6 Ways to Boost your Energy Levels

Now that we have moved into Autumn, we may feel a dip in our motivation. As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, how can we boost our energy levels?

Here are 6 simple tips I’ve put together which could help!

woman wearing backpack walking outside

Go outdoors!

Exposing yourself to the sun’s rays is one of the best ways to boost energy levels and mood. Sunlight causes a release of serotonin, that feel-good chemical. It also affects the production of melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycles. Plus vitamin D is boosted when we are in sunlight so there are some great reasons to get outside. Even in overcast weather, we can feel the benefits of the fresh air. According to Eartheasy.com, “Almost a decade ago, a study from the University of Michigan showed that interacting with nature improves cognitive function no matter the weather. Participants in the study increased their memory performance and attention spans by more than 20% after just an hour of interacting with nature.”

Check your diet

It can be tempting to stock up on sweet comfort foods when the nights draw in, but these aren’t always very good for us. However, it’s totally possible to have comforting AND healthy meals – it may just take a bit more planning. Think homemade vegetable soups, warm porridge oats and hearty stews full of goodness. Not only will our energy increase, but this will also boost our immunity against winter colds and can save us money too! Feeling fuller for longer, we can maintain a more stable mood and enjoy boosted energy levels. There are some easy and nutritious recipe ideas here which are also cheap to make. Winter warmer recipes | BBC Good Food These are bound to boost energy levels and taste good!

boost energy levels with a creamy pumpkin soup

Get cosy

Making indoors warm and inviting so that you can enjoy the feeling of snuggling up inside. Woolly blankets, scented candles and furry onesies are lovely to come home to after a tiring day. And can save on the heating bills by adding an extra layer! Embrace the darker nights, add some twinkling fairy lights. Why wait until Christmas?

Invest in a UV lamp

Some of us really struggle with the lack of sunlight so one option could be to invest in a light therapy lamp which can easily be added to a desk at work or home. Verywellmind.com writes “Light therapy lamps are bright lamps commonly used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression, and sleep disorders. The lamps are widely available, and you can use them at home: Simply turn on your light therapy lamp and sit near it for a set period of time (typically 15–60 minutes).”

woman stretching on ground to keep active and boost energy levels

Get active

There are lots of different activities we can choose from to increase our physical activity including low impact exercise like swimming, yoga and cycling. Or simply turning up the music, drawing the curtains and dancing around the house can be a fun way of adding movement to the day! Whatever way works best for you, getting active not only increases our fitness and boosts energy levels but also our mood. We can think more clearly, feel more positive and aches and pains can ease. Here are some quick stretch exercises you can do at your desk which can get the circulation going. Desk-based exercises (csp.org.uk) With many of us still working from home, it’s vital to get moving during the day to stay warm and well this winter.

Future planning

If you feel the need to have a summer holiday to look forward to, getting some dates booked in and some ideas for next year’s break away can feel good. Or if you’re able to get away before then, booking a Winter getaway can be a nice way to break up the colder seasons. A great way to keep focussed on a future plan is to create a mood board. Adding pictures to a wall or creating one online can be fun. Why not set it as your screen saver as a reminder that sunnier days will return? Canva has some great templates, many of which are free to use. Templates (canva.com)

photo of person putting photo on wall to create an energising mood board

I hope you found these energy boosting tips useful – free to comment with your ideas too! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What is the purpose of a life coach?

woman doing hand heart sign

If you’ve wondered about hiring a life coach but feel a little unsure as to what the purpose of a personal coach is, or how it can benefit you – have a read through my latest post to learn more!

What is the purpose of a life coach?

According to the website verywellmind life coaches “aid their clients in improving their relationships, careers, and day-to-day lives. Life coaches can help you clarify your goals, identify the obstacles holding you back, and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle.” A professional coach will allow you to openly discuss your current situation, help you to evaluate where you wish to make changes and empower you to set actionable steps to make those changes happen.

What sort of people hire a life coach?

Life coaches work with people from all backgrounds and all ages. Many people will think about hiring a coach when they feel stuck in a particular area of their life. That may be their career, their relationships with others or within their personal development. They may want to create a change, but don’t have the clarity to know exactly what that is. It maybe they know that they feel unhappy with their life at the moment, but aren’t sure why? Or it can often be the case that people know what they need to change, but don’t feel they have the confidence or motivation to do it on their own. Hiring a coach can be a great option for anybody at any stage of life!

What kind of situations can a coach help with?

Career change, returning to work after a break, confidence building, embarking on a new habit/routine, managing addictions, creating better relationships, improving performance at work, increasing health and wellbeing, starting up a new idea, business or moving to a new area. These are all common times when someone may look to hire a life coach.

What’s the difference between a life coach and counsellor?

Coaching cannot take place unless there is a goal. Unlike counsellors and other therapists, coaches focus on the future and what changes can be made rather than focussing on looking at why things in the past happened or why we behave in a certain way.

“Unlike life coaches, therapists and other mental health professionals focus on healing, treating mental health conditions, and helping people work through trauma and other issues from their past. While working with a life coach may help you to deal with certain unresolved issues, life coaches cannot treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other mental health condition.” Verywellmind.com

A professional coach may refer you to other forms of therapy if they feel this is needed. Counselling and coaching can work well in combination. For example, a coach may ask, “Did you attend your counselling session last week? How did it benefit you and are there any actions you have agreed to do before the next session?” A coach can be great at holding you accountable and keeping you on track with your goals!

What can a life coach do for me?

Life Coaching can be life changing and transformational. A coach can empower you to clearly see where you are now and where you’d like to be in future. They can support you to create small, realistic steps to get there so that you feel motivated and energised rather than overwhelmed and likely to give up. Life coaches often specialise in solution focussed approaches and motivational methods to help you to fully engage with your goal and make it happen for yourself. Short and long-term goals are clarified. Focus is stronger and motivation is boosted when you have a positive life coach onboard.

If you’d like to try coaching for yourself, the best way is to talk with a few different coaches and see how it feels for you. I offer a free consultation which allows us both to check out if we are a good fit to work together. This also helps you discover if coaching is the best way forward, or if not, I can recommend some other alternatives you can try.

What Does a Life Coach Actually Do?

In my latest blog post, I share professional insights into what really happens in a life coaching session and how this can impact coaching clients.

man and woman near table shaking hands during a life coach session
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

So, what does a life coach actually do?

Life coaches empower people to find clarity and make changes in their lives so they can become happier, more satisfied and fulfilled. This can be in any area of life such as wellbeing and health, career and finances, relationships, personal development and growth.

What does finding clarity mean, and how can that help?

When we think about changes we wish to make, we can spend a long time thinking about all the possibilities but not take any action. Basically thinking ourselves around in circles. Procrastination and anxiety can creep in, both of which stop us from moving forward. If we are stressed or anxious, we can start to feel stuck and unsure of the best way out of a situation. This can lead to muddled thoughts, brain fog and a reduced sense of clarity. If we don’t know what we need to do, how will we ever make the change we feel is needed?

By giving someone a safe space to talk openly and honestly about what their current situation looks like, alongside asking targeting questions around their intentions and motivations, we can start to unravel thinking. Once this happens, people often find they know the answers themselves and regain the confidence and motivation they need to create an action plan.

Coaching is centred in action – if there is no goal, there can be no coaching. There’s a useful article here which offers further information: What is Coaching? – Life Coach Directory (lifecoach-directory.org.uk) However, it’s vital to be able to break down longer term goals into small steps. A life coach will help clients to do this so as to reduce overwhelm and increase chances of success!

What else does a life coach do?

Life coaching can uncover limiting beliefs during a session. Not everything we believe about ourselves is true. A life coach may challenge these by asking questions such as; ‘Is this actually true? What evidence is there for and against this belief? What could you do if you believed something else?’ For example, if I’m career coaching and my client says they think they are too old to start their own business, it’s not up to me to say whether this is true or not. But it is my job to challenge their thinking if it could be holding them back from making changes they want. ‘How old do you think you have to be to start a business?’ This could be a thought provoking question which may result in them realising that there is not an age limit on business start up! (Or they may choose to continue to believe this and look at alternative goals.) My profile features on the life coach directory which offers further details of the coaching I offer: Abi Unwin – Bristol – Life Coach Directory (lifecoach-directory.org.uk)

What are some of the issues presented in a life coaching session?

Coaching can be used to help people with a variety of issues. These can include career changes, relationships and communication, confidence and motivation building and dealing with addictive behaviours. If there is an area of your life you wish to change, a life coach can empower you to make that change with confidence and clarity.

It may be that a coach will uncover issues which could need further support such as counselling, referral to a GP or other professional. The coaching process can encourage and motivate clients to engage with the support they need to improve their health and wellbeing. For example, if a client wishes to make changes to their career and reduce their working hours. During a coaching session, they disclose a health issue they have been ignoring due to having a poor work life balance. The coach may ask what action might be needed. The client knows they need to make a doctors appointment and will commit to doing so. As a coach will also provide an accountability check in during further sessions, the client can be more motivated and focussed to take the action they realise they need to. This may then support them to make improvements in other areas of their lives. Many coaches will take a holistic approach to working with clients.

How can working with a life coach benefit me?

Coaching is empowering and facilitating so you won’t become dependant.

It’s also about difference and allows you to break negative thought patterns which may have held you back before.

Life coaching is about listening – most people say they are listening but often they are just waiting.

Most of all, coaching increases your self confidence and resilience.

Book a FREE Coaching Consultation – Bristol – UK – Worldwide (abigailjanecoaching.com)

Avoiding Burnout in the Workplace

Check out my recent blog on this topical subject highlighting how to avoid burnout and stress.  It covers what it is and why it happens, how to avoid it and useful links and resources.

matchsticks on pink surface
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

What is Burnout?

“Burnout: physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress: “high levels of professionalism which may result in burnout.” Oxford Languages Dictionary

The World Health Organization (2019) defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Various mental and physical health conditions can occur when we experience burnout . This can be observed in people who are employed or self employed, and also those who are not in paid employment but are caring for children or others who depend on them for support.

Am I at risk of burnout?

What are the signs of Burnout?

The physical symptoms include:

  • Feeling exhausted
  • Unable to recover from a common cold
  • Frequent headaches
  • Frequent gastrointestinal problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Shortness of breath

The behaviours include:

  • Irritability
  • Heightened emotional responses (quick to cry, quick to anger)
  • Suspicious and paranoid about colleagues
  • Substance abuse
  • Stubbornness, rigid thinking, and unwillingness to listen to other people
  • Negative attitude
  • Appears depressed

What are the causes of Burnout?

  • Unrealistic work expectations
  • Micromanagement
  • Poor instructions
  • Isolation
  • Lack of support

How to avoid Burnout?

Here are my top tips for preventing burnout. If you are experiencing burnout or feel you are at risk, please follow the link and get in touch. I have experience of over 15 years, coaching people in the workplace and this is an issue that can be rapidly improved with the right support. Career Coaching in Bristol – Abi Unwin – Certified Career Coach (abigailjanecoaching.com)

How to avoid burnout

Useful links for more information and support


If you are experiencing burnout symptoms, don’t delay in getting some advice and guidance to support a change and find out how to avoid burnout and stay well at work. Here are some links which may be useful for you:

Mental Health at Work website – Mind

Interventions to prevent burnout in high risk individuals: evidence review – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Burnout – Mental Health UK (mentalhealth-uk.org)

How to find the right life coach for you

Whether it’s career or life coaching you are looking for, here are 7 things you should know.
  1. Life coaching works best when there is a strong relationship based on trust, openness and a natural connection between coach and coachee.  Many coaches will offer a free introductory call in their initial communication.  This is so they can find out if you are a good fit to work together and it’s a great way to find the right life coach for you.  I would encourage anyone searching for a life coach to book in with three different coaches. Then a comparison can be made and it’s possible to get a good idea of how different coaches communicate.  What is a good fit for someone else might not work so well for you. How to find the right life coach? This is the quickest way to get an initial feel for how the coach works. Book a FREE Coaching Consultation – Bristol – UK – Worldwide (abigailjanecoaching.com)
  2. Coaching is not regulated in the UK so it’s up to you to pick a coach with accreditations and qualifications.  Look for a coach with certified membership to the Association for Coaching or International Coaching Federation.  Are they accredited by the AFC or ICF and do they work within their code of conduct? 
    Career Coach – Life Coach – About – Abi Unwin – Certified Coach (abigailjanecoaching.com)
  3. What qualifications does the coach have?  Many coaches have specific coaching qualifications but also hold certificates in other areas which might be relevant to your needs.  For example, if you are looking for career coaching, a coach with an HR or management qualification might be a good indicator they are the right person to work with.  Or if it’s a life coach you want for more personal development goals, do they have qualifications in wellbeing or mental health work?  Continued professional development for coaches is provided by AFC and ICF. It is worth checking how your coach stays up to date with current coaching methods and new ways of working.
  4. Is your coach fully DBS checked?  For a coach to safely work with vulnerable adults and young people, they will need an up to date DBS check.  This is another indicator that a professional life coach can work safely with all groups of people.
  5. How much experience does the coach have?  It can be beneficial to work with an accredited coach who has built up a good level of experience. This can be checked out in reviews, testimonials and by asking the coach in the first introductory call.  If they are newly qualified, are they offering any discounts or special offers?  A newly qualified coach can be bang up to date with the latest coaching methods so it’s not necessarily a negative. However, you need to ensure you are fully aware of their level of experience before committing to work with them.
  6. What do their previous coachees say about them?  Reviews and testimonials can tell you a lot about the service they provide.  Check google ratings, the coaches own website and social media channels for client reviews.
  7. How to find a coach?  As well as doing a google search, there are directories like The Life Coach Directory Abi Unwin – Bristol – Life Coach Directory (lifecoach-directory.org.uk) where you can find a local or remote coach to work with.  Social Media channels are also another way to check out various coaches profiles. Many post reels and short films on their channels to promote their work and share case studies.

I hope this is helpful. I am happy to answer any further questions you might have around how to find the right life coach in the comments below.  Good luck in finding the right coach for you!

How you can switch off from work on holiday without anxiety and guilt!

According to a recent survey shared on LinkedIn it can be difficult to fully switch off and 21% of workers feel they need to keep on top of work or stay connected even while on holiday. 16% said the line between their work and home lives was too blurred to truly disconnect, and one in four surveyed admitted to checking their emails on holiday.

Source: https://lnkd.in/g9fMxx4j

back view photo of women walking by the beach
Photo by B Pixels on Pexels.com

How you can switch off from work on holiday this Summer?

As a career coach, much of my current work centres around creating clear boundaries for ourselves.

Realistically, there may be times when we are on leave that we do need to check important emails or respond to certain messages. However, there are ways we can do this which don’t impact negatively on our holiday times.

Example
Setting an hour aside first thing in the morning, 6-7am, to get up before the family to check emails or respond to any urgent queries. If needed could it be possible to also schedule an hour between 4-5pm to make important call backs? It’s vital this is planned and agreed with whoever you’re going away with prior to the holiday so they are aware you’ll be doing this. It could mean that when you are together on the beach, for example, you aren’t constantly checking your phone or stressing about what you’re missing with work/feeling guilty you’re not paying attention to others. Then you can enjoy the special moments, being fully present and relaxed.

There are a few common rules to follow when setting boundaries for any situation and they include:

  1. Working out what you will and won’t accept. In the example above, is it acceptable for you to get up an hour early to check your emails before the family wakes up? Perhaps grabbing a coffee and finding a quiet place where you can do this first thing sounds like a nice idea? Or is this totally unrealistic for a person who loves a lie in?!
  2. Communicating clearly with others – we need to ensure people around us know what our boundaries are. Once we have worked out what is acceptable to us, we can include them in the planning stage so they can have a say – after all, it may impact their holiday too. When we communicate clearly, we can avoid confusion and potential confrontation later down the line.
  3. Focussing on the benefits – in this case, being able to maintain necessary communication with work in a set time so we can switch off for the rest of the holiday means we can fully recharge our batteries with no guilt or anxiety!
  4. Don’t compromise your happiness – sometimes others may not always agree and can push back but this is usually short lived. Once they observe the benefits, they will often see that boundaries are healthy and respect you more for your clear approach. If your team know that you will NOT be answering your phone but WILL call them back between 4-5pm, they will soon adapt to this way of working. It’s a great example to be setting to the rest of your colleagues – we all need time to fully switch off on holiday!

How we define an effective work life balance is different for everyone, what’s important is that you are happy with your own balance and it works for you and those around you.
Do you feel there are changes you could make before taking taking annual leave this Summer? Feel free to share your comments and tips for switching off below! And enjoy your holidays! 🙂

7 steps to make a career change

Whether you need to maximise your income or strive to create a better work life balance, I reveal how you can boost motivation and start taking action towards a career change today!
  1. Scale your current level of satisfaction/happiness/fulfilment at work out of 10 – be honest, but don’t take too long to think about this, just go with your first answer. 
  2. Get clear on your CORE values!  These are the things that really spark our motivation and inspire us.  They vary from person to person but they usually remain constant throughout our lives and were often formed in childhood.  A helpful way of working them out is to ask yourself to describe a time at work when you felt 1) most satisfied 2) most happy and 3) most proud.  Who were you with? What were you doing? Are there any common factors here which can be drawn out as your key values?  For example, learning new things, helping people, kindness, honest communication, risk taking, professionalism, sense of community, collaboration, team work, independence or communication?  You can search online for further examples of core values at work.  Write down your top 5 and ask yourself if your job is in alignment with these?
  3. Also, what are your EXTRINSIC values? These are the things that entice us into a job and often keep us there but don’t usually bring the same level of inspiration as core values  Pay, benefits, hours of work, annual leave, flexible working, sick pay, pension etc.  Unlike intrinsic values, what we value here can change depending on our stage of life, i.e. earning a high salary may be the priority during our 20’s whereas having a good pension might be more important as we enter the later stages of our careers.  What’s important to you right now and does this match your current job?
  4. Know your strengths.  Ask a colleague, manager and friend/relative what they think your 5 main strengths are.  Ask yourself the same question and see if you can note down some examples of how your use these in your current role.  Are you utilizing these on a regular basis and if not, how can you increase this?
  5. Break down the career change journey in to small steps – what can you do to move from a 3/10 to a 4/10 in terms of the number you scored your career currently? If you are feeling overwhelmed by what to do next, break down your journey into small, manageable chunks and allocate a time limit.  For example, I will update my CV with my latest role (1 hour) and spend 45 mins investigating the National Careers Service website or I will request a meeting with my line manager next week to discuss my next steps/flexible working request  – it will take me 10 mins to send the email.
  6. Time blocking can ensure you take the action you want to!  As well as allocating time to small steps, why not block out time in your calendar to actually do it.  Treat this as you would any other appointment that you need to attend – write it in the diary and prioritise it as important.  As you’ve already set a time limit for the task, it should feel manageable.
  7. Get some help….. As well as professional career and life coaches who can empower and support you to make a career change, there are also many other sources of advice and guidance out there so don’t feel you need to do this alone.  National Careers Service https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk  is a great place to start with free tips and resources to get you started with anything careers focused and ACAS has a useful website which details the latest employment laws and your rights to request flexible working/adjustments. http://www.acas.org.uk  There are also various organisations out there to help with starting up small businesses within your local area as well as funding from the Skills Agency for certain qualifications and training routes https://www.nationalskillsagency.co.uk

Read more about my career coaching services here: Career Coaching in Bristol – Abi Unwin – Certified Career Coach (abigailjanecoaching.com)

Five ways to boost motivation….

And decrease procrastination!

  1. Make the first step an easy one which allows you to move forward without too much anxiety or worry – once you are progressing then you can increase the challenge. This is a simple way to boost motivation at a gradual pace.
  2. Choose your first step to be something you know you will benefit from almost immediately – this will give you some positive reinforcement and help propel you forwards – upping motivation levels quickly.
  3. Share your goal – tell someone close to you what you are doing, and why! This can help to build the idea, make it concrete and encourage accountability.
  4. Set yourself a time limit – what can you do in just 5 mins to make some headway but reduce overwhelm? Once you hit 5 mins, it’s likely you’ll actually want to keep going!
  5. Ask for help – don’t feel you have to go this alone if you feel worried about getting started – support is often readily available if you reach out. Many people love helping others and observing motivation increasing – which in turn boost their motivation too!

If you would like to follow my page on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates with a positive vibe to give yourself a motivation boost, you can find me here by clicking the link below.

Welcome to my motivational blog!

A bit about me and what I will be posting about ….

Abi Unwin Life and Career Coach

Hi, I’m Abi and I’m a life and career coach on a mission to empower individuals to reach their potential in the professional and personal lives.


I am passionate about the power of coaching and will be posting tips and tricks in this motivational blog to help boost motivation, clarity and focus which can empower us to reach our goals. I will also be sharing simple coaching methods you can use to reduce anxiety, overwhelm and challenge the things that stop us from moving forward like limiting beliefs, procrastination and that feeling of being stuck.

Writing a motivational blog seems like a perfect way to reach out to a wider audience and allow more people to benefit from solution focussed coaching and I’d love to connect with those of you looking to make changes in any area of life. Over the next 12 months, I will be posting regular updates about coaching methods, best practice and case studies which demonstrate how coaching works in practice – so whether you are a fellow coach or a person with zero coaching knowledge you may want to follow my blog and comment with ideas and thoughts as well as learning more about how you can benefit and use coaching for yourself.

I’m based in the UK in the South West of England, just in between the cities of Bristol and Bath. However, I can coach remotely anywhere in the world and currently have clients in the UK, France and The Netherlands. With over 15 years experience of motivational coaching, I also have a specialism in working with people with disabilities and those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. I love working with both men and women from all walks of life, the best part of coaching for me is meeting new people and learning from them, as well as watching them grow and hit their goals! As a coach, I am ALWAYS learning and this is what makes the job so interesting and varied. I currently coach with self employed start ups, directors and managers looking to improve performance, individuals wanting to change career and people seeking life coaching to boost their wellbeing or personal goals.

I love hearing feedback and getting input so welcome your comments and look forward to sharing my motivational blog with you! If you have any particular areas of coaching which you’d like to know more about – please let me know and I’ll do my best to share my knowledge. Exciting times ahead, welcome to the world of motivational coaching! Just hit the follow button below…..and look out for my next post coming soon.