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  • Writer's pictureKirsty Macdonald

Are Your Stress Levels Spiraling Up or Down? Get Help With Stress and Prevent Burnout.

Get help with stress and burnout by learning all about the Stress Spiral.

Stress and burnout are experienced when we get out of rhythm, or when, on some level of abstraction, we are in opposition to what is happening in our lives. The triggers can be large and obvious, but also so small and subtle: How the adrenaline-fueled alarm clock gets you out of bed in the morning, the times when the Gods of 'Should' and 'Could' crawl onto your shoulder and tell their fanciful tales of a life to be done differently, or that blood sugar crash that came from the extra coffee or sweet treat that promised energy and pleasure and then stole from your precious reserves instead. These are all slow-drip stressors. Little and often, igniting your sympathetic nervous system and slow dripping adrenaline and cortisol into you throughout the day. How about you? What are the big things and the little things that cause stress in your body and mind and what is your reaction to these? Some stressors you might be well aware of, but some might only just occur to you if you think of them now. When we pay attention, we can become familiar with what spirals us up into greater stress and disconnection from ourselves and what we need, up, higher and higher and away from our ability to come down and relax our nervous system in a meaningful way. We can also become familiar with how this feels in our bodies in order to create a positive and healthier change of moving back down towards grounding and relaxation.

Infographic: stress and burnout spiral - (c) Kirsty Macdonald 2023

A Modern Phenomenon You might notice that life, in the way we are all living it just now, has a propensity to spiral us up and to not allow the space and exhalation to allow our systems to come back down. Have you ever noticed that when you're feeling stressed you're more likely to make decisions that take you further towards more stress rather than towards relaxation? This is what I call the 'Stress Spiral' and is what often causes chronic stress and burnout. However, when you bring awareness to this pattern you can, with practice, learn to intercept this process and create a new relationship to how you live your life. You could say that stress takes you away from yourself - up and out rather than in and down. So the important question is 'given that modern life is occurring as it is, do you have enough ways that you de-escalate stress in your body and mind?' Some of the things that can be helpful include:

  • Fostering positive supporting beliefs that feel good to hold and allow you to be in agreement with your life: I am good enough, Life is abundant, There is enough time.

  • Setting good boundaries around what you are prepared to do and what would be too much to hold.

  • Cultivating an ability to ask for what you need, when you need it.

  • A strong personal relaxation practice: yoga nidra, meditation, walks in nature, wild swimming, yin yoga.

The key takeaway here is to remember to keep an awareness of when your stress levels start to spiral up, develop more of an innate ability to stay relaxed and grounded no matter what comes your way, and know that you already have far more of an ability to steer through even the most rocky terrain with a sense of grace and peace in your body and in your mind than you might realise. Get help with stress and burnout. Make it a practice to know relaxation and your whole self will thank you for it.


New Client Packages From Late October/Early November I am opening three new Transformational Coaching and Therapy slots and also my waiting list for 2024. If you're interested in working with me towards a more connected, inspired way of living and/or leading then do get in touch. I work mostly online with opportunities for existing and previous clients to do in-person work when I'm in London. We start with a free no-obligation hour-long coaching call and take it from there. Just reply to this email letting me know a bit about you and what you're interested in working on. Or if you're not sure what the theme might be but just have an intuitive sense that we should talk then that's fine too. I find that often, just being open to what presents itself in the sessions becomes some of the most deeply transformational work that my clients experience. I'll look forward to hearing from you.


What They Say "Kirsty's presence, space holding and questioning is magic and allows for deep lasting change to occur surprisingly quickly." "I always looked forward to my session with Kirsty, starting with the meditation allowed me to really sink in and connect with my deepest intention for the session. The way Kirsty weaves her words is like nothing I'd experienced before, it allowed me to shut down my conscious mind and explore what lay beneath." "Kirsty held space beautifully, allowed me to feel safe to share and explore deeply." "I would highly recommend working with Kirsty if you’re really wanting to go deep and explore the root cause of what’s holding you back from creating the life you desire."


I wish you an inspired day, whatever today may bring. With love, Kirsty Macdonald Transformational Coach, Therapist and Embodiment Expert e. w. My personal inspirations this week: What I am reading. What I am listening to.


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