoga.
And then at the weekends I’ll be doing my life coach training. And so it’s amazing how I burned out, right? But doing my coach training, and listening to the audios at that, those times I was just like, do you know what? I am gonna get better from this. I’m not gonna manage this condition, which is what people say.
You’re going learn to manage it. I’m gonna get better and then I’m gonna write a book about it so that other people do not have to go through this. Because this was avoidable for me. This was preventable and it was essentially, it’s all mental health management, basic mental health management, that I’d been too busy living my life to actually consistently put in place for myself, and I paid a very big price.
Thank you for sharing. Yeah, it’s it’s a crazy story and sometimes the worst things that happen to us are the catalysts for our next staging life and our next career and our, [00:09:00] we become that teacher because of the experiences that we’ve had as well. Talk to me about the book. So I’ve got the book here.
Thank you for sending me a copy. The Busy Women’s Guide to High Energy Happiness. How long did it take you to write the book and when did it come out? It came out, oh, it must be about 10 years ago now. And it’s, it took a while to write the book and I was very conscious that I didn’t want it to be a book that people just read.
I wanted you to be a book that people used and that people did, so that it’s very much a workbook. So if you, there’s a big thing I think in the self-help fit sphere where people are giving loads and loads of information. And the thing is with information, we were going, yeah, that’s interesting.
That’s me. , and then we do nothing with that information, in which case we are not percent further forward. I wanted my book to be focused on not just that information, but taking that awareness and then implementing it, doing something with that knowledge. Because unless you do that, you don’t [00:10:00] turn it around.
So it’s got, lots of spaces that you fill in your own answers. I’m asking a lot of questions of people. It’s quite deep work really, because you have to look yourself in the face if you are, being honest about creating it for yourself and you want to uncreate it.
So it’s very much a workbook. It starts with seven stages of fatigue, which we’ve actually got a free beyond. I can send you the link if your people would like it where you can sort of grade. Oh, I think I’m stage three out of stage seven. Oh my God. Okay. Good to know. , I can turn that round because I don’t want it to get down to stage seven.
Seven is bad bedridden, right? So we start with that so that people can really check in and and see where they sit. And then the rest of the book, obviously I talk about my story, but then it’s it’s chapters that are, they’re very action based. It’s okay, is this a thinking style?
Perhaps you’re a perfectionist. It manifests in this way. Here’s a different way to start approaching a small thing in life and doing it differently. Is this a [00:11:00] pattern for you? Ah, it is. Okay, cool. Here’s a tool that you can use to start turning that around. Is this a way you genuine, generally beat yourself up in your own head, or you are really judgmental with yourself or with others or whatever.
If you’re highly critical of yourself, this is how you can start turning that around. So it’s very action oriented. . And it it steps people around from the reality check I guess at the beginning cuz people are only gonna pick that book up if they’re thinking, do you know what? I really do feel more knackered than I think is normal.
How tired am I and is this normal and what can I do about it? And they’re probably picking up after they’ve been to the doctors a few times and got nowhere. So it’s very much about guiding people on, turning it around with far more sensible than I did for myself. And I was very lucky I wrote it actually reasonably quickly.
Because like I say, I decided when I was sick this must have happened so I can write a [00:12:00] this book so that other people don’t have to go through this. And and then I was very lucky, penguin called me. Whilst I was writing it, cause I was doing my column from the New Zealand Herald at the time, and they just said, Hey look, we love your columns.
Would you be interested in writing a book? And I was like, that’s really weird. I’ve nearly finished writing one actually. And they were, oh, that’s very cool. Bring it in. And so it was easy as that really. And, there were fabulous people to work with. And it was great to get that story into the hands of people, thousands and thousands of people that, that need that help.
And I get amazing emails and stuff even though it’s 10 years old, that book, I get amazing emails every week from people saying, I just, someone recommended it to me. Or I, and I see so much of myself in it. And I’m taking a, the steps that, that you’ll say, it’s really given me a wake up call.
Yeah, that’s that’s a really cool story. Not every day that a first time authors halfway through their book in Penguin Random House just gives them a call and say, Hey, do you wanna write a book? And you’re like, Hey, have you actually only finish one? So that’s doesn’t happen to us all. So congratulations on that.
But it, it’s funny that you can look back and connect the [00:13:00] dots and your previous career turns into the stepping stone for your next career as well. One of the biggest topics of the book, which is obviously you highlighted bold, it’s called High Energy. I was having a conversation recently with another author about energy and, it’s one of the biggest currencies that isn’t spoken about.
People talk about time, money, emotion, but energy is really the currency people are paying for. I’ve gotta get my sleep because I will need to have energy for tomorrow. I need to go on holidays so I can recharge and get energy and do fun things. It’s such a massive thing in our whole life.
Its revolved around energy. I recently had a personal experience where I started to experiment with different things, got off alcohol for over a year, had great energy, recently got back on it to test it. Realized it wasn’t in line with my energy felt low and I was like, you know what? Doesn’t work out well, rather do the gym than drink alcohol.
So energy, high energy is such a massive topic that it’s a huge currency that we all live [00:14:00] by as well. Yeah, it’s the most undervalued currency of modern life. The most undervalued currency of modern life. In the book you talk about mind, which we know body, spirit, and high energy. Why does high energy come after spirit?
I dunno. I mean, mean, I think energy is something that runs through it runs through everything, and it’s something that we only value. when we don’t have it , and that was certainly my learning and my experience. And now it’s something that I value more highly, like you say, it’s more valuable than your money and your time.
If you’ve got no energy, , nothing works. I probably in the last decade if developed on from the way things are in that book to next level I guess. And so my work now is very much around four pillars, which I call four dimensional wellness. That’s strong body, fierce mind, kind heart, and a brave spirit.
And it’s putting those four elements together is, so in my coaching academy we work on a module that’s one of those four areas each time because [00:15:00] I think life has changed a lot in 10 years, right? Hasn’t it? You look at the way social media’s changed our landscape, In the last 10 years, and you see a lot of people who may be on Instagram, they look absolutely perfect.
But a lot of them on the inside, deeply unhappy. So if you don’t have a fierce mind in those mental health practices, you don’t have a peaceful heart where you’re able to process your emotions and be, in a truthful pace with yourself and the world. If you’re not doing those spiritual alignment things then what is that physical fitness worth really?
It’s so if you, it’s those four elements. I, and that’s where, like I say in the academy, that’s what we teach every single day. It’s tools on aligning those four elements of health. And I believe we need all four physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And when we are making small conscious efforts on those four paradigms of four dimensional wellness, Each day, each week then that’s when, we are living high en, high energy, happy, essentially because we’re caretaking.[00:16:00]
It’s not just physical energy that’s important, it’s our spiritual energy, our emotional energy, and our mental energy. It’s having all four of those aligned. Yeah, absolutely. I have recently had a personal experience, so I had a a great personal coach like the personal trainer who’s also an osteo.
I interviewed him as well. Great guy. Fantastic. I went in there with one injury, he’s my wife’s pt. I walked out with four injuries like four or five months later. He put me on a not a hard program, but I was lifting very heavy. I was doing some great stuff, but it wasn’t aligned with my energy levels at the time and my pace.
And so I’ve been struggling with some injuries lately and I’m still struggling with them. So recently we just I put a pause to it because I wanted to do my own program, my own time. I wanted to incorporate, maybe some more breath work instead of weights, cardio, yoga, just walking the dog instead of a high weightlifting thing.
And this is what I’m getting to. Sometimes you need to be your own coach and sometimes you know your own answers. And instead of looking for the answers or pain for someone else’s answers, sometimes you just need to sit in silence journal. [00:17:00] Realize what you are not doing instead of what you are doing.
So it’s not about doing. Sometimes it’s about stop the doing and let your body recover and rest, prioritize sleep. I want to read something here that you wrote in the book. You talk about 10 truth flashes of high energy, happiness, and you learned some fundamental truths while you recovered your own energy and you would still be crying into your triple strength espresso.
So here, some of the shortcut 10 truths. So number one, you’ve gotta prioritize your energy levels. How important is it to prioritize the energy levels and where do some of your clients go wrong? Or that’s, yeah, if you wanna jam my number one, then I’ll talk about the rest really quickly as well. So prioritize the energy levels.
I think it it of links into to what you were saying before about energy being currency and a really powerful, important human currency and that. people because it, it doesn’t get talked about, although obviously I’m on a personal mission to change that. It’s not one of the currencies that we talk [00:18:00] about, people don’t think they have to prioritize it.
And I think, like you say as we get older as well, we don’t wanna maybe lift as heavy in the gym. We do wanna have more, yoga and other practices. Like when we are in our twenties and we are living high octane life and we’re drinking and we’re burning the candle at both ends and we still have energy.
We take it for granted. We don’t, we feel like we don’t need an energy management practice because our energy is just there. But as we move through life and life stages change and people have children and, obviously there’s a real energy requirement there and parents age and there, there’s energy required there.
So it’s. . I think it overall, it’s the fact that we generally, we don’t actually consider what we need. That keeping our energy high is important until we don’t have it. And it’s only when we don’t have it that people are pushed into a crisis of doing something about it. And I’d also say secondly, culturally where most people go wrong is[00:19:00] and we have lived in the last or 20 years or so in this extreme coffee culture.
And I can’t wait till I’m back in New Zealand. No one does a flat white oh my God, the Aussies are the Kiwis, the best coffee in the world, hands down. But we have such a strong coffee culture that we’ve almost got to the point where if we are tired, we don’t go. , my body feels quite tired.
Maybe I need to rest a bit more. Maybe I’ll go to bed early tonight. Maybe I need to actually just, when did I last have a holiday or have a break? Maybe I’m answering my emails late at night. Maybe there’s something for me to think about cuz my body is tired, therefore it needs, it’s a message from my body saying I need something because I’m tired.
We don’t do that at all. We just go my body is tired. I must need a double flat white. I will go and get one. And we if anyone says they’re tired, did you say, would you like a coffee? And we’ve bypassed the really important message from our [00:20:00] body and our soul, cuz we can be energetically tired and emotionally tired, not just physically tired.
And we’ve bypassed all of that by saying, that’s all right. I’ll get you a latte. We don’t take energy seriously, I think is the, until we don’t have it. That’s the big answer. . Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Said. It’s funny that like we all have the internet banking app on our phone.
We always make sure that we pay the bills on time, that we do the groceries to have food in the house, but do we ever check in with our energy levels? It’s be interested in the future when all the, when we’re all connected to the internet of things and, whatever. And we can actually check in with our energy balances through an app.
But, sometimes we don’t need an app. We just need to listen to our bodies as well. Your body’s an amazing miracle. It’s a healing machine. If you create the conditions, it will heal. That’s truth flash number two and number three, you would have to think differently as well. Thinking differently.
Zero tolerance zero tolerance policy for winging, moaning and generally feeling sorry for yourself. Consistency’s huge as well. Making sure that your emotional [00:21:00] state are high priority as well. So great things through there as well. And You talk the last one. Outrageous energies available to us.
We’ve all had times where we’ve had amazing energy. We feel great and that, I think that’s what ties into what you said, high energy, happiness, because having high energy is happiness. And unfortunately a lot of people take the shortcut and take drugs, whether it be alcohol, smoking, whatever it is, to get that high energy, that rush of high energy coffee as well.
Then they feel happy cuz they’re perked up. So happiness and energy, I believe are highly related. Low energy depression, high energy, happiness. People know this. Very simple. Yeah. Awesome stuff. Thank you for sharing that in the book as well. We will touch on the other book that you wrote as well soon, which is 101 Self Care Ideas, which is really cool too.
What’s some of the other stuff in the book? So understanding energy and fatigue obviously hand in hand. How did you get into then from writing the book to coaching clients and doing the wellness stuff? So can you talk us through that journey through there as well? Yeah, again, it was a sort of, I dunno, I’ve [00:22:00] been very lucky on this second career I have to say, Michael.
It’s just, it really is all just unfolded pretty easily. All, all by itself almost. Like once I’d got I finished my coaching qualification. I’d left corporate and I had my yoga business. And I just put out, okay, I’ve, I’ve qualified as a coach, I’ve got my psych degree.
This is the sort of area of work that I’m working in. And and I know a lot of people, they would obviously really struggle building their business as a coach and and there’s loads of great programs that can help people do that. But I have to say, in all honesty, literally from day one I had a queue of people to work with in all honesty.
And so it’s been a really. Rewarding journey to do that. And to be able to give people the tools that, cause it’s not about being like, you work with me forever. It’s, you work with me for a short period of time. I’ll teach you these tools. We’ll get to the nub of your patterns.
What’s your thing? And then you know what you need to do to, then they’re off. It’s not like [00:23:00] they work with me forever. It’s about that implemented knowledge over a set period of time. And then for me, just because the coaching business was just so busy so quickly and there’s only one of me that’s when I created my coaching academy, which was back in 2015.
Now I know right before people, everyone’s doing a membership these days, , right? Who hasn’t got one. But I launched mine in 2015. So the Wellbeing Warriors Coaching Academy so that I could work with. Hundreds and hundreds of people every day. Coaching tools we laugh a lot as well community.
But doing that, that resourced tool-based coaching on those four dimensions, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual in a community that meant that I could just work with more people. And I’ve got just the most amazing women in there. And yeah, we do a new module of on a different aspect of health every single month and a daily tiny daily implemented challenge.
So in the month you get your drop of resources but then each day you get a tiny challenge, two minutes [00:24:00] or less cuz everyone’s busy to implement what you’ve learned. And it’s. You get the acceleration of being in, obviously a group of people on the same path and with similar values to you and sharing an insight.
You learn from other people’s insight. But people with a topic on the first of the month and then you see where they are on the 30th of the month. And it is amazing actually, when we’re paying attention and we’re implementing what we learn, how much you can actually move the needle on your own mental health, physical, spiritual, emotional health in 30 days.
So the whole coaching journey for me again I’ve just been quite, I’ve been very hashtag blessed in, in that department that it just unfolded pretty natural. All by. Its all by itself. And I’ve been privileged to work with so many amazing people. Yeah, very cool.
It’s great. We all need a breaking life and sometimes we all need to come outta the gates and have success straight away because that’s gonna propel the longevity of it as well. So many times that, you get new coaches or people that tr try a career change and they have that [00:25:00] micro failure and they really don’t persist through it and they give up and they’re exceptional teachers and you know how many great teachers that stopped teaching or gave up cuz they didn’t have that early success as well.
So congrats on that. It just shows the power of group and the tribe as well. So when you start talking your own truth and your own story and you know you are teaching from life experience and you start doing something full-time and giving it a go, you’re gonna attract that tribe as well. And that if you are suffering.
There’s so many people out there suffering as well. If you fix yourself for a solution, there’s so many other people out there that you can help with that same solution as well. And then talking to other people, that just creates an environment of new learning. I’m sure you are learning every day from your thriving community as much as you are teaching them as well.
Which is great. One little thing in the book, you talk about the seven stages of fatigue. This was really interesting. So stage one was situational normal, which is normal. Number one is inspired. So when we get inspired, we get that little tinge of energy and it’s like that new that work event thing.
So we get that social thing. So we’re stage one, we’re inspired. Stage two we’re wired. I’m normally in [00:26:00] the wired category most of the time, and then stage three, pushing through and bouncing back. I like stage four, so hauling us. So just getting after it. Everything’s it’s, I think you said fucking effort, which is true.
Five is breaking down, six is bedridden. What is number seven? Oh, so it is, so if you look at zero, it actually makes seven altogether. Yeah. Looking back, I would’ve numbered them differently. I have to say that’s one of the things you know about writing a book and then it’s there forever, isn’t it? You can’t go back and Renu, but cuz I called one of them zero because you’re not actually in fatigue.
Do you see what I mean? So there were seven. Yeah, that’s right. That’s, sorry, I thought so. Okay, got it. So I interviewed a guy a couple years ago, he’s a top Australian sales guy and he said he worked like five years straight, never took a holiday break and then he went on holidays and he was at the breakfast thing and he passed out.
Like he his had full passed out, like his body just shut down and his said it. It’s one of the most scariest experiences and just talking about breaking down and [00:27:00] bedridden continue. I just had to get that story out. It’s it’s such a great story and sadly it. It’s not un it’s not uncommon, and so it’s such a great share because it’s, we are built as humans.
We’ve got this incredible nervous system where and chemical cascade where we can push effort for events and for projects and and in crisis and emergencies, but also exciting things, and we are built to be able to release that burst of energy and do those things.
But we are not, we’re still cavemen and women at the end of the day, we are not hardwired to do that for five years without a break. There is a consequence to that decision, which is that actually to have done that, for what, 1500 days, 1600 days in a row that, think of all the micro choices that he could have done differently to have ended up.
Not in that position, but I did essentially exactly what he did, but just a little bit less dramatically. One day I just went like that on my desk and my [00:28:00] head hit the desk at work. . And my PA put me in a taxi and I went home and I went to bed and I didn’t get out for four months to a podcast, say by Kirwin Ray.
And he’s the big Australian social media guy and he’s interviewed, great people and he’s quite successful in what he’s done. And the last two years he went through some massive internal changes and literally pretty much got really suicidal to the point where he like, people change and people go through, they can happen to anyone.
On the surface, things are looking great, but internally things need to be, things need to be worked out. The your body keeps scoring. It doesn’t forget as well. You talk about the nervous system, and this is, I want to hear it from you, sympathetic nervous system, parasitic 30 nervous system, fight or flight.
Rest and digest. Light switch on, lights switch off. I just had three months off recently as well as a break. And I can tell you from a nervous system point of view, I was all in paras parasitic nervous system. I was resting and digesting. I was reading books, speaking to authors like [00:29:00] yourself. Had a great time.
Now I’m back at work and I can see the nervous system, sympathetic nervous system shooting up, and now I’m managing the nervous system. But yeah. What’s your take on that with the sympathetic and para parasympathetic nervous system? Yeah. We’ve built with this incredibly sophisticated nervous system, which.
again, it was built for cavemen and women. But now you fast forward to life in 2023 and it’s dealing with, not us running away from a tiger and needing to release adrenaline, but if we are getting anxious every time we go, oh, there’s an email from my boss. Oh, what’s that text? Oh my God.
Oh, I haven’t got back to Soandso. Oh. And that release it, and we are living in an almost permanent state of fight or flight. We have not got the chemical capacity to do that for the long term. And then you do end up with the situation, like your friend at the breakfast buffet and like myself, and I don’t know. I didn’t know about the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system and that I essentially had pushed myself to the point where I had it sympathetic on. [00:30:00] A hundred percent of the time, or 95% of the time when it’s supposed to be on about 2% of the time.
And I didn’t under, I didn’t understand that actually there are, mental health techniques where we can start to dial down our stress and put ourselves back into a place of parasympathetic dominance. But there’s also simple physical techniques like you were talking earlier, Michael about breathing and yoga and having more time in your life to incorporate those in because you’re actually like these are more important perhaps and more impactful than I perhaps appreciate it before.
Interesting. Good learning. Yeah. Self-regulation. Sometimes you need to self-regulate and say, you know what? That regulation system worked for me in the past where lifting weights was great, but very very adrenal. Again, getting the adrenals up, getting that pump on, I’m like, maybe I don’t need that.
Maybe I just need that chill. And I just remember those moments of after a yoga session or after a breathwork session, I felt. Decompressed and maybe I like this is where it comes to self-coaching as well. It’s very important sometimes, but yeah, [00:31:00] continue. Sorry for cutting you off. Oh no, you’re not cutting off at all.
It’s such a great discussion. It’s, so it’s when we, and that’s why the description in the book is I make it very simple. Like it is, like you, you can’t be in both at the same time. You can’t be in rest and digest and in fight or flight, it’s one or the other. It’s like a light switch. And so if people can really just start being aware, is it on, is it off?
And when it’s permanently on, it is bad for me. Hands down. So how do I, what are the mechanisms for me to flick that switch off, which are the ones that I can do in the moment? When you are in the office and you realize you’re really amped up and you’re bringing that amped up energy to the people around you, to your clients and customers, to and to your own physiology.
What switches you back into parasympathetic dominance? Figure that out for yourself. What is the balance of your life? Like you say, are you doing loads of high octane stuff in the gym, but not balancing that? I’m a bit [00:32:00] of a gym bunny myself. I love it. But you there’s too much of a good thing, right?
It’s finding that balance. Okay, my body’s gonna find this quite stimulating because I’m lifting things there heavy. But there’s a balance that I know I’m going to yoga tomorrow and I’m giving my body something different. I think it’s really, honestly all about awareness and also about finding different ways for ourselves that switch it on and off and asking ourselves that question, you.
even recently I’ve been, working, staring at the computer screen all day and at lunchtime, just packing if, if I’m out in the office, pack the shoes in the car and go for a 30 minute walk at lunch to get some air and just some movement and you feel so much better. Just in terms of mood, this ties us onto our next one.
So your book is, it’s huge, two 50 pages of small print. Definitely read it with a pen. I like that because my first book, success 50 Steps, it’s all about notes and you have to read it with a pen. So that’s one thing I like about your book as well. So I want to go onto your second book, which is a digital book called [00:33:00] 101 Self-Care.
Its that are not Drink More Water or have another damn Bubble bath. You step-by-step guide to 101 Simple self-care moves that really make a difference to your mind, your Body, and your Life by Louise Thompson. That’s a great little intro there. Talk to me about the 101 self-care ideas. When did you put that together and yeah, it’s a great little ebook.
Oh, thank you. So I wrote that actually in lockdown. Cause that’s a pandemic book. I think a lot of us have got a pandemic a pandemic book. There should be a, there should be an aisle at the bookshop and be like, written during the pandemic. So it’s like just a, yeah. Yes. I love that.
That would be a great podcast series almost on, on it own, right? Isn’t it? Pandemic. Pandemic, yeah. Yeah. Pandemic . Yes. I wrote it in, in, in lockdown. Obviously you have that little bit more time, don’t you? And it was in response really to, to Instagram. If I’m honest with you. I just, I just reached this point of just really being sick of, [00:34:00] particularly as women.
But I think, just generally everybody that we the wellbeing is self-care advice sometimes is just so surface level and so obvious and just, oh, you stress women go and have a bubble bath and you’ll feel better. The amount of times you see it every is just crazy making.
And influencers just say, I look like this cuz I drink loads of water every day. So make sure you drink your three liters or whatever. And it’s sure drink a water. But it’s not really, that’s not really self-care advice. That’s just basic survival. And we’ve got a mechanism for that.
And it’s called thirst. And if you thirst, drink some water, what self-care, and then the other thing is just have a spa day. If people are a bit stressed, just have a spa day. And I was actually at the spa yesterday. Love a spa. Next, oh my god. , it’s fantastic, but it’s actually not.
It’s an indulgence, right? If you turn up to the spa and you are, your mental health is not [00:35:00] good, you are really worried about a million things in your life. You are spiritually aligned with, whether it’s your relationship, your work. You are in the wrong place at the wrong time in your life and you know someone’s there giving you a massage, you’ll feel good in those 60 minutes in that moment, it’s an indulgence.
Genuine self-care is booking a meeting with your boss to say, Hey, do you know what? My workload’s unsustainable. We really need to structure things differently going forward. I’ve got some ideas of how we could do that, but I can’t continue working these hours that I’m not paid for. That’s self-care.
Real self-care is. , breaking up with the completely unc uncommitted guy that you’ve been seeing, that you spend your whole life waiting for him to text. And he’s there and he’s not. And he’s there and he’s not. And actually calling it and saying, do you know what? You’re not in a place to be emotionally committed.
I get that. I respect that. I’m actually gonna remove myself and I’m gonna take myself elsewhere. I wish you well. That is self-care. Yeah. You talk about it, you talk about [00:36:00] self-care. It’s actually really active and it’s work and sometimes it’s really hard and it’s pretty much always doesn’t look pretty.
It’s, it doesn’t come with a pink bow in it. Real self-care looks like this. And I like this one you wrote down, sitting down and making a spreadsheet of all your debts and figuring out some sort of payment plan that you’ll start to release you from the crushing financial stress that my friend is not sexy, but it is self-care.
A hundred percent. So yes. See it, that really is self-care, right? If you are in a spa, and you’re in the spark pool, but you’re, it sat in that spark pool going, I can’t afford to be here. This is the nightmare. And then I can’t even afford that thing next week. And how am I gonna get the car repaired?
Oh my God. But you’re in a bubble pool that’s not really self-care. You know it. And so I wrote a post on it just saying, look, we need to change the conversation around self-care. It’s this, it’s not just drink more water, have another bubble. That’s survival and a nice thing to do. Let’s up-level the conversation [00:37:00] around self-care.
What really is up to us taking care of us, and it is, your financial spreadsheet, you’re exiting a really toxic relationship realigning your work boundaries, whatever that is, self-care. And so I wrote this post on it that went just pretty viral. And then I was like, huh, okay, how about I take that?
Cuz there was just such a response to it. People said, thank God you’ve said this and I, this just so resonates. Yeah. It’s always lovely when something, just really takes off. And I was like, okay, how could I, cuz I’m all about the implementing . How can I help people actually implement that concept?
If I’m saying this is what self-care isn’t, let me say this is what it is in 101. Really doable, not time consuming. Actions that you can tick off for yourself in like a Ticketable workbook. So we did it in, there’s a digital one that you can tick it digitally or you can print it and be, old school like me.
I like doing things with a pen and underlining stuff, . And so we broke it down. I broke [00:38:00] it down into sort of seven areas. So there’s people’s physical wellbeing, their mental health, living space. If you hate where you live, it, it drags your mood, your mental energy, all those things down.
Relationships. What do you need to clean up career? Are you in an aligned place? Financial health is, it’s such an enormous stressor. , we, having 12 actions that a tiny and short bit that will help you clean up your financial health, helps your mental health, emotional health, everything. And playtime, hobbies and fun because I dunno, you sound like you’ve got life pretty much in balance, but so many people do not.
Oh no I don’t. No. So what does some of the self-care things I did recently was email a bunch of authors that I said to come on the show that said, I, sorry, I’m fully booked. I can’t have you on the show anymore. Thanks very much. Maybe next season, cuz I overbooked myself and I was overwhelmed. And every podcast, I’ve gotta read a few books and do a lot, I’ve researched a lot of work involved, so I overbooked myself.
Number two, I had a 186 goals this year and I realized that was [00:39:00] stupid. So I got it down to, got it like 180, things that I thought I could do anyway, so I pushed them all to next year because that’s just me. So now I’ve got a little list of small little lists there. And so now I’m not suffering from overwhelmed.
I had really strong conversations with business partners of mine and said, Hey, I am running thin on, energy. I can only do this day, that, that amount of projects, even though I’ve taken on more roles and responsibilities, but I’ve literally just trimmed up that, and that’s self-care. So having those hard conversations telling people no, cuz a no saying a yes.
So a yes to someone else is a no to you. And saying no to someone else is a yes to you. And that was a big lesson I’ve learned recently. So instead of saying yes, cuz I’m a people pleaser, I want to do things and and it’s all great. I’m like, no, or not yet, or not. Or just plain old, not really.
No or never. No. So that’s been big. So a no to others is a yes to you, which is a good one. But yeah, that’s my [00:40:00] recent one that I’ve done and it’s, my wife’s into Utter and George’s utter in videos before she goes to bed. And she’s all about projects and cluttering, but that’s her way of decompressing as well.
Decoder in your life sometimes isn’t about just moving the furniture around. It’s about having hard conversations with others and also having a realistic look at your own schedule and saying, sometimes you put too much food on your plate and you need to just give it away. Yeah. 100%. See, those are, how many great examples did you just give there of genuine self-care?
So I, I totally salute you. I’ll just pick up on two of the things that you said. The 168 goals for the year. Oh, they were categorized into, January, February quarter two. They were, they were fully categorized on the spreadsheet, but that was causing me overwhelmed because I didn’t get through the January and February ones, cuz big things changed that made those other ones wasn’t important.
I’ve had some big financial and career changes recently, which has been great and sometimes you just gotta put things off and put it into [00:41:00] another spreadsheet and just move it across to next year or the year after or the decade after. Cuz yeah. Anyway, continue. That was just, that was silly.
Yeah. hundred percent cuz if you build no flex into that system and no space into that system, then you know you only need something extra to come up in life, which does happen. And then you feel behind and you feel overwhelmed, and then you, there’s no way you can catch up because you’ve both overstuffed it in the first place.
And so we just did in February in the academy in my coaching academy, we did a process that I taught the latest three, three step process. We call it. It’s called the conscious calendar. And so we set our conscious calendar for 2023, and it’s a mu as much about what you are taking out and what you are parking as what you’re putting in.
It forces you to be really discerning and also to have that big picture of your year that you actually can get really excited about. Just go, yeah, this is what I’m gonna put in my ear. But I’ve also built in enough space that it feels exciting and not overwhelming and [00:42:00] that, there are things that will come up in life and there needs to be room for them.
And there was there was a, there was something that came up in that module that just. It speaks so nicely to what you just said there about a no to others is a yes to you. Which is such a powerful and important concept. And there’s a quote by one of my heroin authors of all time, Elizabeth Gilbert.
She of e Prey love fame in incredible. I saw her speak in Auckland. Oh my God. She was, I was such a fan girl. I was like in the second row. And there’s a wonderful quote by Elizabeth Gilbert that speaks directly to this, which is, and I’m not doing, you’d have to Google it. But essentially to paraphrase, life, we have so many opportunities in life these days that not being overwhelmed requires us not just to say no to stuff we don’t want to do.
It requires us to say no to stuff we do want to do. That’s the nugget. That’s it’s huge. Yeah. Got it. That’s what I, that’s what I did. Yep. I’m [00:43:00] writing that down. So we, so yeah, we, I know goo you, you can Google and get the exact quote, but we did a lot of work on that in the conscious calendar.
That was one of our big principles that we worked on and discussed for the month as we were putting everything, everyone does their own separate planner and working bees and the rest of it. But it was like, if you wanna feel how you wanna feel at the end of the year, which is proud of yourself excited, but also that you feel good in your body.
You don’t feel stressed, you don’t feel overwhelmed, you feel peaceful, you feel on track, you feel accomplished. In order to do that, you have to say yes to actually quite a significant amount of things that you do want to do. That is life in 2023 with. F fantastically fortunate to have so many opportunities available to us.
And I think sort of 20, 30 years ago when we still teaching, this stuff, it was like, say no to the stuff you don’t wanna do. I remember talking about that when I was of first doing radio, so about 10 years ago, say no to the stuff you don’t wanna do. And I think life has moved on so much.
[00:44:00] It’s. , it’s next level. You’ve gotta be really discerning about saying no to the stuff that you do want to do. I do want to do it’s funny you say that, right? So I used to wear my Google calendar as a, like a medal. So I’d show someone my calendar and be like, look at busy I am. And it would just be like, what?
Look what I did, 5:00 AM podcast, 10:00 PM podcast, 25 meetings in one. In 15 minutes get like crazy stuff and they’d be like, one, they think you’re doing really well, which you know, you’re busy. But now I look at my calendar right now and it’s empty and there’s no better feeling than a blank calendar, a blank Google calendar.
That’s what now I’m walking at going, maybe I was wrong in trying to fit in so much stuff and the quantity was there. Great, fantastic. Tick the quantity box, but was the quality there? And now I think a lot of people find it’s all about quality time with your family. Kids, partner work, social life.
It’s not about the amount of times people or do things, it’s really about the quality of the, of that moment as [00:45:00] well. And I think that’s the real currency. And it does come back to a high energy, happiness. Having the right happiness level and energy when you are with people and doing things.
I’ve been burnt out lately that I just, certain things in my business have just let go because oh, there’s no happiness or no energy there to do it. And maybe I just need to outsource that. And and that’s the other thing too. Leaving room in your life for flex. I like that one. Moving on, we could go through the 101 self-care things, but we’re gonna definitely run outta time, which we’ve had.
But number one, I just wanna talk about the first one, which is simple, which is one, if people implemented this one thing the other a hundred ideas would just naturally fall through. You talk about schedule a self-care appointment. Talk to me about that. Ooh, so is this like number one in the book, ? Yeah.
So life is busy for sure. We’re we are doing busy and important things all the time. Know what gets people get, go to what put off important, but not urgent. Self-care. Dentist [00:46:00] appointments, mad, going to the doctors, all that kind of stuff. But take action. Make one phone call right now.
Back it. Take five minutes, get it done. I thought you were talking about schedule a day, like a self-care appointment with yourself. How, what do you mean by that? With that is this is in the physical wellbeing section and what I wanted to do with the start this section off with something that people can do in two minutes so they feel good about taking action, right?
So you look at the things that we put off and you see all the time, it’s putting off the mammo. It’s not comfortable. Nobody really wants to have one. So you put it off, it’s putting off the pap test or the smear test. It’s putting off the dentist cuz who likes going to the dentist? It’s putting off your yearly, blood pressure check and whatnot where they weigh you and you’re like, oh no.
The doctors, those little things we have a tendency to put, we’ll do them for our pets and we’ll do them for our children. If our children need to go to the doctors or our pet, our cat needs to go to the vet. My god, if the cat needs to go to the vet, I’m, I couldn’t be on the phone quicker. My dog was choking in the middle of [00:47:00] night last night at 2:00 AM my wife woke me up.
I had my hand down his throat pulling out fake grass that he was choking on. True story. We will wake up for our dogs and kids. Continue. Is he okay? He’s fine. Yeah. I went back to bed. He is fine. It’s disgusting. I had to wash my hands. Dog dad life. We all do it. We prioritize actually other people’s pH, physical wellbeing.
above our own. And it is that old classic, put your own oxygen mask on first. And so I just wanna start the book with something that everybody can achieve in two minutes or less is Yeah, do you know what? I’ve just booked my dentist appointment. I have just booked my mammogram. Not all of them, just do one, because the idea with the book, you’ve got 101 ideas.
Some are in your living space, some are in your relationships, some are in your career. They can all be done in two minutes or less, but you get that feeling of momentum because you’ve ticked one off and then you tick another one off. So if you feel like a lot of people say they get the book and they say, right for three months.
If you think about it, it’s about three months worth of tiny tasks. I’m gonna do one each day for three months. I’m [00:48:00] just gonna pick one. Some people are very methodical. They go in exact order, perfect. And some people are, oh, I like to dip into the other sections. And I know even if I do nothing for myself the rest of the day, and I’m run ragged the rest of the day, I’ve done one tiny thing.
to move myself forward that day. And we just get so much feedback because you can tick it digitally. People love being able to see their progress. And it really is, I think, and this is the academy is structured around this as well. It’s when you give people too much to do and there’s too many steps in it, we put it off and we don’t do it.
I remember once, it was a real pivotal moment in, just in terms of when I was writing my book and structuring my book, there was this thing where it was bake, interesting thing. It’s like this is the cheesecake that everyone’s making. It’s the healthiest cheesecake ever. And it had something like 26 ingredients.
And were you buy, would you bake that? I would, who at Earth has got time to do. [00:49:00] My wife’s a cook. She would do it. My wife would do it. She’s really good. She’s got a cooking channel. Amazing. Oh but generally, unless you’ve got your own cooking channel, you are not gonna do a healthy action for yourself that requires you purchasing 26 ingredients and a 18 step recipe.
Do you know what I mean? It’s, people will do things if it’s done in a one or a two. And it’s about that consistency. It’s not about cooking a healthy cheesecake once every six months. It’s a, it’s about doing something tiny, but good for yourself every single day and keeping that consciousness like top of mind about self-care.
And I guess it of circles back right to the story at the beginning, cuz that’s exactly what I didn’t do. I could have headed off everything that happened to me with two minutes, five minutes of consciousness a day. It would never have happened. People think it’s gotta be this massive silver bullet.
I’ve got to work a four day week, or we’ve got to move to the country and then everything [00:50:00] will be fine. And those things are great and if you can make those things happen for yourself, fantastic. And I’ve had many clients that have awesome, but for just starting where you are with what you have, it’s about two minutes of real conscious, doable action for yourself on behalf of yourself each day.
And so that’s what this book is about really. It’s about giving people something that’s becomes self-motivating in itself. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Some of the ones that stood out for me connect with a non-verbal creature. Love it Like a dog or a cat. One of the ones I want you to talk about, so you’re a yoga teacher back in 2004, long do ago.
You talk about yoga. Is it Nira or what is that? Yoga Nira. Nira. What is no yoga nidra? Oh my God. I will send you a copy, Michael, of my sleep fairy meditation. Okay. We’ll send you a link and we’ll make it for free and you can send it to your people. Okay. Yoga [00:51:00] nidra, we’re talking about sympathetic dominance and parasympathetic dominance in the nervous system.
Yoga nidra is the, like an incredible ancient eastern wisdom instant reset to get you from sympathetic dominance to parasympathetic dominance in your nervous system. It’s like this secret source and so traditionally it’s done at the end of a yoga class. Okay? So people are all tired. They’ve done all their ass and their work, they lie down at the end they have what’s called final relaxation.
Now some yoga teachers just let it be quiet with maybe some music and then after two minutes they on, and that’s the end of the class. When I did my teacher training, the style I was taught in does this very. very in energetically intense guided relaxation process that, like I say, it dumps you straight into parasympathetic dominance.
And you can literally feel like your fa your face like all the muscles in your [00:52:00] face relaxing and like slipping down, and your whole body relaxing. And when I taught yoga, I was never the most bendy yoga teacher. I was good at making people think they could do things they couldn’t do and introducing people to yoga.
And, but my, so I was never the bendiest. I was good enough to teach, but what I was good at was that final relaxation. And I would have people who would come to me and they’d be like, I literally, I come to class so that I can get, like Thursday night I sleep better than any other night in the week I hang out for that.
It is like I come twice a week. Purely for the final relaxation. I’ve come to the yoga class to watch you finish the yoga class. . That’s funny. Yes. So they’re like, I work really hard, even if I don’t want to, because I want to get that feeling that I get at the end of class. Cause I do not get it in my life at any other time.
It creates a completely unique sensation. So it’s a deep guided re relaxation technique based on obviously thousands of years of ancient wisdom. But we’ve [00:53:00] put it into an audio called the sleep fairy so that you can just listen to it to recharging the day or really good when you’re going to bed at night.
And so many people messages say, I’ve got literally no idea how it ends. I’ve got no. Awesome. Yeah, check that. That’ll be great. I’ll check it out. I used to go for drives at lunch and just do nap with guided meditation path an hour just to recharge the batteries. But that was because I was getting up at super early mornings to do podcasts and silly things and staying up late.
So now I don’t need to do that because of my energy was good. I think it’s a good place to put a a knot in it or a bookmark in it, so to speak. Where can people find you online? What’s the website? Where do you hang out socially and where can they buy your books? So louise thompson.com.
You can get the books on there. You can check out the Coaching Academy on there. Yeah, every, everything is on louise thompson.com and on Facebook, I’m Louise Thompson. Instagram, I think I’m Louise Underscored Thompson underscore. I’ll put in the show notes. [00:54:00] That’s absolutely fine. Louise, thank you for sharing your story, writing the books, doing what you do, the wellness what’s the academy called again?
Is it the Wellness Warriors, is that right? Wellbeing. Wellbeing Warriors. Wellbeing Warriors. Wellbeing Warriors. Cool. Cool. Thank you for being a guest on the Best Bull Pits podcast and to my audience, go out there, check Louis stuff, buy books, follow socially, implement the wisdom, and get your energy levels and happiness under control and practice a little bit of self-care.
So enjoy the rest of your day and I shall get some sleep because you are in the UK and I’m from Australia. Okay, perfect. Thanks Louise. I’ll speak to you soon. No worries. Thank you. Thanks.